Jewish communities in North America, Israel, Australia and Poland are observing Holocaust Survivor Day, an initiative launched by JCC Krakow recognizing the societal contributions of Holocaust survivors and honoring their legacies.
While International Holocaust Remembrance Day and Yom HaShoah focus on remembering the people who were murdered in the Holocaust, Holocaust Survivor Day honors survivors' achievements.
Events celebrating the accomplishments of Holocaust survivors are set to be held around the world this week, including in Seattle, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Chicago, Palm Beach County, Sydney and Tel Aviv.
As part of the celebrations, 1,000 survivors attended a ceremony on Monday at Habima National Theater in Tel Aviv, along with Israeli government officials.
The event was organized in partnership with the Center Organizations of Holocaust Survivors, the World Zionist Organization, the Jewish Federations of North America, the Seed the Dream Foundation and 60 international organizations.
Challenges facing Holocaust survivors
“Holocaust survivors endured the worst of human behavior and still managed to maintain their own humanity and to live meaningful, productive lives.”Jonathan Ornstein, CEO, JCC Krakow
The Jewish Federations noted that while Holocaust survivors greatly contribute to their communities and inspire the world, 35% of survivors in the United States are in poverty. The organization added that it supports thousands of survivors through its Center on Holocaust Survivor Care and Institute on Aging and Trauma, and through partnerships with the KAVOD Survivors of the Holocaust Emergency Fund.
“Holocaust survivors endured the worst of human behavior and still managed to maintain their own humanity and to live meaningful, productive lives,” JCC Krakow CEO Jonathan Ornstein remarked. “Their strength and resilience must be a lesson to us all, especially as we struggle with a resurgence of antisemitism worldwide. They deserve our praise – and our respect and they certainly deserve their own day.”