Honoring Their Light
Honoring Our Survivors
Light of Our Survivors honors Holocaust survivors, their descendants, and the 6 Million Jewish lives lost in the Holocaust. An initiative of 6 Million Lights, its innovative light-making workshops foster conversation and community, as we gather together Holocaust Survivors, their descendants, and a diverse mix from the interfaith community. We share stories, memories, and wisdom while creating beautiful illuminated paper lamps that serve as luminous reminders of each maker’s intention to share light with the world.
Raye David (Survivor of Auschwitz)
Light of Our Survivors is an urgent focus, given the increasing age of our Survivors. Our window of opportunity is narrow and closing quickly. This will be our last chance to share light with living Survivors.
Nate – Camp survivor
But our focus is not just on Survivors. We need to support and encourage the descendants of Survivors to also share their stories and to bear witness, so that the light of our Survivors will shine on.
Melissa and Zoe, 3rd and 4th generation descendants
Honoring and Celebrating
Unlike many Holocaust projects that focus on the history of the Holocaust and on remembrance, the main objective of Light of Our Survivors is simply to honor our Survivors and descendants and celebrate the light they’ve found in their lives and shared with the world.
We know that sharing their stories can exact an emotional toll. Light of Our Survivors offers them a gentle, kind invitation to participate in community while sharing as much or as little of their story as they desire.
“My lamp is my beacon of goodness, it glows and orients me over and over again to all the good. Keep on doing this – it’s marvelous.”
– Judith, 90 year old practicing psychologist and member of the Resistance in Rotterdam.
The mere presence and participation of Survivors strongly impacts workshop participants.
As one participant shared, “Making lights alongside Survivors was a once in a lifetime experience for me.”
Although our priority is honoring Survivors and descendants, these workshops are also profoundly educational and can complement Holocaust education in four ways:
1. Illuminating the Light That was Lost
By honoring and highlighting the light that shines forth in our Survivors and their descendants, we can begin to illuminate how much light was lost with the 6 Million Jewish victims of the Holocaust.
2. Sharing Light: A Rich Educational Experience
Our participants – a rich mix of interfaith, intergenerational and interethnic light-makers – find it invaluable to participate in a deep workshop experience with living Survivors and descendants.
“I will never forget the people I met and the lamp in this way puts flesh and blood on the stories that are otherwise disembodied.” – K.G.
3. A Gentle Invitation to Survivors and Descendants
Recognizing the emotional impact that “testimony” may exact on Survivors and descendants, these workshops offer a gentle opportunity to share light and be honored in a supportive communal setting.
“…a great joyful, enlightening program. My light will remind me how precious is our people, how short is our time on earth. Light is what the world needs now, more than ever.” – Eva, a Holocaust survivor and educator.
4. A Welcome Doorway for participants and potential future Holocaust educators.
Because we offer a kind, gentle, open invitation to Survivors and descendants, it is an easier entryway for those who have not previously attended a Holocaust-related event. Some Survivors and descendants go on to become educators.
A Unique Program
Light of Our Survivors is unique among Holocaust projects – it is experiential rather than passive and allows participants to share presence with Holocaust survivors and their descendants as they exchange stories and make lamps together. It utilizes the powerful theme of light to dispel the darkness of the Holocaust. We build upon a foundation of meaning to create positive intention.
But the workshop experience doesn’t end with the workshop. Participants bring the workshop experience home with them as beautiful lamps which serve as luminous reminders of each participant’s commitment to bring more light to the world.