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                     Arsenal to Combat Hate

                      By Andy Allen, Art Director SCOPE

                                                                 but repeated over and over again, becomes “truth” to some, in
                                                                 respect to the Holocaust, even to the point of denial.
                                                                 South Carolina is in the “bible belt” of socially conservative
                                                                 Protestant Christians who play strong roles in society and
                                                                 politics. So, it comes as no surprise that in Charleston a coalition
                                                                 of Christians and Jews have started a monthly assembly, with
                                                                 prominent speakers beginning conversations about Jew-hating.
                                                                 The most recent meeting had the author of My Brother’s Keeper,
      The escalation of anti-Semitic behavior by celebrities and legis-  Christians who risked all to protect Jewish targets of the Nazi
      lators in recent months, should cause alarm for us as Jews. But   Holocaust, Rod Gragg speak. Professor Gragg has written a num-
      what can we do to combat this hate?                        ber of acclaimed books on American history. His research can be
                                                                 found in Yad Vashem, The World Holocaust Remembrance Center in
      The following are various ways we can battle anti-Semitism.   Israel and the U. S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC.
      In the Charleston area, Holocaust survivor, Joe Engel, travels   Each chapter of My Brother’s Keeper has a story of a Christian
      among the local schools presenting his story of survival, stim-  who went above and beyond to save Jews, directly helping them
      ulating conversations among the students and teachers. High   survive and or escape to other safe havens. The book is a worth-
      Schoolers read about the Shoah and in some cases interview the   while read. It helps us understand that those of faith, who follow
      aging survivors that are still with us. Mr. Engel, at 95 years old,   their ethical beliefs, are truly righteous and choose to do the
      does what he can with the assistance of the Charleston Jew-  right and moral action, by putting others ahead of themselves.
      ish Federation, but surely that is not enough. Unfortunately, it
      remains a small percentage of school children aware of genocide   Gragg said he is currently interested in the years 1928 to 1938
      in history.                                                Europe, that led up to the Shoah in his understanding of the
                                                                 Holocaust. I’m confident that may be his next book.
      The Charleston Public library held a live virtual tour of Auschwitz
      Birkenau Concentration Camp at the new Wando branch audito-  Genocide does not occur in a vacuum. Understanding history of
      rium, November 9th, commemorating Kristallnacht, sponsored   where we came from, and the actions that were taken, serves as
      by Southern NCSY in partnership with CCPL. Opening the presen-  guardrails to our future destiny. I can only suggest that we all
      tation, several people spoke beginning with Fred Volkman, child of   should take steps to hold events commemorating the Shoah in
      Holocaust survivors, then Rabbi Sholom Mimran, of Congregation   all our communities in our battle against hate.
      Dor Tikvah and finally, Mount Pleasant Mayor Will Haynie. Each   May the wondrous light of our collective menorahs drive the
      preparing the audience for the presentation and its importance to   darkness of hate out, and bring love and happiness to our world.
      be remembered, so such chaos and death may not surface again.
                                                                 Ellen & I wish everyone a safe and festive Chanukah.
      Jerzy Wojcik, of the Holocaust Memorial Partnership, conducted
      the tour by first presenting the history of Auschwitz, Poland. He
      then took the attendees on a live two-hour tour of the city and
      the concentration camps, now a museum. He explained in detail
      the systematic genocide of millions, primarily Jews, at the once
      Polish army camps. There were over a hundred attendees for a
      midweek evening event. That evening I learned new things about
      the sprawling camps, making it even more horrific, but does this
      shock presentation help persuade people bent on hate?
      We as Jews, many of us children of survivors, have been taught
      about the atrocities and still feel the tremendous loss of loved
      ones. It is important for future generations to comprehend how
      such genocide can occur again. Genocide occurs in small stages
      and it can go unnoticed until it is too late. It starts out as lan-
      guage. Terms of hate, innocuous as it may seem, changes and
      shifts peoples’ perception. It can start out as a flippant rumor,   Coalition organizers, Stuart Kaufman, Israel Ambassadors of Goodwill Kathleen and Earl Cox,
                                                                 Rev. Dr. George Kugblenu and guest speaker Professor Rod Gragg. November 15, 2022.

                                                  SCOPE Magazine Chanukah 2022    7
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