Education is the key to combating antisemitism
On Wednesday, Jan. 25, Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson and City Council Members Cara Mendelsohn and Jaynie Schultz welcomed members of the Jewish community to Dallas City Hall in recognition of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, which was observed on Jan. 27. The slate of speakers included Livia Link-Raviv, consul general of Israel to the Southwest; Igor Alterman, Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas, president and CEO; Joel Schwitzer, American Jewish Committee Dallas regional director; Kenny Goldberg, Texas Holocaust, Genocide and Antisemitism Commission chair; and Mary Pat Higgins, Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum president and CEO.
On display in the Dallas City Hall Lobby, through Jan. 31, was an exhibit that highlighted the story of world diplomats who were named Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem.
At the City Council meeting that followed the program, a mayoral proclamation making Jan. 27 Holocaust Remembrance Day in Dallas was made. Council members Mendelsohn and Schultz read statements into the record, and Alterman, Consul General Link-Raviv and Higgins addressed the Dallas City Council.
“It’s true that we’ve lost many of those survivors in recent years, but it’s important that we ensure that their voices never fade, and that we never forget what was lost. Because hate and evil are real. Those who espouse hate will come and go in our world but the hate still remains a constant threat. And only love and truth can drive out that hate.”
—Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson
“This [antisemitism] is a communitywide problem; hate, bigotry and the related violence must be addressed by all of us together. Because hatred is hatred is hatred, and we must continue to be vigilant and root it out from our communities.”
Israel consul general to the Southwest
“The Federation, its Jewish Community Relations Council and Community Security Initiative are working to build meaningful and lasting relationships between Jews and the communities of all faiths and ethnicities to cultivate those relationships, to increase cultural understanding with people and to enact positive and impactful change in the Dallas area. As memories fade and eyewitnesses disappear, it’s our obligation, it’s our commitment to make sure that this remains and the impact and the legacy of these people remains.”
president and CEO Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas
“During this week of Holocaust remembrance, there are so many stories to be shared, some of the pain and degradation — and yet others of hope and humanity. The stories highlighted by this exhibit inspire us and serve as a lesson of the impact one person can have by acting righteously, even when it’s difficult to do so.”
regional director, American Jewish Committee Dallas
“Our commission is charged with coordinating events throughout the state. And we’re doing that today in Dallas to educate, to teach the lessons of the Holocaust and other genocides to make sure that they never happen again to combat and dismantle antisemitism, also known as Jew hatred.”
chair Texas Holocaust, Genocide and Antisemitism Advisory Commission
“Just as hatred can be learned, it can be unlearned. Teaching about the Holocaust and instilling knowledge to this tragedy and people of all ages is one of the most effective ways to prevent additional prejudice, persecution and genocide. Teaching about people we call upstanders. Those who saw something wrong and work to make it right helps us understand the incredible impact individuals can have.”
—Mary Pat Higgins,
president and CEO of the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum
“We must hold each other accountable to standards we would want everyone to uphold. On this sacred day of remembrance, let us hold our heads high, because we are upstanders, protecting the rights of everyone in our city to live their best lives in dignity with respect.”
— Jaynie Schultz,
Dallas City Council member, District 11 at Jan. 25 City Council Meeting
“I share my personal story as part of Holocaust education. Growing up I would hear the stories of my grandparents about their village Hrubieshav… The Holocaust didn’t start with the concentration camps. It started with what we call today hate crimes and mass murder. The terror started with intolerance and demonization of any difference of opinion or way of life.”
— Cara Mendelsohn,
Dallas City Council member, District 12 at Jan. 25 City Council Meeting