January 23, 2024

As our two daughters have grown up, they know that I'm who they should ask anytime they have a question about history or need help on a history-related assignment. And when they have a science or math question, they need to ask my wife.


I do not know when I realized that I found history so fascinating. And it has never been about knowing the specific dates of when an important battle took place or what leader led their nation. Instead, it was an understanding that by looking back, we have a better idea of knowing how we got to where we are today. Studying and learning about what led us to the moment is a critical exercise in understanding our past and looking at our potential future.


This weekend, our Jewish Federation is bringing the community together to remember a horrific series of events that has shaped not just the Jewish community but society as a whole.


Beginning this Saturday at 7 PM, we will gather and remember those who were murdered during the Holocaust for nothing more than who they were, what they believed, and how they lived their lives.


Over the course of 24 hours, the memory of over 8000 people will be remembered by uttering their names, ensuring that not only where they were on earth but they also lived alive. By reading their names, we keep their memory alive and demonstrate what can happen when hate goes unchecked.


While we are taught the importance of remembering the 6 million lives lost during the Holocaust, I believe it is even more critical to remember that each life taken had a story unto themselves. So, in fact, an event like this allows us to remember each person and the collective as we read their name out loud.


For the last five years, our Jewish Federation has held Every Person Has a Name for the previous five years. While I am proud of the impact our programs and services have had on our community, as well as the advocacy work we have done on behalf of our Jewish community, in my mind, there is no more vital or more profound instance that illustrates and demonstrates the strength of our community than this weekend's program.


The famed Spanish Philosopher George Santayana once penned, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." To say that the events of the Holocaust have had a powerful and lasting impact on Judaism today would be an understatement. But it is important to remember that events in every generation shape and influence our present and immediate future.


Please join us on the steps of Pasadena City Hall this Saturday at 7 PM as we embark on the 6th annual Every Person Has a Name. Please come out as we remember and continue to learn from our past and use it to help better shape our future.


Add Comment