Penny Daum Aldrich Endowment Fund

One goal of the Penny Daum Aldrich Endowment Fund, still unrealized, is to send a local high school teacher to the Summer Workshop offered by the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. This teacher would then return to our community with information and literature to help other teachers incorporate Holocaust studies into their curriculum.

In order to be able to provide these teacher scholarships, we need additional contributions to this endowment fund. This is a wonderful way to make tribute gifts “in honor of” or “in memory of” friends, loved ones or any special occasion.

Reflections on Yom Hashoah and Keeping the Memory Alive
Penny Daum Aldrich

Every time I attend a Holocaust remembrance service, I am overwhelmed by the stories and experiences shared by all survivors. I am equally saddened by the lack of young people in the audience. Holocaust survivors relive their horrific past experiences to share with us their painful memories. We need teens and young adults to be part of this collective memory. Who will remember to tell the stories of the 6 million Jews who never had the opportunity to speak in their own voices?

In 2006, I was inspired to set up an Endowment Fund for Holocaust Remembrance. The primary purpose of this fund is to promote and facilitate awareness and knowledge of the Holocaust of the Jewish people. This fund, in conjunction with the Marianne Roberts Holocaust Education Fund, sponsors a Holocaust Remembrance essay contest every year to encourage teens to learn about and to write an essay on the relevance of the Holocaust to their lives today.

When I set up this fund, I learned that the Midrasha didn’t offer a single course on the Holocaust. How can we expect others to remember the Shoah if our own children never have the opportunity to study it?

Another component of this fund is to serve as a resource both of people and of literature. I have been collecting personal histories and stories as well as encouraging those who have not documented their experience to do so (assistance is available for transcription).

In New Jersey, there is mandatory Holocaust instruction in every public school, beginning in kindergarten and continuing through 12th grade. My dream is for North Carolina and other states to have Holocaust education built into their curricula.

For the Holocaust to recede from Jewish memory would be unthinkable and yet another tragedy for its victims. If we do not continue to honor the memory of those who died in the Holocaust–who will?