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  • How One Community is Conducting and Interfaith Yom HaShoah/Holocaust Memorial Day

    What is your community doing?

    by Shiela Steinman Wallace

    Film to Tell Survivors’ Stories with Teen Perspective

    This has been a year of upheaval and often violence from the overthrow of the government in Ukraine and the takeover of Crimea by Russia to the long and bloody civil war in Syria and the political instability and harsh, rapid trials in Egypt to ethnic wars in Africa and drug wars in South and Central America.

    Many of these situations are rooted in hatred and prejudice. All result in human rights abuses that give us pause. It seems the world needs to be reminded of the lessons of the Holocaust.

    In Louisville, each year, the Jewish Community Relations Council sponsors a community-wide Yom HaShoah Program to strengthen our commitment as friends and neighbors of all faiths to treat our neighbors with tolerance, compassion and dignity.

    This year’s program, Pouring Out the Heart: Learning from Personal Holocaust Stories, will be Monday, April 28, at 7 p.m. at the Kentucky Center for the Arts, in the Bomhard Theater. This year’s program will include a film that presents excerpts of interviews conducted by Catholic and Jewish middle school students with local Holocaust survivors.

    In addition, two Israeli soldiers, participants in the Hatikvah [the hope] Program will speak about the Holocaust from an Israeli point of view.

    There will also be the opportunity to remember those who perished in the Holocaust with prayers and ceremony.

    Listening to Holocaust survivors tell their stories has always been an important part of this program, but as the years go on, fewer survivors remain to tell their stories. Yom HaShoah Committee Chair Fred Whittaker, who teaches at St Francis of Assisi, and his students teamed up with Jewish teens from the JCC’s Teen Connections program to produce this film.

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