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January 29, 2016 7:32 am

Holocaust Remembrance Foundation Launches Program to Teach Students About Evils of Global Genocide


avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

Wednesday's gathering of Holocaust survivors and survivors of the Rwandan genocide. The event took place on International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Photo:  Soron Abrams.

Wednesday’s gathering of Holocaust survivors and survivors of the Rwandan genocide. The event took place on International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Photo: Soron Abrams.

The founder of a Holocaust remembrance foundation told The Algemeiner on Thursday he hopes a new program introducing students to survivors of the Nazi and Rwandan genocides will teach that ethnic cleansing is a global problem.

“We do so much work on college campuses and high schools around the United States, and in a lot of the places we’re dealing [with] it’s very difficult sometimes for students to connect with people who aren’t similar to them,” said Jonny Daniels, founder and executive director of From The Depths. “And when we’re able to show that it’s not just a Jewish issue, that this is a world issue…for us, it’s a really important thing to show.”

The From The Depths program will take a joint delegation of students, Holocaust survivors and Rwandan genocide to visit Rwanda for 4-5 days, where they will meet survivors of the country’s genocide and key figures in the Rwandan government, including President Paul Kagame. The delegation will then travel to Eastern Europe and visit the sites of mass killings that took place during Holocaust, including Nazi concentration camps. The first trip will take place in April.

Daniels said the main idea behind the program is to bring together people “from all different walks of life and all different backgrounds” to learn from one another, and to teach and inspire others to prevent atrocities such as genocide from happening in the future to both Jews and non-Jews alike. He told The Algemeiner it’s important for Jews to say, “Never again” about the Holocaust, but to remember that we should feel the same way about all people subjected to such horrors.

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“It’s our social responsibility,” Daniels said. “It’s referring to all people. The human race. By partnering with people from all different religions and creeds and trades and so forth who unfortunately experienced similar things, it enables us to stand united as a stronger voice calling against genocides that are going on around the world. And not just against genocides but against anitsemitism in Europe and against all kinds of racial slurs.”

Daniels announced the program at a first-time gathering of Holocaust survivors and survivors of the Rwandan genocide in New York City on Wednesday, which also marked International Holocaust Memorial Day. He told the crowd, “By coming together as a collaboration of people from all walks of life, we show that together we will stand strong, make our voices heard, teach the next generation and instill in them the understanding that we are all responsible for each other.”

The program is open to high school and college students from the US, UK and Israel. Those interested in signing up can visit Fromthedepths.org.

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