On November 9, 2021, the 83rd anniversary of Kristallnacht (“Night of Broken Glass”), Hoosiers from across the state came together to remember and honor the survivors and victims of the Holocaust. For the past 23 years, the Indy JCRC has partnered with the Indiana Civil Rights Commission and the State of Indiana to host the State of Indiana’s Holocaust Remembrance Program at the Indiana Statehouse. During the program, Indy JCRC and ICRC were proud to present the Never Again Ambassador Award to Hasten Hebrew Academy of Indianapolis and the Greater Lafayette Holocaust Remembrance Committee, as well as the Hoosier Upstander Award to educator Tony Gonczarow.
Lindsey Mintz, the Executive Director of the Indianapolis JCRC, had this to say about the event:
By officially hosting this remembrance program each year the State of Indiana asserts its commitment to educating about the Holocaust, honoring the memories of 6 million Jews killed, and hearing the powerful stories of survivors and their children. With the alarming rise in antisemitism in America and around the world, with fewer living survivors remaining, and with an appallingly low understanding of the Holocaust among young people, Holocaust education is more critical today than ever. The JCRC works throughout the year to help Hoosiers understand the dangers of unchecked antisemitism, and how its resurgence in the 21st century is the ‘canary in the coal mine’ with respect to the overall health of our society to successfully combat discrimination, bigotry, and xenophobia against all marginalized communities. JCRC not only fights against antisemitism, but also raises awareness about contemporary mass atrocities, which continue to unfold around the world today.
State of Indiana Holocaust Remembrance Program Award Recipients
We are delighted to announce the 2021 State of Indiana Holocaust Remembrance Program Award Recipients. The three award recipients are being honored for their continued work in the space of Holocaust education and building bridges of understanding.
Hoosier Upstander Award:
Awarded to an individual or organization that has shown a commitment to using the lessons of the Holocaust to inspire Hoosiers to stand up in the fight against hate and bigotry, and to actively promote respect and understanding.
This year’s recipient is: Tony Gonczarow, Science Teacher, Southmont High School (Crawfordsville, IN)
Never Again Ambassador Award
Awarded to an individual or organization that has shown a commitment to Holocaust education and creates meaningful spaces for both the memories and lessons of the Holocaust to never be forgotten so that such atrocities never again happen.
This year’s recipients are: The Hasten Hebrew Academy of Indianapolis and The Greater Lafayette Holocaust Remembrance Committee
Winners of the Hoosier Student Holocaust Remembrance Artistic Expression Contest
We invited Hoosier middle and high school students to submit an original piece of art or writing in response to the following prompt:
Wherever men or women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must—at that moment—become the center of the universe.
— Elie Wiesel
We are proud to announce this year’s winners are Lily Thomas and Addy Cooper, both students at Shenandoah Middle School in Middletown, IN. Their art can be viewed above, or here, and will be on display at the Indiana State Museum throughout November.