On April 24, Jewish High School of Connecticut juniors, Emma Judd and Hadassah Riemer began their journey with The March of the Living, an annual educational program which brings participants from all over the world to Poland, in order to study the history of the Holocaust and to examine the roots of prejudice, intolerance and hate. 

The trip runs from April 24 to May 8.   Coordinated by The Greater New Haven Jewish Federations, seven students are attending from the New Haven area.  Since the first March of the Living was held in 1988, over 150,000 youth from around the world have marched down the same path leading from Auschwitz to Birkenau and the Belzec on Holocaust Remembrance Day. 

While in Poland Emma and Hadassah will visit the concentration camps of Auschwitz-Birkenau, Treblinka and Majdanek, Belzec and Sobibor. They will also visit historic Jewish sites in Warsaw, Cracow, and Lublin.

 “I feel it is my responsibility to see the extermination camps to develop a fuller understanding their role in Jewish history,” reflected Emma.  There are also connections much closer to home, “My maternal grandfather is a Holocaust survivor and my paternal grandfather was in the Navy during WWII,” added Emma. 

The March of the Living encourages participation in order to “remember the past and ensure a brighter future.  “It’s important for people to hear the stories and first-hand accounts in order for generations to know and fully understand the history of these atrocities,” said Hadassah. 

The trip culminates in Israel where participants will visit a number of locations and ancient sites, including Jerusalem, Masada, Tel Aviv, the Golan Heights, the Galilee, the Negev and more. On May 6th, Israel’s 66th Independence Day, all of the groups from around the world will join thousands of Israelis in this national celebration.

"I have been fortunate to lead 5 groups on March of the Living trips. Emma and Hadassah will join with 10,000 teens from around the world in a profound confrontation with the horrors of the Shoah and a joyful celebration of the rebirth of modern Israel on her 66th anniversary. In two short weeks they will experience a powerful, transformative connection to their Jewish heritage and a commitment to building a vibrant future," commented Sydney Perry, CEO Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven. 

 

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