Connecting to our Jewish identities

Hello Everyone!

 

Today was all about connection and Jewish identity!

 

To walk alongside teens, dignitaries, and adults from 50 countries, approximately 10,000 strong, it was truly a reaffirming and prideful moment for everyone. As the marchers entered through the famous arch in Birkenau, names were recited of children who perished during the Holocaust. Stirring and passionate words were given by Rabbi Meir Lau (former Chief Rabbi of Israel and survivor), and speeches from the presidents from Poland and Israel. There were stirring renditions of Jewish songs, one sung by the Hashalom Choir of Japan.

 

Six large torches were lit on the stage in commemoration of Holocaust victims, other genocides, the courage of The Righteous non- Jews who risked their lives, survivors who rebuilt their lives after the Shoah and the last torch was for Israel.

 

The sight of everyone standing and reciting the Mourner’s Kaddish and then singing Hatikvah will surely be a memory that will live on in everyone.

 

“It was so cool that so many Jews were there. The March of the Living was the most meaningful experience that I have ever taken part in.”   – Maya Walborsky (Los Gatos, CA)

 

“Seeking a dark memory of the past, we instead found a brighter light for the future.” – Jonathan Sasson and Michael Amrami (Great Neck, NY)

 

“It was surreal seeing that many Jews at Auschwitz again, and this time coming there by choice, completely opposite from our ancestors.”  – Benjamin Silverstone (Newton, MA)

 

“Today, I marched with more than 15,000 people from Auschwitz to Birkenau, for my ancestors. I had the opportunity to walk out of the concentration camps where my family was unable to do. Today, for Holocaust Remembrance Day, we remember the 6 million Jews, my own family who were innocently murdered for their identity, my identity. I march for the future, your future, and our children’s future. Because of the Holocaust, I only have 4 cousins. Because of the Holocaust, my grandma is living as the only survivor of her family. I hear the trains, I walk on the tracks, and feel sick to my stomach. I am proud to be who I am and to celebrate our survival because we survived. We are still here. Am Yisrael Chai, never again will this happen to anyone.” – Briana Schwam (Richmond, VA)

 

“True heroism isn’t holding a gun, it’s living in these barracks and giving up what you have for someone less.” – Noa Mintz (New York)

 

We leave Krakow tomorrow, on our way to the city of Lublin to tour the extermination camp of Majdanek, then to our hotel in Warsaw to celebrate Shabbat together. My next message will be when Shabbat ends on Saturday night.

 

Wishing everyone a joyous Shabbat,
Sherrie

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