|The Rhode Island Jewish community should pause|
|Friday, 25 May 2012 14:36|
Regarding the April 27 article “Holocaust memorial plans announced,” the Rhode Island Jewish community should take a deep breath and a step backward before jumping into this project. As an occasional volunteer for the Holocaust Education & Resource Center of RI (HERC), I have been privileged to witness the moving works of art generated by Rhode Island students and their grim faces after film showings, all organized by HERC – and in nearly all cases, these are students from outside the Jewish community – literally thousands each year.
There’s no free lunch; the bottom line is that our community already supports Holocaust education financially at a level that is felt to be appropriate. Is a new donor expected to somehow materialize and hand over a million dollars for a Holocaust monument? That would be nice, but unlikely.
The unfortunate truth is that funds for a brick-and-mortar monument will siphon funding from HERC. The article’s subtitle asks, “Will future generations learn the lesson of ‘Never again’?” It should ask, “Will future generations learn better than they are learning today if a project of brick and mortar displaces individual experiences and learning?”