WHO WE ARE
The vision of HRA18 is to see the world inspired to stand in solidarity against persecution, prejudice, and indifference.
In the early 20th century, the worst genocide of the Jewish people in world history was perpetrated in plain sight by the Nazi regime. This only happened because Europe’s history of hatred for the Jewish people had been ingrained in society for centuries. It is that same ingrained hatred that continues to spawn acts of antisemitism today. The best way we can honor those who lost their lives in the Holocaust, as well as the survivors whose lives are marked by the suffering they endured, is to inspire a new generation to defend the Jewish people against antisemitism now and in the future.
Although mention of the Holocaust automatically evokes horrifying images of death and destruction, death is not our focus. Instead, the Holocaust Remembrance Association focuses on the stories of survivors, rescuers, and repentant descendants of Nazi perpetrators. We seek to inspire people to action with accounts of resilience, hope, and bravery.
We are a 501(c)(3) educational organization based in Northeast Houston, Texas. The Holocaust Remembrance Association was formed by Jewish descendants of Holocaust survivors and Christian allies in order to sensitize hearts to the issues of the Holocaust and facilitate education, healing, and reconciliation.
Our core purpose is to create UPSTANDERS, a term for individuals who will stand against antisemitism as well as bigotry, prejudice, and persecution in all forms.
The Holocaust was possible because the overwhelming majority of Europe’s citizens failed to stand up against the Nazi regime and its evil desire to purge Jews from existence. Those who did not actively participate chose to merely stand by and watch or even closed their eyes as if it were too distasteful to acknowledge. Only a very few brave men and women risked everything to defend the Jewish people and try to save lives.
Had more good people been willing to stand up, the outcome of the Holocaust could have been very different. If we can succeed in inspiring a new generation to become Upstanders against the evils being perpetrated in our world today, the future can be radically improved for all of us.
Unfortunately, acts of blatant antisemitism in the United States and around the world are still regularly reported in the news. As society’s collective visceral memory of the Holocaust has faded, people who are not directly affected by antisemitism have begun reverting to their natural indifference toward these vile acts. We must combat that indifference with consistent, unambiguous condemnation of every instance where Jewish people are targeted for their faith or identity. We must remind the world of the dangerous consequences of ignoring or minimizing such hatred.
We can make a difference in the hearts and minds of our fellow citizens through education. A shockingly high number of young people today are completely ignorant of the history of the Holocaust. It has even become common for young people to profess the idea that documented facts about the Holocaust are exaggerated or made up. This is largely due to a failure in education, rather than inherent malicious intent. Holocaust deniers are working hard to brainwash our youth, and we must counteract that with as many documented stories as possible.
An invigorated effort to invest in Holocaust education naturally leads to reconciliation and healing. When good people learn the truth, they are moved with compassion, repentance, and a desire to take action.
For far too long, the Jewish people have been isolated from other faith-based communities. We are living in a unique time in world history where Christians and other good-hearted people of faith want to build bridges with us. Many Christians recognize the role that religious bigotry has played in the persecution of the Jewish people and desire to reverse the sins of the past. We are eager to partner with faith community leaders who share our passion for eliminating bigotry and persecution.
Three guiding principles form the foundation of all our work.
The Holocaust Remembrance Association was established on January 27, 2019, by the Jewish descendants of Holocaust survivors and Christian allies. We took this formal step after a 12-year series of Holocaust remembrance initiatives that facilitated interfaith reconciliation between Jews, Christians, and other faith communities.
We chose the acronym HRA18 to represent our organization, due to the significance of the number 18 in Hebrew. Eighteen correlates to the Hebrew word for alive : chai. The word consists of the letters chet; which is the 8th letter in the Hebrew alphabet along with the yud, which is the 10th letter. Together they equal the sum of 18 and represent one of God’s attributes.
We believe HRA18 is a fitting symbol of our vision to inspire people to action with stories of resilience, hope, and bravery. It is a permanent reminder that new life can spring from even the darkest places.