If we fail to remember our past, we forfeit the moral claim to be remembered

 (photo credit: MARCH OF THE LIVING)
(photo credit: MARCH OF THE LIVING)

The Jewish people’s commitment to memory and commemoration has always been a foundational value. Whereas we always strive to reach the furthest heights, we never forget the depths from which we had to arise anew throughout our tremulous history. As a nation and a civilization, we not only understand the sacred oath to remember our past, but partake in commemoration ceremonies and projects for the sake of our present, as well as future, generations.  

The Holocaust commands us to memory and commemoration for a few reasons: first, to mourn our brothers and sisters who were systematically murdered for no other reason but being Jewish; second, to honor those who survived and rebuilt a home of dignity, meaning and worth through an unwavering belief in the value of life; and third, to educate the next generations, and by doing so foster a greater sense of Jewish awareness, identity, continuity, responsibility and accountability. We march to a clear call: If we fail to remember our past, we forfeit the moral claim to be remembered by our future.  

For the past two decades Birthright Israel has been investing, on behalf of the State of Israel and the entire Jewish people, in offering to over 750,000 participants worldwide meaningful and exciting venues to experience various expressions of Jewish life and associations with Israel. This investment is based on a simple premise, namely that our contemporary story as a people and a country is intrinsically interlaced with our shared past; that being Jewish means, among other things, to transcend one’s individual sphere and appreciate our collective existence as part of a broader and ever-evolving story.   

As the leading and Jewish educational project, Taglit-Birthright Israel joins our brothers and sisters worldwide in bowing our heads in memory of the Holocaust victims; and we pledge to continuously and relentlessly work towards achieving our two-decade-long vision: to ensure a vibrant Jewish future in Israel and all over the world for generations to come.