A Passover Message from Lilli Jennison

A Passover Message from Lilli Jennison

Atlanta Jewish Times staff wishes our community Happy Passover.

Lilli Jennison
Lilli Jennison

You Can’t Spell Community without Unity

Unity means being together. Community is made up of people uniting. Right now, we need to unite as a community more than ever.

The Holocaust “ended” May 8, 1945. But did it ever really end? There are acts of antisemitism every week now in our own backyards. Most recently, there were swastikas and “Hail Hitler” drawn in pollen on a slide by the pool in my neighborhood. I was told about it by my neighbor, and she also told the president of the swim and tennis club. He had big promises to do something about it. He said he would let the neighborhood know via email that this is not OK and the board will be doing something about it. Or so he said…instead, a vague email went out only to members of swim and tennis, which is a small fraction of the neighborhood. My neighbors who aren’t members of the pool didn’t know a thing about it.

Jan Jaben-Elilon wrote about what happened in the news section of this issue. This must be shared with the community so we can unite and stand up and scream “never again” from the rooftops.

My grandpa, Bernie, was a Holocaust survivor. Most of his family was murdered during the war. Chana Kurtz was my grandpa’s sister. She and her husband had three small children. All we have left to remember of them is a photograph that somehow survived the war with Chana’s husband.

As a family, we hope and pray every day that those children somehow escaped and are still alive to this day. Bernie and Chana also had a brother, Benneck, who survived Auschwitz and a sister, Fajga, who we sadly don’t know as much about. My grandpa had PTSD after the war. Unfortunately, he didn’t talk much about what he went through. On my grandpa’s side, we have only one distant cousin that we know of.

We must honor those we lost and those who risked their lives to survive. We must honor them by not backing down to antisemitism. Not letting people get away with hatred. One thing my grandpa was always uncomfortable with was people wearing kippot or star of David. He went through so much just because he was Jewish that he wondered why people wanted to advertise it. This is something I disagree with because I show my Jewishness as much as I can. I am proud to be Jewish. People try to scare us by spreading hate, but we need to turn that around and spread love and be proud of who we are.

We must unite as a community to come together and stand up against hate.

Lilli Jennison is the Creative Director for the Atlanta Jewish Times.

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