Community Time Honors Holocaust Remembrance Day

Ms.+Wolinetz+visited+this+concentration+camp.+Millions+of+Jews+and+others+were+killed+at+camps+similar+to+these+during+the+Holocaust.

Ms. Wolinetz visited this concentration camp. Millions of Jews and others were killed at camps similar to these during the Holocaust.

Three speakers from the American Jewish Committee spoke during a recent Community Time in honor of International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Emma Joseph, Sophie Miller, Michael Lee, Meredith Greenberg, and the Jewish Culture Club coordinated this event in order to raise awareness and educate students about the Holocaust.

Designated by the United Nations, International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27th commemorates the 6 million Jewish victims, and millions of others who tragically lost their lives in the Holocaust. The day is also the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, one of the largest concentration camps where over 1 million people were murdered.

Seventy-six years after the Holocaust ended, first-hand survivors are an increasingly rare minority. Thus, it is vital that we keep their legacies and history alive by passing on these stories to the next generation. Hackley was lucky enough to speak to Harriet Schliefer, Lilli Platt, and Leah Wolinetz all of whose parents were Holocaust survivors. The speakers shared their parents’ stories detailing horrors they witnessed, and their time living in concentration camps.

“For me personally, my biggest takeaway from the assembly is Jewish unity,” junior Sophie Miller said. Attending a Jewish school before Hackley, Sophie heard survivors’ stories every year so, “the tragic parts of the story are something I’m fairly accustomed to, but I liked how our speakers spun them in a way to show how much we’ve overcome and how strong our community is.”

Ms. Schleifer shares a photo of her family arriving in America after escaping from the Holocaust. Many Jews immigrated to other countries after the Holocaust through organizations such as HIAS.
Ms. Schleifer’s family arriving in America after escaping from the Holocaust. Many Jews immigrated to other countries after the Holocaust through organizations such as HIAS.

Multiple events both on and off-campus prompted the Jewish Culture Club to organize this assembly. Back in 2019, a swastika carved onto a classroom table at Hackley revealed a disturbing, hidden culture of hatred on campus. As well, last year on International Holocaust Remembrance Day the school held a Shakespeare recitation during community time rather than addressing the event or raising any awareness. The members of the JCC and many others were disappointed and upset over this lack of remembrance and were spurred into action to make sure it didn’t happen again next year.

Additionally, there has been a rise in anti-Semitic attacks in the last few months across the country. Recently Northshore Hebrew Academy on Long Island was hacked and swastikas, Nazi videos, and Jewish slurs were posted on the school’s website. Later during Hanukkah, a man was run over while lighting a menorah at The University of Kentucky Jewish Center. As well, during the attacks on the Capitol in DC, neo-nazi groups were seen carrying slogans saying “6MWE” or 6 million Jewish lives lost in the Holocaust wasn’t enough. Junior Emma Joseph said, “While these events were something that no one could predict, I think that it fueled our group further into needing our community to understand the importance of never forgetting.”

As we face a rise in antisemitism in recent years it’s of the utmost importance to protect the legacy of Holocaust survivors and make sure their stories are never forgotten.

Pull quote: “Especially now, I think the assembly was important to call attention to some of the things that people don’t realize are still happening, and to remind some of the Jewish students at Hackley that they do have a Jewish community here, even if it is a small one. Mutual struggles can create strong unity.” Sophie Miller

Ms. Wolinetz shares a picture of the map of a concentration camp she visited. Millions of Jews and others were killed at camps similar to these during the Holocaust.

Ms. Schleifer shares a photo of her family arriving in America after escaping from the Holocaust. Many Jews immigrated to other countries after the Holocaust through organizations such as HIAS.