Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day. It is one day out of the year that we set aside to remember those that suffered, those that fought, and those that died. Six million Jews and hundreds of thousands of non-Jews were murdered. Approximately 1.5 million of them were children. Many families were completely decimated.
The Holocaust did not occur overnight and, like any genocide, it was preventable. Hatred and persecution were allowed to flourish because of apathy and lack of intervention. More than 60 years later, we can still learn from the horrors of the Holocaust and the dangers of indifference and intolerance, and the importance of standing up for others.
Year-round, the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center of Nassau County teaches the history of the Holocaust and its lessons through education and community outreach. Our programs are distinguished by live testimonies from local survivors and liberators to build a bridge from history to the intolerance, discrimination and bullying that many experience today in their classrooms, in their work and in their communities.
Six-months ago, I joined the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center of Nassau County in the role of Development Director. My entire career has been devoted to improving the lives of children and creating positive community change through education. Working at an institution that teaches the lessons of the Holocaust is a natural outgrowth of this passion for social justice and to promote awareness and activism around tolerance and diversity.
Each of us has a responsibility to instill the memory of the Holocaust in future generations to prevent genocide and the persecution of all people across the globe from occurring again. It is also important to emphasize two critical lessons: 1) that liberation of the concentration camps in 1945 did not end tyranny, racism, antisemitism or genocide; and 2) that there were, are, and can continue to be Upstanders - those who refuse to be passive in the face of intolerance, discrimination and bigotry of all kinds.
Let us stand together and affirm our obligation to never forget. It is in this spirit of unity that we know hate and bigotry cannot exist.
About the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center of Nassau County
For 20 years, the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center has been fulfilling its mission to teach the history of the Holocaust and its lessons through education and community outreach. We encourage acceptance of, and respect for, diversity. We keep the importance of being an Upstander in the public eye and offer enriching education programs to build a better world for our children. www.holocaust-nassau.org