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JUNE 24, 2021

Holocaust Survivor Day

Don't be indifferent



On March 6, 2021, Michael Berenbaum and Jonathan Ornstein published the following op-ed in The Jerusalem Post calling for the creation of a "Holocaust Survivor Day." In their words, "Holocaust survivors deserve a day of joy; a day of celebration. Not a day to share with condemnation of the Nazis, but a day to celebrate their lives they built in response to the Holocaust. Survivors represent the best in all of us, the best of the human spirit. They are our treasure and our light and we must shine that light into every dark corner of our world. We call on the world to join us and celebrate the inaugural Holocaust Survivor Day on June 26th."


Why June 24?

June 26th is Auschwitz survivor Marian Turski’s birthday which falls on Shabbat this year so we are celebrating on Thursday, June 24th. This date  was chosen to acknowledge the importance and impact of the noted historian, journalist, and the moral conscience of Poland’s Jewish community, and especially his powerful speech at last year’s ceremony commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau. Mr. Turski had this to say:


"Auschwitz did not fall from the sky. It began with small forms of persecution of Jews. It happened; it means it can happen anywhere. That is why human rights and democratic constitutions must be defended. The eleventh commandment is important: Don't be indifferent. Do not be indifferent when you see historical lies, do not be indifferent when any minority is discriminated against, do not be indifferent when power violates a social contract."


Join us as and celebrate the lives of the survivors from your own community and the living legacies left by those who are no longer with us. 



For organizations:


Fill out the registration form below and let us know you're interested in joining the event in June. JCC Krakow will be in touch to answer questions and collaborate with you on comprehensive programming suited to fit the needs of your community. 


International Advisory Committee


Meryl Ain
Author, The Takeaway Men: A Novel

Colette Avital
Chairperson, Center Organizations of Holocaust Survivors in Israel

Ellen Bachner Greenberg
Co-founder and President, Descendants of Holocaust Survivors (2G Greater NY)


Smadar Bar-Akiva

Executive Director, JCC Global

Anat Barber
Assistant Director, Capital Gifts and Special Initiatives, UJA Federation of New York

Staci Barber

Co-Chair, JFNA's Holocaust Survivor Initiative

Rabbi Avi Baumol

Rabbinic Representative of the Chief Rabbi of Poland in Krakow


Avi Benlolo

Human Rights Advocate

Michael Berenbaum

Director, Sigi Ziering Institute at the American Jewish University

Herbert Block
Executive Director, American Zionist Movement

Ulrika Citron
Board Member, USC Shoah Foundation

Joel Citron

Vice-Chairman, Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial Foundation

Cheryl Fishbein

Chair, Jewish Council for Public Affairs

Phyllis Greenberg Heideman
President, International March of the Living

Rabba Batya Jacobs
Yerushalayim Torah Academy

Avi Jorisch

Author, Entrepreneur

Beth Kean

Executive Director, Holocaust Museum LA

Barbara Kirshenblatt Gimblett

Ronald S. Lauder Chief Curator of the Core Exhibition at POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews

Rabbi David Seth Kirshner
Rabbi of Temple Emanu-El, in NJ

Doron Krakow
President and CEO, JCC Association of North America

Hannah Lessing

Secretary General, General Compensation Fund for Victims of National Socialism

Mark Medin

Executive Vice President, UJA Federation of New York

Jonathan Ornstein
Executive Director, JCC Krakow


Rabbi Michael Paley
Senior Scholar, Joint Distribution Committee

Lord Eric Pickles
United Kingdom Special Envoy for Post-Holocaust Issues

Menachem Rosensaft

General Counsel and Associate Executive Vice President, World Jewish Congress


Eli Rubinstein
Director of Education, International March of the Living

Rabbi Peter J. Rubinstein

Senior VP, Jewish Community

Managing Director, 92Y Bronfman Center


Stacey Saiontz
Museum of Jewish Heritage - A Living Memorial to the Holocaust Trustee

Scott Saunders
Founder & Chairman, March of the Living UK


Mariano Schlimovich

Executive Director, European Council of Jewish Communities

Rabbi Michael Schudrich
Chief Rabbi of Poland

Paula Slier
CEO and Founder, Newshound Media International

Rabbi Josh Spinner
Executive VP and CEO, Ronald S. Lauder Foundation

Dariusz Stola
Professor, Institute of Political Studies in Warsaw, former Director of the POLIN Museum

Elizabeth Szancer
Art Curator

Gideon Taylor
Board President, Claims Conference

Vicki Warner
President, Friends of JCC Krakow

Piotr Wislicki
Chairperson, Association of the Jewish Historical Institute of Poland

Maria Zalewska
Executive Director, Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial Foundation