Last week the New York Times published an article titled “The Holocaust is Fading From Memory: Study Finds” which deeply disturbed us. In the wake of this article we are proud of the efforts of the Marin Jewish community and the California State Assembly this past week to ensure that the Holocaust is accurately remembered and that survivors and their descendants continue to be honored.
On Sunday, April 15, the Marin Jewish community convened for an intergenerational gathering. Members from Rodef participating in the ceremony included Andre Gabany, a Holocaust survivor, Sophia Brady who lit a candle for her grandmother, Miranda Ward, Daniel Sachs-Amrami, Shoshana Harlem, Rabbi Lara, Cantor David, and Ari Katz who introduced his grandmother. At Rodef Sholom we are committed to honoring all of the survivors in our community and creating opportunities for our children to learn from you, as well as their teachers, the lessons of the Holocaust so that they can pass your stories and your messages along to future generations.
On Monday, April 16 th , Rabbi Elana delivered the opening invocation at the California State Assembly where Andre Gabany was an honoree. We are grateful to the work of Assemblymember Marc Levine, head of the Jewish caucus, who each year dedicates himself to raising awareness of the Holocaust in the state legislature and to ensuring that our government officials understand the importance of the lessons of history and its application to today.
The press release for Monday’s event reads as follows:
Sacramento, CA – Today (April 17), the California State Assembly honored Holocaust survivors, descendants of survivors, and World War II liberators residing throughout the state during its annual Holocaust Remembrance Ceremony.
“As we remember the six million Jews who were murdered by the Nazis in the Holocaust, it is alarming to learn that instances of anti-Semitism in the United States rose 57 percent last year and that two thirds of millennials don’t know what Auschwitz is,” said Assemblymember Marc Levine, Chair of the California Legislative Jewish Caucus. “Perhaps that shouldn't be surprising in 2017 where white supremacists brazenly chanted ‘Jews will not replace us’ in Charlottesville, VA.”
“We must never forget the millions of innocent people who perished during the Holocaust. It is very important to keep their memories alive,” said Andre Gabany, Assemblymember Levine’s honoree. “In doing so, we hope that history will never repeat itself. Good people should always stand up against evil and fight for justice.”
Each year, the California Legislative Jewish Caucus requests that all Assemblymembers invite honorees from their districts for a brunch and Assembly Floor Ceremony. The ceremony presents a unique opportunity to hear the stories of the survivors, children of survivors, and World War II liberators. As the number of survivors diminishes, there is a growing urgency to take the time to learn from these stories first-hand.
The California Legislature honored 39 survivors, liberators, and children of survivors in the California State Assembly chamber.
The California Legislative Jewish Caucus formed in January of 2013 to respond to the needs of California’s diverse Jewish community and to be a Jewish voice for justice, equality and progress.