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Spring 2007: Letter from the Chairs

Dear Friends,

We are fortunate to live in a town that recognizes the importance of an official observance of the Holocaust Memorial; this isn’t the case in most towns. To appreciate the significance of our memorial, a little history:

The Holocaust Memorial Observance was initiated originally by the Concord Area Jewish Group – long before Kerem Shalom was built in Concord. The Concord-Carlisle Human Rights Council took it over in the early 1980’s, with the belief that the Holocaust history must be made as important to the non-Jewish community as it is, inevitably, to the Jewish community.

In 1986, the Council petitioned the Board of Selectmen to adopt the event as an official Town of Concord Remembrance, in recognition of its importance to the community as a whole. The first response by the Selectmen of that time was “No.” After reflection, and sensing the feeling of the community, evidenced by numerous letters to the local paper, they reversed their decision, and voted unanimously to sponsor it as an official Town event.

The Observance is, therefore, an official Selectmen-sponsored event, and the Selectmen issue a Proclamation of the Week of Remembrance for the Victims of the Holocaust each year. This year, the Proclamation will be issued at the Board of Selectmen’s meeting on March 26th. The date of the Week of Remembrance is determined by the date of Yom Hashoah, the international Day of Remembrance. This year, Yom Hashoah falls on Sunday, April 15th, so the Week of Remembrance will be April 15-22, with the official Holocaust Memorial Observance on April 22nd, 7:30pm at the Town House.

The event will feature Holocaust survivor Marika Barnett, and Rosalie Gerut, Cantor at Kerem Shalom. This is Ms. Barnett’s second appearance at Concord’s annual event – she was here in 2002. Marika will describe her life in Budapest, Hungary, during the last year of World War II when the Nazis invaded Hungary and sent 800,000 Jews to Auchwitz. Ms. Barnett survived by hiding. She immigrated to this country in 1956 during the Hungarian Revolution.

Please join us for this powerful and important evening, and also join us in thanking the Selectmen for continuing to sponsor this vital event in our community.

Yours for Human Rights, Kristin Allison & Molly Carocci Concord-Carlisle Human Rights Council Co-chairs

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