On February 22nd, leaders from across the city met for a VIP dinner at the Sheraton Brookhollow to take part in the vision for the 2013 Holocaust March of Remembrance in Houston. Led by honorary chair, Doug Stringer of Somebody Cares, luminaries in faith, education, and government heard the witness of Holocaust survivors and those who participated in the March in 2012.
The March of Remembrance is a nationwide event sponsored by Christians who come together to honor and remember Yom Hashoah in support of the Israel and the Jewish community. Yom Hashoah (The Catastrophe,) also known as Holocaust Remembrance Day is a national holiday in Israel and is observed by those of Jewish descent worldwide.
The March of Remembrance has its roots in the March of Life in Europe founded by German pastor and Nazi descendent, Jobst Bittner, in Tubigen, Germany in 2007. In 2008, the first offshoot, known as the March of Remembrance in the U.S., was held in Dallas, Texas. In 2012, the first march was held in the Houston area in the community of Kingwood. Hosted by seven churches with participants from congregations across the city, almost 1,000 people participated in the event between the march and memorial service. For 2013, the vision has spread across Houston with coordinated marches being held in seven different Houston communities on the weekend of April 6th and 7th.
Msgr. Father Chester Borski of St. Martha Catholic Church, host of the 2012 memorial service, explained the impact the march had on the Kingwood community to the assembled crowd, “What we experienced in Kingwood was the fact that we could bring Holocaust education to the community. Sometimes we leave it at the university level or we leave it as an academic subject, but we’re here to bring the experience to people who live in our community.
Keynote speaker of the 2012 Houston event, Holocaust survivor Ruth Steinfeld shared what the march meant to her. “Everyone was just in their seat, waiting and happy to be listening to what was going on. I had never seen anything like that. I even said to them, ‘Thank you, thank you,” because, after all, who wants to hear from us? But they did. It was an honest afternoon where I felt love.”
Paul Sarvadi, cofounder and CEO of Insperity (recently named in the top 3% of workplaces in the U.S.) encouraged all to participate in the march, “This is going to take a significant effort: time, effort, commitment. It’s going to take sharing this vision with others rapidly so that they’ll come alongside and so that this will come about.“
About the March of Remembrance Houston
The Holocaust March of Remembrance Houston will be held on the weekend of April 6th and 7th, 2013, in seven communities across the Houston area. Beginning with a prayer walk and culminating with a memorial service honoring both Holocaust survivors and the rescuers. To participate in the march in your area, visit http://www.holocaustremembranceassociation.org/participate and register online.
The March of Remembrance Houston (www.holocaustremembranceassociation.org) is part of the U.S. March of Remembrance and March of Life (Europe.) The March of Remembrance/March of Life provides an opportunity for people worldwide to publicly demonstrate their respect for the Jewish people and their right to exist as a nation.