Daffodils in bloom at the Katz JCC honor Holocaust victims
Yellow daffodils take on a new meaning with the international Daffodil Project.
“The shape and color of the daffodil represent the yellow stars that Jews were forced to wear during the Holocaust,” said Wendy Cohen Klier, a lead geriatric case manager for Holocaust survivors at the Jewish Family and Children’s Service (JFCS) of southern New Jersey.
“Yellow is the color of remembrance,” she added. “Daffodils – just like survivors we serve – are resilient and return with a burst of color each spring, signifying hope, renewal and beauty.”
Cohen Klier said upon hearing about the national Daffodil Project, she knew it had to be done in the local community. The special initiative began last fall with the planting of 500 daffodil bulbs outside the Katz Jewish Community Center (JCC) in Cherry Hill.
With the flowers in full bloom, Cohen Klier welcomed community leaders to the project – as well as children who had drawings of daffodils – at a JCC ceremony on March 28.
“The mission of the project is to build a worldwide living Holocaust memorial by planting 1.5 million daffodils in memory of the 1.5 million innocent children who perished in the Holocaust,” she explained, adding that the initiative also supports children who are suffering in world humanitarian crises today.
“The project is committed to Holocaust and genocide education and awareness by engaging people in communities across the globe,” Cohen Klier noted. “So far, we have planted 861,000 bulbs in 469 communities.”
Officials in attendance at the JCC event included Cherry Hill Mayor Susan Shin Angulo, Camden County Commissioner Deputy Director Edward T. McDonnell and Commissioner Virginia Betteridge. They were joined by Holocaust survivors who were children during World War II.
Michael Bass, a second-generation survivor, spoke on behalf of the Jewish Community Relations Council’s Esther Raab Holocaust Museum and Goodwin Education Center in Cherry Hill, a project partner.