In May, JewishBoston culture reporter Judy Bolton-Fasman described the scene at Boston’s Yom HaShoah ceremonies: “Tourists at Faneuil Hall strolled by groups of young families in turquoise T-shirts. Standing stock-still in a ‘frozen memorial,’ these groups were a gathering of human statues—a silent presence for a symbolic six minutes. This was their living memorial to the 6 million Jews who perished in the Holocaust. The signs they held boldly told onlookers ‘Never Forget.’”
This group consisted of third-generation survivors, part of a nonprofit group called Boston 3G. Many were with their young children, who are great-grandchildren of the survivors.
Lisa Einstein is the 3G group’s vice president. The group formed in 2009 to solidify their shared histories and to keep the survivors’ memories alive; it started with movie screenings, wine nights and volunteer activities, but blossomed into far more, something that has grown personal for her own young children.
“Many families didn’t want to leave food on the table; some were overprotective. It’s nice to have a community that understands this quirky shared piece,” she says.
These days, many of these survivor grandchildren have small kids of their own, and it’s time to teach them lessons from the Holocaust.
At this year’s May ceremony, these young children led survivors from Faneuil Hall to the New England Holocaust Memorial to place rocks that they’d hand-painted for peace. They dubbed them “Rocks of Remembrance,” much like leaving rocks at Jewish grave sites to honor the deceased.
It was a moving event, but the group’s youth education continues year-round, both within their own families and in the community. 3G often partners with organizations like Facing History and Ourselves to educate school groups about the Holocaust and the importance of tolerance and acceptance.