Elie Wiesel Tribute

Thu, 07/07/2016 - 10:38am

Posted in: Holocaust Commission

2086 By now I'm sure all of you have heard the news that Elie Wiesel passed away last weekend.  As the tributes to this Holocaust survivor, author, Nobel Laureate, humanitarian, and dedicated teacher poured out, the sorrow of losing one of the most powerful voices for Holocaust remembrance and against injustice of any kind was overwhelming.

An iconic spokesperson for the Holocaust’s enduring lessons, Elie Wiesel was one of the most recognizable voices through which millions first encountered the dark history of the Shoah. But most importantly, he broke the silence and refused to let the world forget.

It is hard to even comprehend what the world must have been like when everyone, including Jews, only wanted to forget the Holocaust. What a different universe we would live in if Elie Wiesel had not had the courage to speak and remember.
Read more »

Sunny with a Chance of Rockets: Part 6

Tue, 08/19/2014 - 3:36pm

Posted in: Holocaust Commission, Stop the Sirens

1728 By Elena Barr Baum
Read Part 5 here.

Friday morning dawned, and we were no longer under the protective wing of Yad Vashem, what to me felt like, next to the Knesset, the safest place in Israel. We looked at the forecast for Tel Aviv on the Ha’Aretz website. It was SUNNY, WITH A CHANCE OF ROCKETS. I think that headline tipped the scales for us.

After much back and forth – wanting to be tough; wanting to believe that everything would be ok; wanting to stand strong for Israel; and not seem like we were “abandoning it” when it needed us and our economic boost the most - I finally took the advice of my Israeli friends, and listened to my concerned family back at home, and rebooked myself to come back to the US early. The first flight I could get on at that point was late Saturday night. Deb worked out her travel plans, also to leave earlier than scheduled, on Sunday morning. Mickey was scheduled to fly out Friday night, so she, Deb and I did not go to Tel Aviv Friday as originally planned, but took in some of Jerusalem, since we had not seen much but Yad Vashem since we arrived. We had a lovely day, wandering, dining and shopping. Deb and I waved farewell to Mickey’s taxi that evening and sent her off to the airport. (She can tell you about that story!).
Read more »

Sunny with a Chance of Rockets: Part 5

Tue, 08/12/2014 - 12:53pm

Posted in: Holocaust Commission, Stop the Sirens

1724 By Elena Barr Baum
Read Part 4 here.


Photo by Janice Engel

It seemed as soon as we began our presentation, it was time to pack up, as the conference only had 2 more sessions. The one that followed ours brought the entire cohort back together again for “the voices of the fourth generation.” What a powerful way to wrap up the week! Six young people (ages 18-25) from six different countries (England, China, Canada, Poland, Argentina, and Israel) shared with the delegates why Holocaust education was important to them, and what motivates them to promote it in their countries. I looked at these young adults with pride in their purpose. I am glad to know that their parents, who like my mother were probably sitting thousands of miles away worrying, and wondering when their child would be leaving Israel, can look online and see how poised and accomplished they were in front of such a formidable group.
Read more »

Thoughts on the Eve of Tisha B'av

Tue, 08/05/2014 - 3:23pm

Posted in: Holocaust Commission, Stop the Sirens

1708 By: Elena Barr Baum

Elena Barr Baum shared the following in a panel discussion at Congregation Beth El before Tisha B’Av services on August 4. Elena is the Director of the Holocaust Commission of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater.

I was in the enviable position of taking a professional trip to Israel, at the unenviable time of what turned out to be the outset of Operation Protective Edge, the latest in the string of wars with Israel’s hostile neighbors. While many of my thoughts and feelings about the time I spent in Israel in early July are posted on the UJFT Blog and will also be reprised in the Jewish News’ next edition, tonight I wanted to share with you how I feel about my experience as it relates to Tisha B’av.
Read more »

Hi, All. Yes, I’m Safe.

Fri, 08/01/2014 - 3:08pm

Posted in: Holocaust Commission, Stop the Sirens

1707 By Janice Engel

From left, Deb Segaloff, Janice Engel, Mickey Held and Elena Baum

The Holocaust Commission of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater was invited to present its innovative original program, What We Carry, at the 9th International Conference on Holocaust Education at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, July 7 – 10, 2014. This blog is part of a series, written by those who represented What We Carry, the Holocaust Commission, and the Tidewater community (and beyond) at Yad Vashem, and whose visit to Israel coincided with the start of Operation Protective Edge.

The following is taken from an email sent to Janice’s friends and family, just after the siren went off at the closing session of the conference at Yad Vashem:

Hi All,

I've received a few messages from you re: the recent escalation of tensions here in Israel and the Gaza Strip.  I went to email you “all right” after it was over, but my cell phone juice ran out—so better late than not at all.
Read more »

Sunny with a Chance of Rockets: Part 4

Fri, 08/01/2014 - 1:10pm

Posted in: Holocaust Commission, Stop the Sirens

By Elena Barr Baum
Read Part 3 here.

1705 Thursday brought The Third and Fourth Generation: The Relevance of the Story. This is where the rubber meets the road. How do you make the Holocaust important to the “digital natives” growing up today, who see the 20th century as ancient history? Kids who will never meet a survivor, or hear an eye witness account of the Holocaust?

In the morning we heard about Generations Y and Z, born after 1988 and 1995. Unlike Boomers and Gen X, the Y and Z-ers are more self-focused, have a different attention span and different distraction levels than their predecessors. They tend to multi-task, doing many things at once, rather than look at a subject in depth. But as our speakers from Google, the USC Shoah Foundation, and the International School at Yad Vashem told us, there is no replacement for face to face interaction. Even the Gen Z-ers, who don’t understand a world without the internet, still need to “get together with people.” As we heard from the Director of Google’s Israel R&D department, bringing historical content online is a huge job, but it brings access for people who can add to the body of knowledge. And then once exposed to something online, people are more likely to want to explore it and experience it further. The online experience does not replace REAL things, but can greatly enhance them.
Read more »

Sunny with a Chance of Rockets: Part 3

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 7:58am

Posted in: Holocaust Commission, Stop the Sirens

By Elena Barr Baum
Read Part 2 here.


1704 Day Two focused on The Second and Third Generation: Finding Meaning in the Story. After an interesting panel discussion about the seminal 9 hour film Shoah by Claude Lanzman, we heard from Dr. Daniel Goldhagen, author of Hitler’s Willing Executioners. He brought to light many previously unexplained thoughts on common theories that average Germans and German soldiers were “just following orders” or “unable to make different choices.” He cited that while it was common knowledge that the Germans reintroduced slavery to the European continent, too often the testimony of survivors and victims about how they were treated by “ordinary Germans” was neglected or even ridiculed, because it flew in the face of what the scholars were saying about the Nazi culture. While I was told later by a staff member of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum (perhaps one of the scholars Goldhagen was referring to?) that some historians are skeptical of his research, I must say that it was one of the most thought-provoking lectures I have heard on the Holocaust. That’s the thing about this subject -- there is always more to learn -- more angles to investigate. (You can see his lecture here.)
Read more »

Sunny with a Chance of Rockets: Part 2

Fri, 07/25/2014 - 9:01am

Posted in: Holocaust Commission, Stop the Sirens

By Elena Barr Baum
Read Part 1 here.


1701 The Holocaust Commission of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater was invited to present its innovative original program, What We Carry, at the 9th International Conference on Holocaust Education at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, July 7 – 10, 2014. This blog is part of a series, written by those who represented What We Carry, the Holocaust Commission, and the Tidewater community (and beyond) at Yad Vashem, and whose visit to Israel coincided with the start of Operation Protective Edge.

Buses took us back to our hotels for what seemed like not nearly enough sleep, and then came in the morning and picked us up for Day One, devoted to First and Second Generation, Telling the Story. The day was a blockbuster, every speaker a powerful one. Among others, we heard from Serge Klarsfeld, the French survivor and “Nazi Hunter” who was behind the capture and trial of “the Butcher of Lyon,” Klaus Barbie; and Historian Yehuda Bauer, a Czech survivor and renowned scholar who has authored literally dozens of books about the Holocaust and anti-Semitism. He had all 400+ people in the lecture hall enthralled with his discussion of the nuances between stories, testimonies, and documents, and how they each play a role in recording history. He is known for his story telling and has long professed that it is not enough to know the dates and facts of an event.  “We must know the stories of individuals.  We must study their moral dilemmas.” 
Read more »

Sunny with a Chance of Rockets: Part 1

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 4:02pm

Posted in: Holocaust Commission, Stop the Sirens

1695 By Elena Barr Baum

Elena Barr Baum, Janice Engel, Mickey Held, and Deb Segaloff on the hotel roof—after day 1, before the sirens went off.

The Holocaust Commission of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater was invited to present its innovative original program, What We Carry, at the 9th International Conference on Holocaust Education at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, July 7 – 10, 2014. This blog is part of a series, written by those who represented What We Carry, the Holocaust Commission, and the Tidewater community (and beyond) at Yad Vashem, and whose visit to Israel coincided with the start of Operation Protective Edge.

We were a team of four: Mickey Held, What We Carry Chair, Deb Segaloff, past Commission Chair, Janice Engel, one of the co-creators of the What We Carry films and program, and me, Elena Baum, Holocaust Commission Director. We came together on Sunday night July 6th full of excitement about the week ahead.
Read more »

Reflections on Two Journeys

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 1:36pm

Posted in: Holocaust Commission, Stop the Sirens

By Mickey Held

1691

The Holocaust Commission of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater was invited to present its innovative original program, What We Carry, at the 9th International Conference on Holocaust Education at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, July 7 – 10, 2014. This blog is part of a series, written by those who represented What We Carry, the Holocaust Commission, and the Tidewater community (and beyond) at Yad Vashem, and whose visit to Israel coincided with the start of Operation Protective Edge.

At Yad Vashem, Janice Engel, Elena Barr Baum, Deb Segaloff, Mickey Held.

As a member of the Holocaust Commission for 20 years, I have been privileged to witness the impact we have made on our community with our many programs.  As I escorted survivors to share their stories, I became transfixed by their journeys and inspired by their courage. We became family, and my life was enriched by their friendship. As my friends shared the horrors and lessons of the Holocaust, I was fortunate to see the changes their stories made in people’s lives. Read more »

Powered by Drupal, an open source content management system