October 2, 2019

Supporting Holocaust Education

Our city is home to the oldest Holocaust memorial in the U.S. During this Jewish holiday season, supporting the work of the Philadelphia Holocaust Remembrance Foundation is more meaningful than ever

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September 25, 2019

Our children are growing up in a renaissance of bigotry

Philadelphia native Dr. Leon Bass, an American soldier who participated in the liberation of the Buchenwald concentration camp in Nazi Germany, said that there are two key components to challenging bigotry. “One is your education,” he said. “You could become a victim, or you might make someone else a victim in your ignorance. And the other piece of the action is love.”

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June 6, 2019

Philly’s Holocaust Memorial Plaza is ready for its closeup

When the $9 million project opened in October 2018 after just eight months of construction, it was rightly hailed as a success. But with naked plant beds and winter-ready trees, the public space looked standoffish and austere. Said one observer, “I thought it was sparse on purpose,” because of the solemnity of what it commemorates.

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April 12, 2018

Holocaust Is Fading From Memory, Survey Finds

For seven decades, “never forget” has been a rallying cry of the Holocaust remembrance movement.

But a survey released Thursday, on Holocaust Remembrance Day, found that many adults lack basic knowledge of what happened — and this lack of knowledge is more pronounced among millennials, whom the survey defined as people ages 18 to 34.

Thirty-one percent of Americans, and 41 percent of millennials, believe that two million or fewer Jews were killed in the Holocaust; the actual number is around six million. Forty-one percent of Americans, and 66 percent of millennials, cannot say what Auschwitz was. And 52 percent of Americans wrongly think Hitler came to power through force.

“As we get farther away from the actual events, 70-plus years now, it becomes less forefront of what people are talking about or thinking about or discussing or learning,” said Matthew Bronfman, a board member of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, which commissioned the study. “If we wait another generation before you start trying to take remedial action, I think we’re really going to be behind the eight ball.”

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April 4, 2018

Museums Responding To ‘Alarming’ Escalation Of Anti-Semitic Incidents

From here to Texas to California, Holocaust centers ‘speaking up’ amid uptick in hate.

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February 15, 2018

George Washington Would Not Be Impressed With Poland’s Revisionist Holocaust Bill

Polish President Andrzej Duda recently signed a law that would ban people from using terms like “Polish death camps”or blaming the Polish nation for complicity in the Holocaust. While Auschwitz and other death camps in Poland were obviously built and operated by the Nazis, the law is still extremely troubling.

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January 25, 2018

The Tree that Survived the Holocaust

This Tu B’Shevat, as we celebrate the New Year of the Trees, let’s take a moment to consider the story of an extraordinary tree that lives right in our community — a story of survival which stretches from the Holocaust to the present day, and from Eastern Europe to here in Philadelphia. It’s called the Theresienstadt (“ter-RAISIN-staht”) Tree.

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December 12, 2017

For Local Developers, Holocaust Memorial Expansion is Personal

They may be rivals in the marketplace, but several of the city’s best-known developers are chipping in together on the $7 million makeover of the nation’s first Holocaust monument — a project that hits some of them close to home.

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November 29, 2017

Philadelphia breaks ground on $7 million Holocaust memorial plaza

Speaking at inaugural ceremony, mayor highlights monument’s importance ‘in light of toxic national rhetoric’

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November 29, 2017

Holocaust Memorial Plaza Breaks New Ground

In 1964, Philadelphia became home to the first public Holocaust memorial in the United States, the Monument to Six Million Jewish Martyrs.

Following an official groundbreaking half a century later, the plaza surrounding it will now be incorporated into part of the memorial.

On Tuesday, members of the Philadelphia Holocaust Remembrance Foundation, Holocaust survivors and others gathered below the monument, located at 16th Street and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, for the groundbreaking of the Holocaust Memorial Plaza. The speakers included PHRF Chairman David Adelman, Mayor Jim Kenney, Attorney General Josh Shapiro and Paul Levy, president and CEO of the Center City District.

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November 29, 2017

$7M Philadelphia Holocaust Memorial Plaza breaks ground on the Parkway

Big changes are coming to the decades-old Holocaust Memorial on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway after officials gathered Tuesday morning for a ceremonial groundbreaking.

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November 29, 2017

Groundbreaking for Holocaust Memorial Plaza in Philadelphia

Philadelphia is building up one of the oldest Holocaust monuments in the United States. The statue at the foot of the Ben Franklin Parkway has been in place since 1964, and it will remain as part of a $7 million renovation to the area around it.

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November 29, 2017

Philly breaks ground on $7 million Holocaust memorial plaza

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney was on hand for the groundbreaking for his city’s $7 million Holocaust memorial plaza.

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November 28, 2017

Groundbreaking ceremony for Holocaust Memorial in Center City

A very special ceremony took place in Philadelphia Tuesday.

It was a landmark groundbreaking at 16th and The Parkway at the Philadelphia Holocaust Memorial Plaza, which is about to become a major state of the art facility with new trees and six pillars to honor the memory of the 6-million Jews murdered by the Nazis.

David Adelman of the Philadelphia Holocaust Remembrance Foundation said, “The plaza is not just a tribute to the Jews, political opponents, homosexuals and resistance fighters that were murdered in the Holocaust. It’s a place for every Philadelphian and American.”

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November 28, 2017

Philadelphia Breaks Ground On New Holocaust Memorial Park

A ground breaking Tuesday symbolized the beginning of the year long process to transform the head of Ben Franklin Parkway. The city plans to add a memorial park dedicated to the 6 million people killed during the Jewish Holocaust.

For the past 53 years, an 18-foot bronze monument to 6 million Jewish martyrs stood alone, but no more.

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November 28, 2017

Breaking Ground on Philadelphia’s New Holocaust Memorial Plaza in Memory of 6 Million Jews

Philadelphia is expanding the nation’s first public Holocaust monument. Philadelphia’s Holocaust Memorial Plaza will include a remembrance wall with an eternal flame.

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November 28, 2017

Holocaust Memorial Plaza expansion announced

Center City tribute to Jewish genocide will be expanded into a “living classroom.”

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November 1, 2017

Holocaust Memorial Plaza is Really Happening

Remember that big announcement in May 2016 about plans for the Philadelphia Holocaust Memorial Plaza at 16th and Arch streets?

Well, David Adelman can finally give an update: After a successful initial fundraising push, the project is really happening.

The Philadelphia Holocaust Remembrance Foundation (PHRF) will host a “coming out” event on Nov. 7 at Green Valley Country Club where they will launch a new video and give an update on the construction plans.

“We’re trying to really set the record straight and show people we have a real project. It’s ready to go, this is really happening, and really introduce it to the community,” said Adelman, chair of the board of the PHRF.

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October 25, 2017

Remembering Eisenhower’s Contributions to Holocaust Remembrance

In today’s fractured America, the importance of Holocaust remembrance is readily apparent.

In recent years, our national discourse has been marked by toxic political rhetoric and a startling rise of blatant anti-Semitism and racism on social media and in other forums. For a country founded proudly upon principles of democracy — values still treasured by the vast majority of the populace — the importance of quelling this divisiveness and prejudice is self-evident.

And while there may be several methods of healing the country’s ailments, one of the most meaningful is through increasing awareness of the Holocaust, which serves as the starkest reminder in modern times of the horrors that can emerge when these expressions of hatred go unchecked.

In 1964, a group of Holocaust survivors presented the City of Philadelphia with the Six Million Jewish Martyrs Statue, the first public Holocaust memorial in the United States. In the ensuing decades, countless communities across the country have recognized the importance of remembrance efforts and developed monuments and educational initiatives that instill within future generations the sobering, but imperative lessons that can be learned from the history of the Holocaust.

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September 18, 2017

Philly’s Holocaust memorial is getting a $7 million overhaul

The Six Million Jewish Martyrs statue has sat at 16th Street and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway since 1964, serving as Philadelphia’s memorial to Holocaust. At the time, it was the first such public monument in the country.

But the structure’s getting a massive facelift, and — if all goes smoothly through the construction process — it’ll be transformed into the Philadelphia Holocaust Memorial Plaza by next year. Construction is expected to begin this October or November on the $7 million project, turning what’s currently a single statue into a multi-faceted memorial plaza that aims to contrast motifs of the Holocaust with American constitutional protections and values.

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September 7, 2017

OPINION: There’s Only One Solution to the Hate That Fueled Charlottesville

In reference to history’s most horrific events, we often utter the words “Never forget.” But perhaps as important is that phrase’s unspoken corollary: Never ignore.

Nestled in the cocoon of democratic America seven decades after the Holocaust, many of us go about our daily lives thinking that Nazi-style hatred and prejudice are largely a thing of the past. If only it were so.

Like many other forms of irrational hatred, anti-Semitism remains in full bloom in 2017. Cable news channels were recently on high alert with wall-to-wall coverage of the goings-on in Charlottesville. While ostensibly protesting the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee, demonstrators in the Virginia city chanted “the Jews will not replace us” and carried swastikas — crystal-clear confirmation that anti-Jewish bigotry has not been eradicated.

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August 2, 2017

Philly CRE Leaders Plan $7M Expansion Of Ben Franklin Parkway Holocaust Memorial

A group of high-level executives in Philadelphia commercial real estate have gotten together for a Holocaust memorial project on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

A group led by Campus Apartments CEO David Adelman, including Post Brothers’ Matt Pestronk, Korman Communities’ Brad Korman, Verde Capital’s Jake Reiter and Resource Capital’s Steve Kessler, have released plans for a $7M redevelopment of the land surrounding the Monument to Six Million Jewish Martyrs at the corner of the Parkway and Arch Street.

The project is more than half funded, according to a press release, and slated to break ground later this year. Among the design elements will be “Six Pillars” differentiating American values from Nazi principles, original train tracks from the Treblinka concentration camp and an original sycamore sapling from the Theresienstadt camp.

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July 4, 2017

How The Holocaust Helps Us Understand Independence Day

One day 241 years ago, John Hancock led a group of patriots in signing a document that quickly became the banner of democracy across the world. As with most holidays, the significance of this anniversary has evolved over time, and today the principles to which those 56 men ascribed their names is often lost amid newer traditions such as fireworks, barbecues and — if you watch ESPN — competitive eating. This is not to invalidate the understandable yearning for a national day of summer leisure, but it is to say that the Fourth of July has become increasingly dissociated from the enduring values it should represent.

The aimlessness of our civic consciousness is not new in the year 2017, but it is particularly striking in today’s national climate. Over the past few years, countless individuals on both sides of the political aisle have bemoaned the flaws in the ideal America, including the demise of free speech and a resurgence in racial rhetoric. In this fractured environment, the country is in dire need of a reminder of the importance of our Founders’ ideals.

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May 31, 2017

Philadelphia Holocaust Remembrance Foundation Releases New Details, Images For Holocaust Memorial Plaza

Planned $7 million public plaza and memorial at 16th Street & Ben Franklin Parkway takes shape; construction anticipated to begin this year

The Philadelphia Holocaust Remembrance Foundation (‘The PHRF’), a non-profit organization dedicated to educating the public about the universal lessons of the Holocaust, unveiled new details and images of the planned Philadelphia Holocaust Memorial Plaza at the highly-trafficked intersection of 16th Street and Ben Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia. The Plaza, which is funded in large part by donations from business leaders and residents across the region, is expected to begin construction this year.

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May 12, 2017

Philly holocaust memorial’s ‘pillar’ design announced

Exactly a year after it was initially announced, the Philadelphia Holocaust Remembrance Foundation has unveiled new images of the $7 million project that will bring an expanded memorial along the Ben Franklin Parkway dedicated to the millions who died in the holocaust.

On Thursday – the anniversary of a celebration held on May 11 of last year – the PHRF shared new images of the Six Pillars, intended to be the centerpiece of the Philadelphia Holocaust Memorial Plaza.

“When visitors lay eyes upon the Six Pillars, they’ll be reminded not just of the atrocities of Nazi Germany and its collaborators, but of our nation’s core principles of equality, democracy, and freedom,” said David Adelman, Chairman of the PHRF in a statement on the expansion. “We believe that there is no better way to honor the memories of Holocaust victims than to promote the very values that can combat religious persecution around the world.”

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May 10, 2017

Lessons the world learned from Holocaust? None, says survivor

What did the world learn from the Holocaust? Not much, says a survivor, taking note of killing grounds as disparate as Cambodia, Rwanda, and Syria today. “The world is quiet, so what kind of a lesson is there? We got the lesson, we suffered, we lost everybody, but the world didn’t get the lesson,” says Paula Spigler, who will be 93 […]

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May 10, 2017

What is being added to Philly’s Holocaust memorial?

Holocaust survivor Paula Spigler visited the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, but can’t return because it was too painful. It looks too much to the past.

However, each year she attends the memorial service at Philadelphia’s Holocaust monument at 16th Street and the Parkway. The monument, dedicated to the six million Jews who were murdered, looks to the future.

It has been there since 1964, and now the sponsoring Philadelphia Holocaust Remembrance Foundation is ready to announce details of an expansion.

The triangular plot of land, leased from the city, will be enhanced with several elements to supplement the statue of human figures consumed by flames, by Polish artist Nathan Rapoport.

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May 10, 2017

New Philly Holocaust Memorial renderings, details unveiled

Since 1964, the Six Million Jewish Martyrs statue at 16th and Ben Franklin Parkway has served as Philly’s memorial to the Holocaust. Now, more than five decades later, big changes are in store for the memorial.

The non-profit Philadelphia Holocaust Remembrance Foundation (PHRF) announced today its design plans for the Philly Holocaust Memorial Plaza, a $7 million project that was originally announced in 2016. The project, slated to break ground this winter, will add more layers to the Six Million statue, including a reconfigured public plaza, as well as another memorial called the Six Pillars.

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April 26, 2017

Six Million Jewish Martyrs Remembered for 53rd Year

Friends greeted each other before the ceremony began: “I didn’t know you were involved with this,” said one attendee.

“My parents are survivors. I was born in a displaced persons camp,” the other replied to a shocked expression.

Nowadays, as so many Holocaust survivors have died, it’s up to their children to tell their stories. That starts with Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day.

The annual Memorial Ceremony for the Six Million Jewish Martyrs is an event held by the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia and the Jewish Community Relations Council since 1964.

Philadelphia was one of the first American cities to create a monument in honor of the Holocaust.

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March 9, 2017

Commentary: Philly united in denouncing hate

Amid the political upheaval of recent months, a troubling trend of threatening calls to Jewish community centers and other religious institutions across the country has flown somewhat under the radar. But when headstones at a St. Louis cemetery were toppled several weeks ago – and especially when the same vile act was perpetrated in Philadelphia more recently – the growth and expressions of anti-Semitism finally began to garner significant attention.

Make no mistake: These cemetery crimes are not unrelated to one another, nor are they insignificant. Along with the threatening phone calls, they represent an attempt to rally a venomous base of miscreants and deliver disquiet to a peaceful religious community. The specific end game of these actions is unclear, but recent history had demonstrated all too well how quickly these manifestations of hate can accelerate into the worst of human atrocities.

For Philadelphians, the presence of this activity is particularly troubling. The history of Jews in Philadelphia dates back centuries, and our 300-year-old bond has helped the Jewish and broader communities thrive. As the cradle of American independence, Philadelphia has long been the embodiment of tolerance for all religious groups, serving as a beacon of light, even in a world too often consumed by hate. Viewed through this lens, the display of overt hostility in the City of Brotherly Love is, to say the least, disheartening.

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March 2, 2017

Hundreds Attend ‘Stand Against Hate’ Rally Held At Independence Mall

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Hundreds of people gathered on Independence Mall for a Stand Against Hate rally on Thursday, in a show of support for Philadelphia’s Jewish community.

In the wake of vandalism done to more than 100 tombstones at a local Jewish cemetery, and an increase in bomb threats at Jewish gathering places across the country, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, Attorney General Josh Shapiro, and hundreds of people of different faiths met on the Mall to say those actions are unacceptable.

“Pretty horrified, why would people do that?” asked Jennifer Goldbloom of West Norriton.

“It’s an attack on those that are gone and on Jewish memory, and for Jews that memory is very important. It’s who we are,” said Charles Ryba of Abington.

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May 12, 2016

Memorial plaza in Philadelphia to remember Holocaust victims

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — Back in 1964, Philadelphia was the first city in nation to erect a public memorial to victims of the Holocaust.

That monument stands proudly on the Ben Franklin Parkway and will soon be the centerpiece of a Holocaust Memorial Plaza.

Miriam Cane is 82 years old and she is the Executive Vice President of the Holocaust Survivors Association of Philadelphia.

“Unfortunately the survivors are dwindling, there are very few of us left,” Cane said.

Because Miriam still can tell her story of surviving the Holocaust, she does.

“I was incarcerated in Siberia, taken from home at age seven and a half, shipped in cattle cars to Siberia where I had no proper food or clothing,” Cane said.

Cane wants to ensure that history remains fresh, and those we lost are never far from our thoughts.

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May 11, 2016

New plans for Philadelphia’s Holocaust Memorial

CENTER CITY (WTXF)- A new addition to Holocaust Memorial Plaza will remember victims of one of the most evil events of the 20th century.

The Philadelphia Holocaust Remembrance Foundation released a picture of proposed enhancements to The Monument to the Six Million Jewish Martyrs, at 16th Street and Ben Franklin Parkway.

A group of survivors commissioned the sculpture back in 1964. It was the first public monument in North America.

Now, as time goes by and Holocaust survivors pass away, there’s a new effort to preserve their words and experiences.

The goal is to create a destination landmark park with an educational and programmatic component that’ll teach visitors the uniquely tragic history of the Holocaust.

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