Santa Clara Holocaust Remembrance Event Includes Other Faiths

April 24, 2006

Source: The Mercury News

On April 24, 2006 The Mercury News reported, "For this year's Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony, Sukhdev Singh Bainiwal, a Sikh, will light a candle in remembrance of the millions killed. He will be joined by an American Indian, a Buddhist, an African-American and a rabbi.

For the first time in its decade-long history, more than half of the sponsors of Santa Clara County's remembrance day are not Jewish. It's the result of a concerted effort to change perceptions that the Holocaust is 'a Jewish issue,' said Bart Charlow, director of the Silicon Valley Conference for Community & Justice, one of the ceremony's organizers... Across the country, people have been broadening the lessons of the Holocaust, using it as a platform to discuss everything from tolerance to Darfur, where the ethnic-based fighting has been labeled a genocide, said Jerry Fowler, staff director of the Committee on Conscience with the U.S. Holocaust Museum.

What Santa Clara County is doing -- featuring non-Jews in the events -- is less common, he said. But organizers here say there are myriad reasons their approach makes sense, including similarities in how genocidal campaigns arise, the area's relatively small Jewish population, and the hope that groups working together now will probably stand up for each other later."