Thursday, April 19, 2012

Yom HaShoah Reflections

As many of you know, today is Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day. Working at a Holocaust museum, we commemorate every day, but this week is always especially moving, and very busy as we get prepare to welcome hundreds of students and visitors who come to the Museum to hear Holocaust survivors and their children speak about their lives and their personal artifacts.

What you may not know, is that every year, the staff starts the day off with a very small, private ceremony where we can reflect together. As our director, Dr. David G. Marwell says, it is one of the most powerful commemorations for him, because it is a chance for us to come together as a family to mark something that is so personal to all of us.

Our tradition is that we welcome six Holocaust survivors to light candles with six young people, who are interns or new staff members. They read from a beautiful ceremony written by one of our first gallery educators, Norbert Friedman, who survived 11 camps. We then sing Eli, Eli, based on Hannah Senesh’s evocative poem. I think it is very fitting that we close the ceremony with a hopeful prayer for mankind, since “There is Hope for Your Future,” is one of the sentiments on the wall as you enter our Core Exhibition. The other is “Remember, Never Forget.”

We wish you all a meaningful day today.

Image: Education assistant Rookminie Behari and Ray Kaner, who survived the Lodz Ghetto and Auschwitz. Photo by Melanie Einzig.

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