Tag Archives: holocaust remembrance day

How Are You Honoring Holocaust Remembrance Day Today?

Every year, I write a blog for SHRM on Holocaust Remembrance. Below, is this year’s post.

Today, April 24, 2017, is Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom HaShoah) .

During the Holocaust, more than 11 million human beings were systemically murdered. Plus, millions more died in battle. That includes our brave military forces that sacrificed their lives to save the lives of others.

Of course, every life is a universe. Every loss of innocent life matters equally.

But, the Holocaust had a disproportionate effect on the Jewish community. Six out of nine million European Jews were murdered—the percentage is staggering.

I acknowledge this is personal to me. Most of my family was killed in the Holocaust and that forever informs my worldview.

Those who were saved also informs my worldview. My cousin’s mom was saved by a Catholic Church at great risk to those who were part of its community.

YomHaShoah is a painful reminder for many of us and that pain does not remain at home. HR can help.

One way to do so is simply to post on your Intranet a remembrance statement. You can find words and images all over the Internet.

This is also an ideal topic for a diversity and inclusion program. We can focus on the Holocaust but conclude with a universal message: We cannot tolerate intolerance against any faith, race, ethnicity, etc.

Invite a survivor to speak. Bear witness to someone who did.

There are many ways that HR can remember. I respectfully request that you find a way to do something.

I close by citing Elie Wiesel:

“For the dead and the living, we must bear witness. Not only are we responsible for the memories of the dead, we are responsible for what we do with those memories.”

Why Holocaust Remembrance Still Matters

I am pleased to share my latest post from the SHRM blog in honor of Holocaust Remembrance Day.

The United States Congress created the Days of Remembrance as our nation’s annual commemoration of the Holocaust. This year, Holocaust Remembrance Days (Yom HaShoah) is today, Wednesday May 4, 2016. http://www.ushmm.org/remember/days-of-remembrance

During the Holocaust, more than 11 million human beings were systemically murdered. That includes 6 million Jews, 2/3 of the European Jewish community at that time. That percentage still boggles my mind. In my family, the percentage was much higher.

But the numbers would have been even worse were it not for the countless “righteous gentiles.” The term “righteous gentiles” is used to refer to those who are not Jewish and who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust. They are specifically honored in Israel and throughout the world.

Today, I share with you links to some of their stories: https://www.yadvashem.org/yv/en/righteous/stories/. Please read about these heroes. Their stores are beyond inspiring.

On a personal note, I thank the Polish Church that hid my great aunt at their peril. Today, her daughter is one of my closest friends.

And, of course, there were the millions of American and other service men and women who lost their lives in fighting Hitler’s machine. They, too, cannot be forgotten.

I share this link to one story of their bravery. You can find so many more by using Google.

So what does this have to do with Human Resources? Of course, one connection to Holocaust Remembrance Day is the “human” in human resources. But it is more than just that.

This is not a day or week in which we celebrate the achievement or contribution of any group or people. In remembering the Shoah in our workplaces, we are reminded of how important it is that we brook no hate. It is also a time to recognize those employees whose lives were affected and shaped by this horrific period in history.

One way to do so is simply to post on your Intranet a remembrance statement. You can find words and images all over the Internet.

This is also a great topic for a diversity and inclusion program. The diversity in experience but the universal message that includes all: we cannot tolerate intolerance against any faith, race, ethnicity, etc.

And, of course, every day, we must do our best to make sure that hate has no place in our workplaces. A strong policy is not enough. When it comes to hate-based harassment, if you are in human resources or a manager, there is no such thing as a “passive by-stander.” To ignore is to condone.

As Jews, we often say “Never Again.” And, when we say that, we mean to anyone–at any time–anywhere.

Shalom (Peace) to all.

Remembering the Holocaust

It is again with sadness and hope that I share with you a commentary on Holocaust remembrance. This op-ed piece was published by the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Once again, it is Holocaust Remembrance Week. While it is 70 years since the carnage ended, it is still so recent that some of the survivors walk among us.

Some thoughts about this day come to mind. First and foremost, we think of those slaughtered by the Nazi machine – approximately 11 million in all, including millions of children.

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