Jewish communities in North America, Israel, Poland and Australia observed Holocaust Survivor Day, which took place this year on June 26th. Now in its 2nd year, Holocaust Survivor Day is a grassroots initiative that was founded by the JCC Krakow, to recognize the contributions that survivors have made to society and to honor their legacies. International Holocaust Remembrance Day and Yom HaShoah focus on the lives of those who perished, while Holocaust Survivor Day celebrates the accomplishments of survivors and the ways they enrich humanity every day.
“Holocaust survivors endured the worst of human behavior and still managed to maintain their own humanity and to live meaningful, productive lives,” said JCC Krakow CEO Jonathan Ornstein. “Their strength and resilience must be a lesson to us all, especially as we struggle with a resurgence of antisemitism worldwide. They deserve our praise and our respect and they certainly deserve their own day.”
Events celebrating the legacies of survivors are being held across the globe: from Philadelphia to Tel Aviv, from Palm Beach County to Seattle, from Cleveland to Sydney, and from Chicago to Krakow. One thousand survivors took part in ceremonies in Israel at Beit Lohamei Hagetaot and Habima National Theater in Tel Aviv, in partnership with The Center Organizations of Holocaust Survivors and in the presence of President Isaac Herzog and other dignitaries.
Organizations partnering in the initiative include JCC Krakow, World Zionist Organization, Seed the Dream Foundation, and the Jewish Federations of North America, along with 60 International Organizational Partners.
“We are proud to be working with our partners across the globe to pause and recognize the tremendous gift the Survivor population has given to our community. They have been our guiding light and continue to teach us the power of resilience and hope,” said Marcy Gringlas, President and co-Founder of Seed the Dream Foundation.
Survivors enrich our communities and inspire the world with their resilience and strength. Yet, an astonishing 35% of survivors in the U.S. live in poverty. Jewish Federations support thousands of survivors annually through our Center on Holocaust Survivor Care and Institute on Aging and Trauma, as well as through partnerships with the KAVOD Survivors of the Holocaust Emergency Fund.
“Holocaust survivors teach us every day to love, to persevere, to speak out against injustice,” said President & CEO of Jewish Federations of North America Eric Fingerhut. “It is our duty as a Jewish community to empower our survivors so that they can live in dignity, and we are so privileged to be involved in this sacred work every day.”
The main event in Israel may be viewed via this link: https://youtu.be/hgrmNE7lPjk