Holocaust Museum LA is the first survivor-founded Holocaust museum in the United States. Its genesis dates to the 1960s, when a group of survivors met and discovered that each of them had a photograph, document or personal item from before the war. They decided that these artifacts needed a permanent home where they could be displayed safely and in perpetuity. They also wanted a place to memorialize their dead and help to educate the public so that no one would ever forget.
What will I be doing?
The Museum’s B’nai Mitzvah: Acts of Memory project offers students preparing for their Bar or Bat Mitzvah the opportunity to remember a child who perished in the Holocaust. We match each student with a child who has a similar name or who was born in a city or country that has special meaning for the student’s family. Once matched, we provide information about the child’s life and family, historical context, and suggestions for ways to remember the child, such as mentioning the child in a dvar Torah, or doing mitzvot as a way to commemorate and honor.
Evoking the Hebrew phrase “L’Dor V’Dor,” or “from generation to generation,” L’Dough V’Dough invites participants to braid and bake challah or cookies with Survivors at the Museum, synagogues and school campuses. While kneading the dough, students and Survivors share, remember, and bond — one generation to the next — in an environment conducive to asking questions and encouraging dialogue. The casual setting emulates a dinner conversation, providing an entry point and safe place for students as young as third graders through adults to learn about this complicated history and engage on a personal level with Survivors in important, age-appropriate conversations, focused on the Holocaust, Jewish culture and heritage, and social action.