The alarming results of the recent national Holocaust survey done by the Claims Conference reveals how little Millennials and Gen Z know about the Holocaust. A few shocking results show that -
63 percent of respondents do not know that 6 million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust.
23 percent said that the Holocaust didn’t happen, or that it took place but the number of Jews who died ‘has been greatly exaggerated’, or they were unsure.
19 percent of respondents in New York believe that the Holocaust was caused by Jews.
12 percent of respondents said that they had never heard of, or don’t think they’ve heard of the word ‘Holocaust.’
These disturbing results, together with increasing incidents of Holocaust Denial and acts of antisemitism, highlight the urgent need to increase education about the Holocaust. About 67 percent of the respondents said that they first learned about the Holocaust in school. What better way to tell youth about the events than survivors giving their own testimonies? Sadly it has been 75 years post Holocaust and there are few survivors who still have the ability to talk publicly about their personal testimonies and describe first-hand accounts of the atrocities.
Who, then, can take the lead? Second and third generation of Holocaust survivors. Specifically, those who grew up hearing their parents and grandparents’ stories, have conducted research, and/or are a part of the Holocaust Speakers Bureau taught to present publicly in schools.
With that in mind, Partnership2Gether has initiated a new program for second generation Holocaust survivors called Sliding Dors (Dor means generation in Hebrew). The program has two components - creation of a local group of second Gens in Indianapolis, whom also attends monthly virtual gatherings with similar groups in the Western Galilee, Budapest and 11 U.S. Jewish communities in the Partnership region.
The local group is meeting (virtually) once a month with the goal of sharing and hearing from each other about the impact on their lives growing up as a second gen. It is an opportunity to tell their parents’ stories as they know them. The group is a safe place to look at the effect it had on these individuals and the opportunity to learn from one another, with the added benefit from sharing with others who have grown up under similar circumstances.
The larger international group will also meet virtually once a month for a year, starting in December.
Any of the participants who want to join the Holocaust Speakers Bureau afterwards will get all the support they need from Amber Maze, Holocaust Education & Program Coordinator, to develop their story and public speaking skills.
“Personally, I am very excited about this program because I am a second generation, and as the Federation’s Israel & Overseas Director, I am always looking for ways to help Hoosiers connect with Jewish communities around the world,” said Michele Boukai. “I think it will be very interesting to hear from second Gen’s who grew up in Israel and Budapest, to compare and learn from one another.”
Are you a second or third Gen interested in joining this group? Contact Michele Boukai at firstname.lastname@example.org or (317) 475-4274 for more information.