By Jo Strausz Rosen
Yom HaShoah services were held on the campuses of JSL, led by Dr. Charles Silow. Staff and volunteers at Fleischman Residence participated by reading aloud some relevant quotes, lit candles and joined survivors and residents in this meaningful memorial service, honoring the lives of 6 million murdered in the Holocaust. I read a quote from Elie Wiesel, a Romanian-born American writer, professor, political activist, Nobel laureate, and Holocaust survivor, who said, “Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant. Whenever men or women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must – at that moment – become the center of the universe.”
From the diary of Jack Werber, Saving Children: Diary of a Buchenwald Survivor and Rescuer, “Escape was not our goal since it was so unrealistic. What we wanted was to survive, to live long enough to tell the world what had happened in Buchenwald,”
At JSL, we honor the survivors and their families, inspired by their strength to have lived through this dark time in history, made their way to America, learned to speak English worked, became educated and lived lives of honor, inspiring children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, continuing to volunteer and standing up for human rights causes to make a difference.
Each of us is responsible to speak out against injustice. Each of us sees and feels injustice, yet so many respond with silence. Albert Einstein encouraged us saying, “Be a Voice, Not an Echo. The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.”
“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”
-Martin Luther King Jr.
Speak up. Speak Out.