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Justice Club @ the Museum of Jewish Heritage

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By R. Laurie Phillips – Raising the Bar Justice Club Educator

Today I was joined by our B Mitzvah teens, some of their parents, and even some siblings and grandparents – for a convening of the Justice Club – Raising the Bar program’s social justice monthly gathering.

Personally speaking, I was moved deeply by the fullness of the session. 

Normally, the teens join me in a hands on social action/social justice project – working on today’s issues. 

Today, we met at the Museum of Jewish Heritage where we listened to Amichai Lau-Lavie share his late  father’s story – a man of strength, will and integrity – true inspiration.  Naphtali Lau-Lavie z”l survived the Holocaust as a teen, saved his little brother, and made sure they both make it to Israel at the end of the war. He passed away just six weeks ago and wrote his incredible story in a memoir called Balaam’s Prophecy.  May his memory be forever a blessing.  

We were taken on a special tour by the museum staff which provided all of us with a wide body of information and insight into the horror of the Holocaust and the aftermath for survivors and the global Jewish community. 

Throughout the day, I have been reflecting on all of the content and processing all of my reactions.  There are many.
In many ways it is all totally inconceivable and absurd.  How could any of that have actually happened?  And yet it did.  And sadly, it continues in different parts of the world today.  
We closed our time together expressing one word of reaction including; hope, gratitude, memory, responsibility and religion.

Most importantly, we asked the teens to reflect on one reaction to the day: How would they claim their response to the horrors of the Holocaust in one or two sentences? What is one action they would take on as a response? We will collect their replies and continue this conversation in the coming months. 

To learn more about the Raising the Bar program, please contact Naomi Less ([email protected]).