The March of the Living: On the Road Again!
Posted on 02/04/2022 @ 07:00 AM
For March of the Living participants, it is all about the journey and the destination. Students began their journey with Miami’s Leo Martin March of the Living last Sunday via Zoom.
High school seniors from all across Miami gathered virtually for their first educational session, during which Marchers learned, listened, and connected with each other in preparation for traveling to Poland this Spring.
In this virtual session, students had the opportunity to get to know each other, explore their Jewish identities, learn about life before the Holocaust, and listen to Survivor Anita Karl share her testimony.
Anita was only a little girl when she was forced to hide her identity in order to stay alive. She explained that along with her mother and two sisters, she had to pretend to be a Polish Catholic. But because she was so young, her mother could not reveal the truth of her Jewish identity so she fully embraced Catholicism. Then after the war, it was quite traumatic to learn she was actually Jewish and also to learn that her father, who had been hiding in their basement, was discovered and murdered near the very end of the war.
Anita emphasized the importance to each teen that they should keep her story alive and commit to being an upstander against any injustice they see in their own lives.
One of the main tenants of the Miami March of the Living is to educate participants -- the next generation of leaders-- to remember the Holocaust, act as witnesses, and respond to intolerance and antisemitism.
Throughout the journey, Marchers will have the opportunity to learn from more Holocaust survivors and to bear witness.
Teens left Sunday’s session with a glimpse into what they will experience throughout the March of the Living educational journey. And based on the evaluations we received, they seem eager to learn more!
Here are some of the meaningful takeaways they shared:
- I learned that everyone has a different identification with Judaism. What it means to me may be completely different to what it means to another Jew.
- The 6 million Jews in the Holocaust had faces, families, friends, businesses, hopes and dreams that were all lost.
- The Jews who lived in Europe before the Holocaust lived very much like we live as Jews, today, in America. They weren’t just numbers. They were real people.
- Anita’s story reminded me that it is our job to continue to spread awareness about the Holocaust and to make sure that it NEVER happens again.
We are looking forward to continuing the journey with our 2022 Marchers.