January 27th marks the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust. Therefore, the Youth Connection Café for this month focused on the importance of this day, why it is important to remember the Holocaust and what the experiences of anti-Semitism look like in our world today.
The YCC was hosted by the Arizona Faith Network, and we are grateful to Vasu Bandhu and the team for their leadership and organisation in this regard!
The gathering opened with a prayer and lighting of candles in remembrance of the victims of the Holocaust.
We then listened to reflections of four speakers, who each shared their personal reflections on the day and the work that needs to be done to stand against antisemitism today.
Dani Beswick, a young student from the Progressive Jewish Community in South Africa shared:
“I think that Holocaust remembrance day is important not only to remember the tragedy that it was, but to ensure that the same mistakes are not repeated in any context or towards any group of people. I honestly think that in order to combat religious hate, education and safe spaces are the most important things as well as ensuring that we have the same standard of how we view or deal with any type of discrimination.”
Rosalia Gutierrez, URI Latin America and the Caribbean:
“I appreciate the interpretation in different languages to communicate. It was very important to listen to Abe's testimony, speaking from his family experience. It is important to remember and transmit it to young people.”
What was additionally special about this gathering is that, in accordance with the principle of linguistic justice, we were able to offer simultaneous interpretation in Spanish, Portuguese, Hindi, Bengali, and Russian, welcoming non-English speakers to further build friendly relations. We were therefore able to listen to reflections from participants in English, Russian and Spanish encouraging the active participation of speakers of all languages.
We connected deeply with personal heart-to-heart experiences, and left the event feeling inspired and supported in our work as makers of peace.