Dear caring friend,
I am writing you today while sitting in my car.
I must get something off my chest after visiting with my grandchildren today!
I was tickling one-year-old Shiloh, admiring three-year-old Esther performing arabesques on her scooter, and watching six-year-old (going on twenty) Eva ride her bicycle super-fast on our sidewalk this morning — and the craziest thing happened.
I found myself feeling reticent, guarded, and almost guilty at the joy I experienced while taking a simple walk with my grandchildren. What’s wrong with me? Why did this happen?
Perhaps it is because I spend so much of my time focusing on children murdered or victimized during the Holocaust. As founder of the Holocaust Remembrance Association and president of the Holocaust Garden of Hope, these lost children are always in my heart.
Each day I am busy gathering 1,500,000 stones painted by schoolchildren. Each stone features the name, age, and place of death of a child who did
not survive due to antisemitism so extreme that it culminated in murder.
I literally must tell myself that it is OK to enjoy my grandchildren!
When I look at their innocent, joyful faces, I am overwhelmed with gratitude that they are alive and thriving! I am so thankful they are NOT part of that generation.
One thing that helps me treasure the gift of my grandchildren, as we raise the funds needed to complete the Holocaust Garden of Hope, is knowing the only reason I am alive is because of Christians who put feet to their faith and hid my family when Nazi and Arrow Cross collaborators occupied Hungary.
My grandchildren are alive because of them. These children have a lovely life and feel the security of a safe home, enough food, and the joy of family, friends, and school – all the things stolen from the 1.5 million children killed during the Holocaust for simply being Jewish.
Dear friend, it is in my DNA to raise up groups of people like those who saved my parents. I call them upstanders! People who will not be silent amidst such prejudice should gross antisemitism arise again. Are you an upstander?
Unfortunately, antisemitic and anti-Israel rhetoric seems to have moved beyond political extremism and has become almost mainstream in our deeply splintered society.
Standing for truth and unity is more important now than ever!
While we are thankful for the generosity of those who have given almost $1 million dollars to the Holocaust Garden of Hope, we are only about halfway to our goal!
We are facing permit deadlines and are doing our best to raise the remaining $2/3 million needed to complete this project.
With G-d’s help and the faithful commitment of our limited staff and numerous volunteers, we host fundraising luncheons and crowdfunding campaigns, promote the project on social media, raise awareness in the press, and work with grant-writing experts. But we still have much to do…
Once the Holocaust Garden of Hope is built, it will be filmed as a virtual reality tour for online viewing around the world; it will be used as a curriculum guideline by a renowned international University to train teachers on how to teach about the Holocaust, and it will have traveling exhibits that will also be sent upon request to museums and universities worldwide.
Please consider making a generous contribution to help us complete the Holocaust Garden of Hope and make it a reality for the next generation — for YOUR children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
I look forward to hearing from you. Please give as generously as you can. This project will touch hearts for generations to come. Every gift, large and small, will make a real difference.
Together we can build a world where we can live and breathe freely while enjoying a society full of upstanders who will not be silent in the face of darkness!
Thank you so much for your generosity, partnership, and prayers.
Lest we forget,
Rozalie Jerome, Founder
Holocaust Remembrance Association
PS: Please consider a substantial gift to help us complete this project. Stocks, bonds, insurance, or other highly appreciated assets can provide a tax-friendly opportunity for you to make a significant difference. Whatever you can give, we are counting on YOU!