Holocaust Remembrance & Education

One of the JCRC’s most sacred and critical responsibilities is to facilitate Holocaust remembrance and education throughout the Greater Washington DC region, for it is only through commemorating with and understand our past that we can secure a more just present and future for our children.  As the number of survivors continues to dwindle, it is our imperative to share their living testimony and find avenues to continue to inspire future generations to absorb the lessons of the Holocaust.

What We Do

For the last several decades, the JCRC has assumed responsibility for coordinating our community’s central Yom Ha’Shoah commemoration ceremonies in Maryland and Northern Virginia. We also cosponsor and support Yom Ha’Shoah programming in the District of Columbia. Each year more than one thousand survivors, their families, elected officials, community members and leaders, and interfaith clergy, come together to remember those who were lost and bear witness to Holocaust survivors’ testimony.

Recent studies have born witness to dramatic decreases in awareness of the Shoah, particularly among younger generations. The JCRC is committed to comprehensively addressing this challenge. We serve as a resource for students, teachers and other members of the Greater Washington community to learn about the Holocaust, genocide, and the dangers of antisemitism through our Holocaust speakers’ programs, curriculum review, peer to peer education, and teacher professional education opportunities.

As the dwindling number of Holocaust survivors continue to age, the need for publicly funded social services to ensure their care and safety grows exponentially. Holocaust survivors are uniquely in need of intensive services that will allow them to age in place with as much dignity and as little trauma as possible. Each year the JCRC successfully secures government funding to support the outstanding work of our social service agencies to care for this vulnerable population.

The JCRC is leading the efforts to expand mandatory Holocaust education at the state level in Maryland and Virginia. 

As part of the JCRC's online Yom Ha'Shoah Remembrance in 2022, we are hosting a series of Dor L'Dor, generation to generation conversations with our community's Holocaust survivors. On April 26, Ruth Cohen joined us for a conversation about her experiences as a child survivor of the Holocaust.

The JCRC of Greater Washington is proud to partner annually with the Chesapeake Bay Region of B'nai B'rith International for the public name reading program, Unto Every Person There is a Name. Thank you to B'nai B'rith International's Barbara Brenman, Jeremy Kay, and Marilyn Bargteil; and JSSA's Deborah Addler. Special thanks to Janice Rosenblatt & Josh Siegel for organizing the 2020 name reading; and to the following members of the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School's Class of 2020 for reading names, in order of appearance: Yoni Preuss, Josh Siegel, Ben Topol, Becca Weiss, Lily Rosenberg, Aaron Kirkpatrick, Josie Levine, Josh Diewald, Jeremy Lazoff, Dylan Platt, Ahava Freeman, Isaac Nadaner, Mia Pierce, and Leah Simon.