Holocaust Remembrance Day 2023, Yom Ha’Shoah 1,500 NYC Youth will stand up against antisemitism and prejudice in all its forms Tuesday, April 18th
NYC Youth Stand Up to Hate: Largest Holocaust Remembrance Commemoration in New York for Students, with Awards for Anti-Bias Educators April 18th, 2023
For Holocaust Remembrance Day 2023, Yom Ha’Shoah v Ha’Gevurah, over 1,500 NYC Youth will stand up against antisemitism and prejudice in all its forms at a special event on Tuesday, April 18th, at 10 a.m. at the St. George Theater on Staten Island. Sponsored by the Wagner College Holocaust Center and its partners, this commemoration is the largest “Youth Stand Up to Hate” day in NYC history. NYC Youth Stand Up to Hate 2023 Largest Holocaust Remembrance Commemoration in New York.
The sold-out event includes presenting five awards to educators who have inspired thousands of youth with their commitment to anti-bias and Holocaust work. The play Rising Up: Young Holocaust Heroes is at the heart of the commemoration. All ages are welcome. The play traces the childhood relationships, growing challenges of the Nazi era, and courage and resilience of six survivors who lived on Staten Island: Egon Salmon, Romi Cohen, Rachel Roth, Hannah Steiner, Gabi Held, and Margot Capell (who recently turned 102-years old). Families of these survivors will be in attendance. The musical is directed by Mickey Tennenbaum, adjunct professor of theater at Wagner College, who is a child of survivors. Songs are sung by an interfaith cast, who have memorized eyewitness testimony. Written by Theresa McCarthy, Lori Weintrob, and Martin Moran, an Obie Award winner, the play also highlights resistance by women in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in this 80th anniversary year. There will also be a performance by the famed P.S. 22 Chorus, directed by Greg Breinbart, a Wagner College alum, of “Teach Your Children,” by Crosby, Stills, and Nash.
Amid the current surge in racism, antisemitism, and prejudice, this kind of work is crucial. When we consider the Holocaust, it’s important to acknowledge that most people who witnessed the persecution of millions of Jews and other groups did nothing to stop it. By encouraging upstander behavior, we can pay tribute to the memory of those who suffered during the Holocaust and strive for a future where prejudice and discrimination are completely eradicated.
NYC Youth Stand Up to Hate 2023 Largest Holocaust Remembrance Commemoration in New York
“By promoting a culture of upstanders, individuals are encouraged to challenge discriminatory attitudes and behaviors and to support those who are targets of discrimination,” explains Lori Weintrob, Director of the Wagner College Holocaust Center and organizer of the event.
This event serves as a poignant reminder of the atrocities committed during the Holocaust and highlights the significance of educating young people about the dangers of hatred and prejudice. As we witness a growing number of antisemitic incidents worldwide, we must learn from our history and take steps to prevent such heinous acts from recurring.
The ceremony will include remarks on the need to fight hate crimes from District Attorney Michael McMahon, City Councilperson Kamillah Hanks, and other elected officials and civic leaders. The five educators honored include Jennifer Hermus Washburn, who will receive the “Holocaust Educator of the Year” award for 16 years of work at Susan Wagner H.S. In addition, Mrs. Ruth Garber and the Jewish Foundation School of Staten Island will receive the “School Partnership Award for Holocaust Remembrance,” Traci Frey will receive the award for “Leadership in Holocaust and Anti-bias Education,” Bobby Digi, will be named the “Community Builder of the Year,” and Dr. Vanessa Smith Washington, Assistant Professor of Education at Wagner College, will receive the “Upstander Award.”
The event aims to create upstanders, not bystanders, and build mutual respect bridges through Holocaust education.
“As we see the number of Antisemitic incidents rise, and listen to hateful rhetoric come across our screens, we must continue this work to create a light in the darkness and pass the baton to the next generation,” emphasizes award winner Traci Frey, who served as Deputy Superintendent of District 31 of the NYC DOE.
The mission of the Wagner College Holocaust Center is to empower future generations in empathy, courage, and ethical decision-making to combat anti-Semitism, racism & all forms of prejudice. Wagner College is a liberal arts college in New York committed to preparing students for leadership and achievement.
Event Contact: Dr. Lori Weintrob, 646-345-4507
Director, Wagner College Holocaust Center
The partners to the event include the Staten Island Advance/silive.com, the Staten Island Hate Crimes Task Force, the Richmond County District Attorney’s Office, the Alan and Joan Bernikow Jewish Community Center, Jewish Community Relations Council-NY, and the Council of Jewish Organizations of Staten Island. This program is part of the Arts in Education program at the St. George Theater.
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