‘Never again’: Holocaust museum holds 10th annual March of Remembrance

Event falls during a week when state schools focus on bullying

The 10th annual March of Remembrance on Oct. 2 will conclude with children placing painted rocks on the Southern New Jersey Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) Holocaust Memorial at the Jewish Community Center on Springdale Rd. as part of Jewish tradition to honors those who have died without graves during the Holocaust. (EMILY LIU/The Sun)

The Esther Raab Holocaust Museum and Goodwin Education Center located in Cherry Hill will host its 10th annual March of Remembrance on Oct. 2 in memory of those who died during the Holocaust.

The event is part of New Jersey’s Week of Respect, during which schools focus on preventing harassment and bullying. Helen Kirschbaum, director of the museum and education center, said the March of Remembrance was inspired by a local teen who had done a similar walk from his synagogue to the museum, housed at the Jewish Community Center on Springdale Road.

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“We were impressed by his efforts and his idea and used it as a springboard to create our own version of a walk,” Kirschbaum explained. “(The walk) honors the survivors of our community and educates participants about the goal that is most important to them:  ensuring that the Holocaust is never repeated.”

New for this year’s march is a rock-painting activity for children ages 4 to 11 prior to the event at 9 a.m. Kirschbaum noted that it is a Jewish tradition to place a rock at a tombstone when visiting someone’s grave, so children will place rocks on the memorial at the Katz JCC following the walk to honor those who died without graves during the Holocaust.

“Now that fewer and fewer survivors are with us, it’s especially important to teach children about the Holocaust,” said Jen Anolik, co-chair of the March of Remembrance and grandchild of a Holocaust survivor.

“One day it will be their responsibility to carry forward the promise of ‘never again.’”

The march will begin at 9:30 a.m. at the township’s Weinberg Commons, and continue down Springdale Road, ending at the Southern New Jersey Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) Holocaust memorial. Participants will get a biography card about someone affected by the Holocaust, and the educational walk will feature signs that acknowledge local survivors as well as history and lessons about the genocide that killed about six million Jews. 

“You hope that people understand not only the history, but how the history impacted individuals, how it impacted families, and how, if we allow hatred or antisemitism to grow, it can impact us again in the future,” said Kirschbaum.

The march will also feature an in-person and virtual presentation by author Jonathan Greenblatt on his book, It Could Happen Here, at 7 p.m. in the JCC’s Lahn social hall.  The link will be sent upon registration.

Throughout the year, the Raab/Goodwin center continues to educate the community about the Holocaust by arranging for survivors to share their stories; hosting theatrical performances; and providing teacher training on Holocaust education, tolerance, bias and bullying.

The March of Remembrance serves as the center’s biggest fundraiser. 

“When people see their community together, when they see police officers there, when they see students there, when they see Holocaust survivors there, when they see all those hundreds of people all together, standing together and saying ‘Our community does not welcome hate of any kind,’ it has to impact people,” Kirschbaum noted. 

“ … We are thrilled to be back in person this year and feel confident that the program will continue to impact all who join us.”

Register for the march in advance and online at https://www.jcrcsnj.org/mor22. Attendees can also register in person the day of.

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