Living Memory: Worldwide Daffodil Project & Yom HaShoah Commemorations

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“How can a person…not be moved by compassion? And above all, how can anyone who remembers remain silent?” -Elie Wiesel

The past few weeks, we have been moved to see the sea of yellow daffodils along the fence of our lawn at Shaare Torah, blooming for the first time and resembling Stars of David. We are grateful to Shaare Torah teen, Taran Leshin, who completed his Eagle Scout Project by leading our Religious School students and community volunteers in planting a 500 bulb Holocaust Memorial Garden this past autumn in partnership with the Worldwide Daffodil Project. As the marker in our new garden describes:

“Resilient, bright and filled with hope, these daffodils, which return with a burst of color each spring, are part of the worldwide Living Holocaust Memorial that aspires to plant 1.5 million daffodils in memory of the 1.5 million children who perished in the Holocaust and for children who suffer in humanitarian crises around the world today.”

This coming week, Jewish communities around the world will mark Yom HaShoah. We hope you will join us Sunday afternoon at Shaare Torah at 1:00 pm for our community remembrance, including a tekes (candle lighting ceremony) with words from Keynote Speaker, Rebecca Erbelding, author of Rescue Board: The Untold Story of America’s Efforts to Save the Jews of Europe. We thank the Jewish Culture Chavurah, Men’s Club, and Book Club for organizing this meaningful event.

In the midst of the rise of antisemitic events in our Montgomery County public schools this past year, many of our Shaare Torah community members who work for MCPS helped to found the new Montgomery County Jewish Educators Alliance (MCJEA). On Monday evening, April 17th, at 7:00 pm, MCJEA is holding a Holocaust Remembrance Event at Flora Singer Elementary School, the first school in the country named after a Holocaust survivor. Connie Liss will share her family’s story during the program, and Rabbi Annie will participate in the ceremony with other Montgomery County clergy.

As we mourn the horrific losses our Jewish people and many of our families have suffered in the Shoah, we pray we will bring blessing to their memories by telling their stories and lifting up their light. We honor the way our people have survived and put down new roots, how we have chosen life and continued to flourish. As we prepare for our Yom HaShoah observances in the coming week, may we find healing in the light of Shabbat.