The summer before I entered sixth grade, my teacher assigned Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl as summer reading. From that point on, I knew that if I ever visited Amsterdam, I would visit the Frank family’s hiding place detailed in the compelling diary. The almost one million visitors to Anne Frank’s house in Amsterdam in 2006, as reported by Ha’aretz, verifies that, like me, people all over the world are interested in seeing the apartment where this young symbol of the Holocaust kept her diary.
The Holocaust is a major point of self-identification for Jews as evidenced by numerous visitors to the Frank’s Amsterdam apartment. Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, is still months away (April 15, 2007), but it is not too early to start planning a memorial program. Most North Americans have studied the Holocaust and are aware of its ongoing impact upon society. This includes unaffiliated, unengaged, and interfaith families. Explicitly invite and welcome all who are interested to your remembrance ceremony in order to include these populations. This year, open your Yom Hashoah commemoration to everyone—because no one should forget.