Our goal in developing this archive has been to give a face and a voice to as many of the names engraved on the plaques in the JCC courtyard as possible.
It has been a three-year process gathering information and uncovering stories that have been stored away in binders and filing cabinets. Our hope is that the work will not end with the release of this project and that the website will be a living document that continues to grow as other families come forward and additional information is uncovered.
In the process I have had the privilege to personally meet a number of these individuals. And for those no longer with us, I have been able to watch and listen to the testimonies they have shared. In each case I have come away from the experience with a sense of that individual’s personality, character, and humanity.
The experiences that have been bravely shared in this archive have provided context for my own life. The daily challenges and frustration that we all experience pale in comparison to these stories. My hope is that sharing this information with younger generations will help them develop a similar context for their lives and an empathy for humanity, in all its varied colors, cultures, and beliefs.