Hall of Names, was inaugurated March 15 2005, at Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial, in Jerusalem
This coming Sunday and Monday, April 15 and 16, Jewish communities around the world will gather to mark Yom Hashoah, the day set aside as Holocaust Remembrance Day. Why do we want to remember one of the most terrible chapters in human history when over 11 million people were murdered, 6 million of which were Jews, by the Nazis? We remember so that it will never happen again.
The challenge isn't to establish what happened during those terrible times. We know what happened, we know the facts. Today's challenge is to educate a world of Holocaust deniers and to educate new generations. By knowing our human capacity for great evil, and knowing what has happened because of it, perhaps we can stop it before it happens again.
And yet it is happening again all around the world. In Darfur, Bosnia, Rwanda, in the call of Jihad by some to wipe Israel off the map and eliminate the Jewish population of the world, and in other small ways. In the U.K., schools are dropping Holocaust education for fear that Britain's rising Muslim population will take offense. If indeed it is true that "those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it," we have very real cause for alarm today - making observance of Holocaust Remembrance Day all the more important.
6 million people were brutally murdered during the Holocaust just for being born as Jews. It is an abomination when any group or ideology determines to commit genocide on another group. We must not forget and we must continue to teach it, complete with depictions of the gore and atrocities that occurred.
If you are a teacher, whatever you teach, I invite you to take some time this Monday, April 16, to talk about it to all of your classes, to take a moment of silence in "remembrance." I invite everyone to ask this question: Can we really sit back in our comfortable lives and do nothing when atrocities are happening, or about to happen, in different places around the world? I challenge you to discuss, or think about, ways in which you can make a difference. I invite you to forward this to colleagues, friends and family so they may also participate.