Memory to Action
In 1997, a group of concerned educators, clergy, and professionals, many touched by the Nazi Holocaust, joined together to further their shared goals: to teach and convey that tragedy can begin with apathy and "ordinary" intolerance, and to work towards a future free of genocide. The group was concerned that with time and the passing of the survivors, genocides such as the Holocaust might become less meaningful to future generations. Additionally, the group was dissatisfied with the impersonal, sometimes even perfunctory nature of some commemorative events, such as public speeches or informational gatherings. Therefore, the members of the group founded an independent non-profit organization, The Holocaust Home Commemoration Project. This organization's mission is to use a meal-based, participatory, commemorative event to motivate people to engage in social action. The organization was later named Zachor: From Memory to Action ("zachor" is the Hebrew word for "remember"), and finally just Memory to Action.
The members of Memory to Action then volunteered hundreds of hours to create "Memory to Action: The Guidebook to Remembrance," an event that deeply touches participants, reveals possibilities for personal involvement, encourages acceptance of personal responsibility, heightens empathy to suffering, emphasizes the value of diversity, and promotes participants to take social action. It offers participants concrete opportunities to involve themselves in grass-roots activities for social change in their local, regional and national communities. After three years of research and development, the first version of the Memory to Action event was piloted in Fall 2000. From dozens of pilot events with hundreds of participants, we refined the event guidebook according to the feedback we received, and are still working on new versions.
© 2003 Holocaust Home Commemoration Project. All rights reserved.