Wednesday, January 27, 2021

January 27 is International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

U.S. President Joe Biden lays a wreath at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem, Israel, 2022.

Too many American and Illinois families were affected by the Holocaust. May God rest their souls.
A visit will totally change your perspective on life.
The Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center in Skokie, Illinois, is dedicated to preserving the legacy of the Holocaust by honoring the memories of those who were lost and by teaching universal lessons that combat hatred, prejudice, and indifference. 

The museum fulfills its mission through the exhibition, preservation, and interpretation of its collections and through education programs and initiatives promoting human rights and eliminating genocide.
Prisoners at Ebensee Concentration Camp in 1945. Ebensee was a subcamp of the Mauthausen concentration camp established by the Nazi S.S. to build tunnels for armaments storage near the town of Ebensee, Austria, in 1943. The camp held a total of 27,278 male inmates from 1943 until 1945. Between 8,500 and 11,000 prisoners died in the camp, most from hunger or malnutrition.

When neo-Nazis threatened to march in Skokie in the late 1970s, Holocaust survivors worldwide were shocked. They realized they could no longer remain silent despite their desire to leave the past behind. In the wake of these attempted marches, Chicago-area survivors joined together to form the Holocaust Memorial Foundation of Illinois. They purchased a small Skokie storefront and made it available to the public, especially to schoolchildren, focusing on combating hate with education.

The 65,000 square-foot Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center that opened on April 19, 2009, is a culmination of 30 years of hard work by the local Holocaust survivor community. According to President Emeritus Sam Harris, “We dreamt of creating a place that would not only serve as a memorial to our families that perished and the millions lost but also where young minds could learn the terrible dangers of prejudice and hatred.”

To ensure that young minds continue to learn these lessons, the organization successfully secured the 1990 passage of the Holocaust Education Mandate, making Illinois the first state to require Holocaust education in public schools. In 2005, the organization again expanded this mandate; the Holocaust and Genocide Education Mandate now requires Illinois schools to teach about all genocides.

The Illinois Holocaust Museum not only honors the memory of the millions who were murdered during the Holocaust, but it also salutes the courage and resilience of the survivors. They are the people who rebuilt their lives and awoke the conscience of humanity so that none of us may ever forget. For them, the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center carry out their founding principle: Remember the Past, Transform the Future.

El Malei Rachamim (“God full of compassion”) is a prayer for the departed, asking for comfort and everlasting care of the deceased. It is recited at funeral services, but different versions exist for other moments. 

The Jewish Reform Prayer Book, Mishkan T’filah.
The version of the Shoah (Holocaust) can be found in the Reform prayer book, Mishkan T’filah. Listen to the liturgy, which is translated here:

Fully Compassionate God on High:
To our six million brothers and sisters
murdered because they were Jews,
grant clear and certain rest with You
in the lofty heights of the sacred and pure
whose brightness shines like the very glow of heaven.

Source of Mercy:
Forever enfold them in the embrace of Your wings;
secure their souls in eternity.
Adonai: they are Yours.
They will rest in peace.
01) United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.
02) Amud Aish Memorial Museum, Brooklyn, New York
03) Breman Museum, Atlanta, Georgia
04) CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center, Terre Haute, Indiana
05) Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education & Tolerance, Texas
06) Desert Holocaust Memorial, Palm Desert, California
07) El Paso Holocaust Museum and Study Center, Texas
08) Esther Raab Holocaust Museum & Goodwin Education Center, Cherry Hill, New Jersey
09) Florida Holocaust Museum (St. Petersburg)
10) Holocaust and Tolerance Museum, Chandler, Arizona
11) Holocaust Awareness Museum and Education Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
12) Holocaust Center for Humanity, Seattle, Washington
13) Holocaust Center of Northern California (San Francisco)
14) Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
15) Holocaust Documentation & Education Center, Dania Beach, Florida
16) Holocaust Memorial Center, Farmington Hills, Michigan
17) Holocaust Memorial Museum of San Antonio, Texas
18) Holocaust Memorial, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
19) Holocaust Museum & Center for Tolerance and Education, Suffern, New York
20) Holocaust Museum & Cohen Education Center, Naples, Florida
21) Holocaust Museum & Learning Center, St. Louis, Missouri
22) Holocaust Museum Houston, Texas
23) Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center, Skokie
24) Jewish History Museum/Holocaust History Museum, Tucson, Arizona
25) Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust
26) Museum of History and Holocaust Education, Kennesaw, Georgia
27) Museum of Jewish Heritage, Manhattan, New York
28) Nancy and David Wolf Holocaust & Humanity Center, Cincinnati, Ohio
29) New Mexico Holocaust & Intolerance Museum, Albuquerque
30) New Mexico Holocaust Museum and Gellert Center for Education, Albuquerque
31) Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education, Portland
32) Sandra Bornstein Holocaust Education Center, Providence, Rhode Island
33) Stuart Elenko Holocaust Museum at the Bronx High School of Science, Bronx, New York
34) United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Midwest, Highland Park, Illinois
35) Virginia Holocaust Museum, Richmond
36) William Breman Jewish Heritage & Holocaust Museum, Atlanta, Georgia

Compiled by Dr. Neil Gale, Ph.D.

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