About 70 Days for 70 Years
History of the Project
70 years ago over six million of our people were murdered in the darkest period of our history
In 1985, Rabbi Shapira attended the commemoration of Theresienstadt concentration camp, forty years after its liberation. Two thoughts struck him. First, could anything positive be taken from such a tragedy? The second thought was more worrying.
He, an orphan of the Holocaust, could personally remember the dark years of 1939 –1945, but what about his children and their children. How would they remember? He returned to Israel and contacted Yad Vashem. They supplied the names of thirty children who died in the Holocaust. He gave these names to thirty children in his home city of Netanya and asked each of them to learn in memory of one Holocaust victim.
It was this idea that inspired the project ‘50 Days for 50 Years’ in 1995. 5,000 Jewish students across the United Kingdom received the name of a victim of student age and were asked to learn in their memory for 50 days: a chance to remember the past to build the future.
Along with the name, students also received a pocket book containing fifty questions and ideas about various aspects of Judaism chosen by students from across the country. The answers were provided by scholars, rabbis and professors from around the world.
Ten years ago the ’60 Days for 60 Years’ project became an even greater success with over 100,000 participants worldwide, each receiving a book of essays and a memorial card to learn for one victim of the Shoah. Communities across the United Kingdom, South Africa, Australia, Canada, Israel and the USA were engaged in a global project to remember the past to build the future.
Another ten years have now passed since that project. However the idea remains as alive and relevant today as it was back in 1995. Then we remembered five thousand, ten years on we remember hundreds of thousands. Today we hope to remember millions.
The vision of this project is that there will be Jews of all ages from all over the world connecting to remember the past to build the future.
The Concept and Taking Part
70 years ago a nation rose up to gather us together to destroy us. 70 years on we are gathering together to learn in memory of those who were murdered and to learn for our future.
The 70 days will be used as a time of commemoration for the person in whose memory people will be learning for and for the town in which they lived: a person who had similar dreams, hopes, aspirations, until their life was tragically cut short. We shall reclaim their lives from the Holocaust; we shall as Former Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks said “give them a living memorial”.
Whether you are a community, an organisation or an individual, we urge you to get involved. Not just for a Jewish life that never had the chance, but also for us, Jews in 2015 who are the guardians of our three thousand year old heritage.
Be a part of one of the most ambitious and inspiring ideas ever attempted in the Jewish world. We all have a chance over the 70 days and beyond to remember a past that no longer is, and in those same two months we have a chance to help build the future. The Jewish future, our future.
70 Days for 70 Years project will begin worldwide, engaging hundreds of thousands of Jews in an uplifting educational and memorial programme.
Participants will receive a copy of a specially published book of 70 inspirational essays written by internationally renowned educators, historians and scholars – to be read, one a day. In addition, each participant will receive a memorial card giving the details of one victim of the Holocaust who they will learn in memory of.
The victims’ details are being provided by Yad Vashem from their Central Database of Shoah Victims’ Names.
The 7 entry points to 70 Days in 2015
In order to allow the maximum participation of communities worldwide, we have created various periods of 70 days throughout 2015, the 70th year since liberation.
|Sunday 25th Jan
|Shabbat 5th Apr
|Sunday 15th Mar||Shabbat 23rd May
|Sunday 19th Apr
|Shabbat 27th Jun|
|Sunday 5th Jul
|Shabbat 12th Sep
|Sunday 26th Jul
|Shabbat 3rd Oct
|Sunday 16th Aug
Final End of WW2
|Shabbat 24th Oct
|Sunday 28th Sep||Shabbat 5th Dec
*Significant calendar events on or around these dates