Holocaust and Hatikvah


The Holocaust is enormously significant in the modern history of our people. It is difficult to find the words to describe something so huge, so terrible. It is almost impossible to explain.

How can we explain the murder of 6 million Jews to our children? How do we address the non-Jews who perished under the thumb of Nazi Germany? How are these historical events relevant to our lives today?

International Holocaust Memorial Day is not commemorated on the same day as Yom Hashoah V’hagvurah, Memorial Day for the Holocaust and Heroism, in Israel. Why is that?

Why should our children grow up with the stories of neighbors turning in neighbors, Jews sent to ghettos, slave labor and starvation and the horror of gas chambers?

How could one of the most civilized nations on earth mastermind and participate in something so horrific? How could people witness terrible crimes and pretend they did not see? Has the world learned anything from the Holocaust? Have we?

The enormity of the Holocaust makes it difficult to comprehend. This has led to many misunderstandings and mistaken perceptions regarding the Holocaust. The most poisonous being Holocaust denial, the minimization of the Holocaust and the premise that Israel was created because of the Holocaust and that modern Israelis have become like Nazis to the Arab population of Israel.

The Holocaust and Hatikvah initiative was designed to add perspective and clarity to these critical questions, provide resources to facilitate teaching the lessons of the Holocaust and make them relevant today.

Most of all, our goal is to highlight the hope, Hatikvah, within the horror.

Holocaust and Hatikvah is not about commemorating the Holocaust one memorial day, once a year. It is about gaining a deep understanding of the strength that is inherent in our people that shined during the time of the Holocaust and in the actions of the survivors following the Holocaust.

The Holocaust was a defining moment in history but we are not defined by the horror – it is hope, Hatikvah, that has been key to keeping the Jewish people together and respond to the unspeakable by becoming stronger, better and striving to make the world a better place for everyone.