13 million pennies collection to honor Holocaust victims

The 14 students have collected 65,000 pennies so far and are seeking donations from residents citywide.

January 2, 2007 09:29
1 minute read.


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Students in a Hebrew class are hoping to collect 13 million pennies - one for each person killed in the Holocaust. Laura Hood, who teaches the class at Temple Israel, said the project will help students grasp the scope of the tragedy. The 14 students have collected 65,000 pennies so far and are seeking donations from residents citywide. "I want anyone who donates to hold a handful of pennies and imagine that they are holding the terrified hands of the humans who were marched into the gas chambers," Hood said. Money raised in the effort will be donated to Temple Israel, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, and Yad Vashem, a memorial in Jerusalem. Temple Israel student Kyle Gersman, 11, said it's important for his generation to learn about the Holocaust. "It was a bad time. A lot of people died for no reason," he said. "We need to know about what happened so we can prevent something like that from happening again." The project was inspired by Whitwell Middle School in east Tennessee, which set out in 1998 to collect 6 million paper clips - representing each Jew who died in the Holocaust - and received several times that number. The Tennessee students decided to collect paper clips because they discovered that paper clips were invented by Norwegians and that Norwegians wore them on their lapels as a silent protest against Nazi occupation during the war.

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