By Samuel Asher, Executive Director, Virginia Holocaust Museum
In 1948, at the end of the Holocaust, Israel was the only country to open its arms and welcome the tens of thousands of Holocaust Survivors who had no other place to go.
In her hour of need, we stand by Israel. The Virginia Holocaust Museum categorically condemns the attack on Israel by Hamas. We stand by our brothers and sisters in Israel. Our hearts weep for those who have been killed or wounded.
After nine months of renovations, the main doors to the Museum are now open again. We are welcoming guests into the new space. This should be a celebratory time for us.
But our hearts are burdened by thoughts of the war and the battle Israel is fighting. We long for the day when Israelis can meet the day with a smile on their lips and a song in their heart, resting in the comfort of safety and lasting peace.
If you have not been to the Museum in a while, now might be the perfect time to visit. It is always good to refresh your knowledge of the Holocaust and why it so important that we never become complacent and allow such a thing to happen again.
On November 5th, we welcomed a group of young people, spearheaded by Congregation Or Atid, who will plant 250 daffodil bulbs in our Memorial Garden. The event is part of The Daffodil Project, which aspires to build a worldwide Living Holocaust Memorial by planting 1.5 million Daffodils in memory of the children who were murdered in the Holocaust.
On November 15th, we will host a free educator workshop titled “How Jews Lived: Diversity in Prewar Central and Eastern Europe.” The workshop will be delivered in partnership with Centropa. Centropa is a historical institute based in Vienna, Virginia.
They use photographs, short multimedia films, thematic websites, and podcasts about Jewish life from the end of the Austro-Hungarian Empire through the first decade of the 21st century to explore the diversity of Jewish life and culture the Nazis attempted to wipe out.
Lastly, in November, we will say hello to Memorial Without Witness an original exhibit featuring the photographs and quotes from Dr. Charles Sydnor who visited Auschwitz in 1989.
If you haven’t been to the Museum for a while, please come visit us soon. There is always something new to see and learn at VHM!
Until Next Time,
Samuel H. Asher