CONFERENCE OF PRESIDENTS DELEGATION IN POLAND FOR MARCH OF THE LIVING TO COMMEMORATE YOM HASHOAH

Thursday, May 5, 2016, Krakow, Poland… The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations delegation of leaders of national Jewish organizations participated in the International March of the Living in Poland today to commemorate Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day). The annual March of the Living brings together people from all over the world to Poland to study the experience and history of the Holocaust and to examine the roots of prejudice, intolerance and hate.

The Presidents Conference delegation is led by Chairman, Stephen M. Greenberg, and CEO Malcolm Hoenlein. Many of the leaders are traveling with younger generations of their families. Among other members of the delegation are Eric Goldstein, CEO, and Alisa Doctoroff, President of the UJA-Federation of New York; Debbie Hoffmann, President of the National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW); Gerald Platt, President of American Friends of Likud; Morad Roshanzamir, Iranian American Jewish Federation; Joel Jacob, Past President of Mazon; James Schiller, President of Baltimore Zionist District; Susan Fader, President of Dvar; Thomas Schick, Past Chairman of the International Rescue Committee; attorney and analyst Steven Wildstein; and law school professor, author and analyst Thane Rosenbaum.

During the trip, the group will visit many important sites, including the Warsaw Jewish Cemetery, Majdanek death camp, the remnants of the Warsaw Ghetto, the Jewish Quarter of Krakow, and much more. They also participated in a special symposium commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Nuremberg Laws and Nuremberg Trials, featuring high level international jurists and notable speakers, including Professor Alan Dershowitz, former Canadian Minister of Justice Irwin Cotler, former Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Ron Prosor and Supreme Court Justices from Rwanda, Israel, Britain, and Canada. Malcolm Hoenlein also spoke at the Nuremberg symposium on the Scholars Panel, as well as at the Krakow Philharmonic Hall during a special concert.

The March of the Living is highlighted by the annual “March of the Living” on Yom HaShoah. Some 15,000 participants, mostly young people from around the world, marched today from Auschwitz to Birkenau and participated in a memorial ceremony in the shadow of the crematorium. At the ceremony, Mr. Greenberg and Alisa Doctoroff were honored with lighting one of the six flames at Birkenau.

Mr. Greenberg and Mr. Hoenlein said:

“This is a truly meaningful and emotional event. It reminds us of the events of eight decades ago, but also alerts us to the dangers in our time with anti-Semitism resurgent and the BDS delegitimization campaign against Israel. What is important ultimately is the actions that are taken when bigotry, racism and hatred are manifested. The crimes of those involved in genocide were compounded by the silence and inaction of so many. The March of the Living demonstrates the resilience of the Jewish people and the participation of so many non-Jews underscores the universal significance of this commemoration.”  

Mr. Goldstein said:

“It was an overwhelming experience to march with thousands of Jews proudly and freely through the gates of Birkeanu. An unforgettable event.”

Ms. Hoffmann said:

“It is impossible to put into words the overwhelming emotions that I felt when I walked with over 15,000 fellow Jews and proclaimed ‘never again.’ Actually experiencing the walk through Auschwitz to Birkenau gave me a visceral understanding of the Holocaust that cannot be felt by reading a book or seeing a movie. The March of the Living showed me why we must do everything we can to never again allow such atrocities.”

Although Conference of Presidents leaders have participated in the March of the Living in the past, this was the first time they had an official delegation participate. The Conference leaders said, “We believe all the participants felt that this was a most significant experience, especially with the participation of leaders’ children and grandchildren and spouses. We look forward to working with the March of the Living on future endeavors to assure that the events, lessons and contemporary significance of the Shoah are not forgotten.” 

From Right to Left: Gerald Platt, Samuel Schear, Morad Roshanzamir, Thomas Schick, Barbara Gordon, Susan Schiller, Mallory Harris, Steven Wildstein, W. James Schiller, Debbie Hoffmann, Eric Goldstein, Alisa Doctoroff, Susan Fader, Merrick Jacob, Malcolm  Hoenlein, Simcha Stein, Thane Rosenbaum, Joel Jacob, Max Greenberg, Roslyn Myers, Sara Stein, Mindy Stein, Gabriella Bak.

From Right to Left: Thane Rosenbaum, Joel Jacob, Steven Wildstein, Max Greenberg, Stephen Greenberg, Gerald Platt, Merrick Jacob, Sara Stein, Mindy Stein, Malcolm Hoenlein, Gabriella Bak, Alisa Doctoroff, Susan Fader, Roslyn Myers, Tom Schick, Debbie Hoffmann, James Schiller, Morad Roshanzamir, Samuel Schear, Susan Schiller, Mallory Harris, Simcha Stein, Eric Goldstein, Barbara Gordon, Tamar Goldstein

 

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The Conference of Presidents is the central coordinating body representing 54 national Jewish organizations on issues of national and international concern

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