March of the Living 2015

April 13, 2015 Agencies
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70 years after the end of the Second World War the March of the Living will once again take over 10,000 young people, Jews and non-Jews, from across the world on an emotional and inspiring educational journey.

Australians begin the March Photo: Emmanuel Santos

Australians begin the March
Photo: Emmanuel Santos

Participants from over 45 countries will take part in this, the 27th March of the Living, and take part in this life changing experience. The participants will learn the universal lessons of the Holocaust including the importance of fighting hatred, intolerance, racism and fascism.  To date over 220,000 young people have taken part in the March of the Living since 1988.

This year will see delegations from, among others, the United States, Canada, UK, Mexico, Panama, Greece, Australia, Morocco, France, Austria, Argentina, Brazil, South Africa with each delegation accompanied by a survivor who will tell their personal story.

The second half of March of the Living focuses on the continuation of Jewish life through the rebirth which followed the genocide of Europe’s Jews. After a week of studying, touring and internalizing the lessons of the Holocaust the participants travel to Israel for a week of study which includes Israel’s national Remembrance Day ceremonies, Independence Day celebrations and a special ceremony at Latrun.

This year, as every year, the March of the Living will be led Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau, the Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv-Yafo who is himself a child survivor, who has taken part in every March of the Living since the first one and leads the groups with pride and wisdom on the March from Auschwitz – Birkenau.

Past participants in the March of the Living include Shimon Peres, Elie Wiesel, Oprah Winfrey, Presidents, Prime Ministers, Jewish and non-Jewish faith leaders from across the world, parliamentarians and young people from across the world.

Dr. Shmuel Rosenman, Chairman of the March of the Living Board of Directors said; “With every passing year there are fewer survivors to tell their stories and so this year the March of the Living will focus on passing on the torch with participants becoming the witnesses for the next generation as we march under the banner ‘Every Witness becomes a Witness. With the rising tide of anti-Semitism in Europe, this year the march takes on extra significance as we ask whether 70 years after the end of the Second World War the lessons of that tragic period of history have really been learned.”

Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau, Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv-Yafo said; “The appearance of anti-Semitism all over the world now makes it so we don’t forget the days of the Holocaust. I believe that the march has a transformative effect. Jews who join the march from the Diaspora return to their countries a little more Israeli than they were when they left, he argues, better able to appreciate the State of Israel. While Israelis return to Israel with a deeper consciousness of being Jews.”

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