U.S. Holocaust Museum’s new resource
Written by Jeff Woodard
April 6, 2010

Commemorating the 65th anniversary of the end of World War II, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum has produced the "Planning Guide and Resources for Annual Holocaust Commemoration," a free CD/DVD set comprising videos and resources for organizing civic, military and interfaith observances.

The museum, in Washington, D.C., has designated "Stories of Freedom: What You Do Matters" as the theme for the 2010 Days of Remembrance. Holocaust Remembrance Day is April 11.

"This is a resource for all kinds of communities, including religious leaders, who want to hold commemorations for Yom HaShoah (Holocaust  Remembrance Day)," says Victoria Barnett, staff director for church relations at the museum.

The museum asks that from April 11-18 communities nationwide organize observances paying tribute to U.S. soldiers who helped defeat Nazi Germany and liberate Holocaust survivors from years of suffering. "Days of Remembrance" memorializes those killed during the Holocaust, but also serves as a reminder of the fragility of democracy and the need for citizens to be vigilant in protecting its ideals.

Faith communities nationwide use Yom HaShoah as an occasion for interfaith services, says Barnett. "Through the years, the Days of Remembrance has become an important event for building interfaith bridges. Particularly in an era with so many contentious issues, this can be an occasion to bring people together."

Rev. Philip Hoy, pastor of Zion United Church of Christ in Henderson, Ky., says his church has been holding an annual Holocaust memorial service for the past 20 years.

"We'll cite some of the history of the event, including the use of the triangles that segregated the various groups," says Hoy of the tribute planned for Zion's Sunday service this week.. "I'll read the list of those groups who were murdered, with Jewish persons heading the list. Then we will have a time of silence for meditation." 

Hoy says he has ordered the new resource from the Holocaust Museum and will incorporate it into the service. "I keep the service pretty simple, but I don't want anyone, especially our youth, to forget what happened."

The "Days of Remembrance" resource, along with several others, is available by logging on to www.ushmm.org/remembrance/dor/ . Participants are encouraged to share thoughts and experiences via the web site and various social media sites.

For further information, please email dordvd@shmm.org. To obtain a copy of museum resources, log on to www.ushmm.org