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Join March of the Living’s ‘Let There Be Light’ Initiative on November 9

For the second year, March of the Living is marking Kristallnacht, the November 9-10 pogrom of 1938 in Germany and Austria that spawned the soon-to-come attempts at the annihilation of the Jewish communities in Europe. Through their “Let There Be Light” program, March of the Living is urging families, houses of worship and public institutions to keep their lights on the night of Tuesday, November 9 in a show of solidarity against antisemitism, racism, hatred and intolerance.

Since launching the campaign in 2020, March of the Living has reached millions around the world, brought together over 700 houses of worship of all faiths and partners from over 75 countries and has been featured in over 120 news outlets worldwide. Their message of spreading light over the darkness of hate was displayed on the facade of the Coventry Cathedral in the United Kingdom and on the walls of the Old City in Jerusalem. It is hoped that this year even more families and institutions will join by simply lighting the night against the senseless hate that has reared its ugly head once again.

In the words of Phyllis Greenberg Heideman, president of the International March of the Living, “Over the last year we have witnessed a frightening rise in global antisemitic rhetoric and events. As the torchbearer of memory, the March of the Living’s mission is to remind the world what happens when antisemitism is left unchecked. The ‘Let There Be Light’ initiative unites the world, if even for a single moment, against antisemitism, hatred and racism in all its forms. Our educational mission is today more necessary than ever.”

Co-sponsoring the initiative is Facebook, whose COO Sheryl Sandberg stressed the importance of the program. “It is unacceptable that Jews are afraid to go to synagogues, afraid to wear a kippah, or to wear a chain with a Star of David in public. Jews across the world are living in fear every day and absorb violence and threats. Facebok is proud to support Holocaust educational initiatives such as ‘Let There Be Light’ to commemorate Kristallnacht through the call to leave a symbolic light on during the night of November 9.”

In addition to keeping the lights on in a show of solidarity throughout the world, March of the Living, in conjunction with the Miller Center for Community Protection and Resilience at Rutgers University, the USC Shoah Foundation and the Raoul Wallenberg Center for Human Rights, will present a virtual program on November 9 at 8 p.m. The program will be accessible on the Jewish Broadcasting Service (JBS), MOTL.org, Facebook Live and YouTube.

Featured will be testimony from survivors of Kristallnact, as well as leaders of organizations throughout the world engaged in fighting antisemitism and other forms of hatred, including Paul Miller, founder of the Miller Center for Community Protection and Resilience at Rutgers University, who will be presented with a special award by Natan Sharansky, human rights activist and chair of ISGAP and Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Center. Malcolm Hoenlein, vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of American Jewish Organizations, and Irwin Cotler, founder and chair of the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights and former minister of justice and attorney general of Canada, will also take part in the program.

Moshe Leon, mayor of the city of Jerusalem, is looking forward to once again lighting up the Old City Walls on the night of November 9 in solidarity with communities around the world to mark Kristallnacht. “I am excited to hold, for the second time, the important activities of the March of the Living in the most symbolic place for the Jewish people,” he said. “It is our obligation to be dedicated to commemorating the Holocaust, to continue to find appropriatte ways for the era in which we live in order to continue to tell people about the horrors of the past. For this reason, I am excited by the ‘Let There be Light’ campaign. It is important that the world will hear and know and that it will never be forgotten.”

The International March of the Living is an annual educational program, bringing individuals from around the world to Poland and Israel to study the history of the Holocaust and to examine the roots of prejudice, intolerance and hatred.

To join the November 9 “Let There Be Light “Commemoration, go to https://kristallnacht.motl.org. To watch the virtual program, tune in to JBS on Tuesday, November 9 at 8 p.m. or join through Facebook Live or YouTube.

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