It’s been a meshuggeh week so far in Yentaland trying to avoid the “dead” in deadline at my day job, but I did manage to gather the family to attend the Yom Ha’Shoah ceremony at the JEA Tuesday evening.
Let’s face it: Holocaust memorial aren’t meant to be fun. But I have to say this year’s event focused less on victimhood than on heroism and hope: The JEA’s Ben Kweskin created an amazing tribute to the Ghetto Resistance, and the artwork by St. Vincent’s High School students delved deep to keep looking for the meaning of this horrid past. Our wonderful shlicha (Israeli emissary) Maia Koiller hit up every Jewish kid in town over the last few weeks to color a butterfly or three, and the result of
HUNDREDS THOUSANDS of beautiful cutouts on the walls (it is a HUGE room) posted with Pavel Friedman’s poem “I Never Saw Another Butterfly” was tremendous.
We might be having trouble filling the coffers for the pool, but I’ll tell you what, it made me a proud Southern Jew to find it was standing-room only in the auditorium. It’s always such a sobering, humbling honor to hear the Holocaust survivors of our community speak – I eat lunch with a few of them every week, and every time I glimpse a tattoo on an arm or hear Polish-accented Yiddish, I’m reminded that who I am includes those who came before me, my commitment to raise my children to stand up for what is right, deepened. Read Dana Clark Felty’s piece about it in the Savannah Morning News – Chaim Melamed’s entire poem I Am A Kacetler is included.
As far as the anti-Semitic, anti-Israel bullhockey happening in Geneva this week, I don’t have time for it, but I think Rav Shmuel’s cheeky “Protocols” vid is an appropriate response. (Tip o’ the yarmulke to Rabbi Yonah):