I am a child of Holocaust survivors. Two weeks ago, my mother testified before 100 lawyers and judges at the Bronx courthouse for their Holocaust Commemoration. I sat with her, holding back tears, as I heard her speak for an hour. I’ve been deeply touched by the Holocaust my entire life. Therefore, I believe I have a right to disagree with the opinion piece by Alex Traiman, “Applying the Chabad Model to Help Perpetuate the Holocaust Memory” (May 09, 2019).
You see, Hitler and the Nazis tried to destroy physically the Jewish people. Today, the great problem facing the Jewish people is spiritual destruction due to massive assimilation and intermarriage. Perhaps a third of all Jews in the United States no longer identify as Jews. The majority of American Jews have little knowledge of Jewish teachings or of their great heritage and tradition. Personally, I know of too many children of Holocaust survivors or their children who have married non-Jews.
We do not need to remember the Holocaust as much as we need to know why it is important to be Jewish. We should spend Jewish money on Jewish education and not on Holocaust memorials. What good are all the March of the Living to Poland events or Holocaust museums if five or 10 years from now these same Jews do not somehow live a Jewish life, are connected to the Jewish people or marry Jewish?Martin Polack