History and Vision Statement

Steve Finkelman, Holocaust survivor descendant and Berbel, Nazi descendant

Steve Finkelman, Holocaust survivor descendant, and Berbel Pfeiffer, Nazi descendant, reconcile hearts

The Holocaust Remembrance Association is a 501-c-3 educational organization based in Northeast Houston, Texas, that was formed to sensitize hearts to the issues of the Holocaust and facilitate education, healing and reconciliation.

The vision of the Holocaust Remembrance Association is to see the world inspired to stand in solidarity against persecution, prejudice, and indifference. The core purpose of the organization is to create UPSTANDERS – individuals who will stand against antisemitism as well as bigotry, prejudice, and persecution in all forms.

We believe in three fundamental principles:

  • Antisemitism must always be condemned openly, clearly, and without exception.
  • The best way to address antisemitism is through education, reconciliation, and healing.
  • Bridges of reconciliation must be built between the Jewish, Christian, and other interfaith communities.

The HRA was formally established on Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27, 2019, as the natural next step after a twelve-year series of sustained initiatives 2019 as the natural next step after a  twelve-year series of sustained initiatives focused on remembering the Holocaust and facilitating reconciliation between Jewish, Christian, and other interfaith communities.

The HRA provides a corporate structure to grow and manage a number of individual initiatives that include:

  • March of Remembrance events
  • Leizer Rose Horowitz HRA18 Scholarship Program (now housed in universities and colleges in the Houston metro area)
  • The Upstander Stone Project
  • The Holocaust Garden of Hope in Northeast Houston, Texas
  • Group tours to both former Nazi concentration camps
  • Group tours to Israel
  • Educational seminars

All of these endeavors are now outreach projects of the Holocaust Remembrance Association.  Moving forward, the association plans to develop related educational resources that can be used by schools, churches, synagogues, and other learning groups.

Even a cursory inquiry into the Holocaust yields horrifying images of death and destruction.  However, death is not the primary focus of the Holocaust Remembrance Association. Instead, the HRA seeks to tell the stories of survivors, rescuers, and repentant descendants of Nazi perpetrators in a way that highlights the resilience demonstrated by survivors who built new lives, along with the hope that springs up in the hearts of those who have resolved to be upstanders.  The Hebrew word for life, chaim ( חים), begins with the letter chai ( ח ) and also stands for the number 18; accordingly, the Holocaust Remembrance Association has chosen HRA18 as its acronym in order to carry a permanent reminder that new life can spring from even the darkest places.

The Holocaust Remembrance Association has the opportunity to impact the world through its programs. While its beginnings are rooted in Texas, the HRA18 vision has global potential. Your support of the Holocaust Remembrance Association will enable this significant work to grow, to stand against antisemitism, to sensitize people to the issues of the Holocaust, and to facilitate healing, reconciliation, and education.