Leading up to Holocaust Remembrance Day, participants in #6MillionSteps, a project that seeks to track their runs and walks using fitness apps and a dedicated website, are literally taking steps – six million of them – to honor the memory of victims of the Holocaust and to increase awareness about the global surge in antisemitism.
As of Wednesday, 10,298,523 steps have already been counted, exceeding the goal, which has been raised to a target of 18 million by the end of April 8. The Hebrew alphabetic equivalent of 18 spells chai, which means life.
Steps are tracked through Fitbits and Garmin fitness trackers which have been linked to a central website that displays a live step count.
The project is being organized and led by the Israeli American Council (IAC), with several prominent Jewish and Israeli organizations taking part.
“At a time of growing polarization and extremism, #6MillionSteps is gathering people everywhere in solidarity with the six million victims,” said IAC co-founder and CEO Shoham Nicolet. “By taking six million steps together at this perilous time, we can lead the way to fight antisemitism, indifference and ignorance and ensure we never forget the lessons of the Holocaust.”
The launch of the campaign has also yielded several live walking events, including gatherings at the National Mall in Washington and throughout New Jersey. Further events are planned across the United States, including in Philadelphia, New Orleans and San Francisco.
The Israeli American Council is a nonprofit organization seeking to unite Israel-Americans into a community, and to engage them is social activities, support Israeli-American culture and protect their interests.