Young athletes to remember Shoah victims

Maccabi Victoria young athletes will pause to commemorate Yom Hashoah. Photo: Peter Haskin

TO commemorate Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Memorial Day), the Jewish Holocaust Centre (JHC) is partnering with Maccabi Victoria to honour those who lost their lives to the Nazi genocide.

Over the weekend of April 22-23, Maccabi sports clubs throughout Melbourne will take a moment before games to remember victims of the Holocaust. The remembrance will be in various forms, including a minute’s silence or wearing black armbands.

The initiative also urges children to share photos of themselves and friends playing sport using the hashtag #justlikeyou.

Aimed across the Jewish community, the project focuses on the children, grandchildren and great- grandchildren of Melbourne’s large Holocaust survivor community.

“Just like the young members of Maccabi today, these survivors, and their family and friends who perished, were also avid sportsmen and women who participated in a wide range of sporting activities,” said JHC vice-president David Cohen. “Most were children at the time – 1.5 million children were murdered during the Holocaust.”

Describing an online video about the initiative, Just Like You, Cohen, a descendant of survivors, a Maccabi sportsman and father of young Maccabi participants, said: “The only thing that separates them from you is time.”

Cohen said with diminishing numbers of Holocaust survivors to educate future generations, “it is critical that the devastation be remembered and life lessons learned and taught”.

Brian Swersky, Maccabi Victoria president, said: “We believe that this partnership is important and the wonderful educators at JHC have worked closely with our clubs to ensure an age-appropriate memorial.”

View the two-minute video, Just Like You, at https://vimeo.com/211827224/a323a06c78.

AJN STAFF