The seventh annual “March of Remembrance,” hosted by the Esther Raab Holocaust Museum and Goodwin Education Center, is slated for Sunday, Oct. 6, rain or shine.
Registration is set to begin at 9 a.m., just prior to the start of an educational walk of either one or two miles beginning at Weinberg Commons on Springdale Road, followed by a program called “Preserving Memory: Lessons of Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow” at the Goodwin Center inside Katz JCC at 10:30 a.m.
“There are times when some of the older members of our community cannot do the walk, so it gives us a chance to be more inclusive and to extend educational opportunities to those who join us. We want to give participants more insight and information on what we do but also talk about what’s going on in the world around us,” said Helen Kirschbaum, director of the Raab Museum and Goodwin Center, on why the event features a walk and sit-down portion.
Kirschbaum said those who choose to tackle the early-morning outdoor session will have a pair of courses from which to choose.
“The length of the walk is based on one’s abilities and trying to get all ages involved. The one-mile course goes straight down Springdale, but the two-mile walk goes through the grounds of St. Thomas More Church and then exits out onto Kresson Road before ending. It’s all well-marked with multiple signs dictating where you can go depending on which course you walk,” she explained.
Along with those from the general public, Kirschbaum said participants can also expect members of Cherry Hill Police Department to come along, as well as Mayor Chuck Cahn and certain members of township council. Last year, approximately 60 people from Rosa Middle School were in attendance, and Haddonfield Plays & Players – which performs a Holocaust-themed play called “Number the Stars” each year – has routinely sent a team to the walk.
“Across the street from the building where we start, is Bethel Baptist Church. Congregants will leave their service as our walk begins and they will stand by their church as a show of support for those who walk with us,” Kirschbaum said.
Adding to the theme of community, Holocaust survivors who are participating in the indoor portion of the event are all local, with no big names on tap, as with other charitable endeavors.
As the generation of firsthand witnesses to the atrocities of the Second World War are disappearing at a greater rate than ever, it’s of the utmost importance for those left to speak about what they saw and knew.
“I think it’s important to use those lessons we learned so that we can combat any rise in prejudice or Anti-Semitism and to stop it in its tracks. People need to speak up, they need to act, to say and do things that don’t make that OK. We all need to be treated with respect and dignity. There is no better place to learn these lessons and apply them than by learning what happened in the past from those who experienced the Holocaust,” Kirschbaum said.
“That’s how we can protect our future and prevent it from looking like our past. If you talk to survivors, they will also tell you how important it was to recall those who helped them at the risk of their own lives. No matter how dark your life becomes, you can always turn it around, there is redemption, and there are always things you can learn from.”
Tickets are $36 for adults, students and seniors $18, and $10 per student for student teams of 10 or more. T-shirts will be provided for all participants who are pre-registered.
A shuttle will be available at the JCC and running throughout the morning and afternoon as parking at Weinberg Commons is limited. Check-in and registration will begin at 10 a.m. at the Katz JCC for participants who are only attending the program portion of the event.