Dear Fellow Survivors and Friends:
Like many of us survivors, I have dedicated my life to preserving the memory of the Holocaust. I have traveled all over the country telling my story at schools, synagogues, churches and anyone who will listen. I am so glad that many of us are still actively involved in doing all we can for the cause of remembrance, but time is running out. We are nearing the final act. We are all aging and some of us are in poor health, and that is why I am asking for your help NOW.
Perhaps like many of you, months ago I received a pin with the Hebrew letters of the word Zachor…”remember” given to me by my local Holocaust Survivors group. Recently, when speaking at a school, I had two extra pins with me and after my presentation, gave them to two students whom I believed would appreciate them. Well, you should have seen the look on their faces. This small, tangible memento added a meaning and significance to the presentation that I had never witnessed before.
After that experience, I went ahead and had pins made to hand out at my next presentation to 500 high school seniors. Again, the response to this small token was extraordinary. I have been telling my story for fourteen years and have spoken hundreds of times to thousands of students. But it is only recently that I realized that by handing out this small pin, my words will be remembered and that the memory and the pin can be handed down from generation to generation. That is when I knew what I needed to do. That is when I decided to start the Zachor Holocaust Remembrance Foundation, a non-profit organization whose primary purpose is to give out to all speakers, lecturers and teachers of the Holocaust a Zachor pin, free of charge, to distribute to each and every one of their listeners.
Someday, when these students have children of their own, their offspring may find one of these pins and ask “what is this strange looking pin?” Then, like the Passover Haggadah mandates “VEHIGADETA LEBINCHA” …..”and thou shall tell thy son…..” and they will tell their children about the survivor they met who told them about the Holocaust, thereby preserving the memory of this darkest period in our history. As long as there is need for Holocaust education, there will be need for Zachor pins and our foundation.
Survival was thrust upon us. With it comes a responsibility to bear witness, give our testimony, teach, and speak for the six million silenced voices and do whatever is in our power to memorialize them and the Shoah into perpetuity. We must keep this world from acquiring amnesia.
We must leave the students and all listeners with this tangible memento to remember us and the Shoah. This is why I am pleading with you to act now and join me in this cause. We must do this one more important act to keep the memory of our precious departed ones alive, while we still can.
We cannot do this alone and need your help. With your help we can preserve the memory of the Holocaust. With your help every student will have a Zachor pin, a tangible reminder of what they have learned and must never forget. We need help in distributing this message, in distributing these pins, and we need help finding survivors, speakers, and others who can help us in our efforts.
Thank you in advance for helping us to make a difference. If you have any other ideas on how to further our cause, please let us know.
I am closing this long but important wake up call letter by quoting one of our most distinguished sages, Rabbi Hillel:
“IF I AM NOT FOR MYSELF, WHO WILL BE FOR ME? AND IF I AM NOT FOR OTHERS, WHAT AM I? AND IF NOT NOW, WHEN?”