Holocaust Day: Remembering That We’re Still Here

May 01, 2024

For Holocaust Remembrance Day a few years back, social-musical initiative Koolulam partnered with Zikaron BaSalon for this unique and moving event that took place at Beit Avi Chai.

 

Since Koolulam aim at empowering communities and strengthening the fabric of society through communal singing events, and Zikaron BaSalon create a new, intimate, meaningful and accessible way to keep the memory of the Holocaust alive, it was only natural for Beit Avi Chai to join forces with these two initiatives on this day, which is all about remembering the Holocaust but also about reminding ourselves that there is a future ahead of us. And this future, of course, depends on the next generation.

 

And so, 600 Holocaust survivors and their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren gathered at Beit Avi Chai, marking Holocaust Memorial Day by simply singing together in harmony. The song that was chosen is Chai, meaning “alive” in Hebrew, composed by Avi Toledano to Ehud Manor’s lyrics.

 

Ofra Haza sang this song at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1983, which was held in Munich, Germany. According to Manor, he decided to write this anthem of victory and defiance of the Jewish people against those who tried to destroy it as soon as he heard that the contest was to be held on German soil. And indeed, hearing Haza chant the words “Chai chai chai, am Yisrael chai” (“Alive, alive, alive, the people of Israel is alive”) for all the world to hear, while standing on a stage in Germany, is enough to give you goosebumps.

 

Years later, 600 Holocaust survivors and their families came together in Beit Avi Chai’s warmly lit courtyard to sing this exact song, reaffirming beyond doubt that the people of Israel is still here and is here to stay.

 

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