Tears for Our Country

-Deanne Scherlis Comer

I, like so many, am weeping at the words I heard yesterday from the leader of our beloved country.

Moreover, I am wondering if any of the president’s supporters who have any shred of moral credibility left are looking at themselves in the mirror and asking, “What have I done?” And when will other members of that coterie of his inner circle show some backbone and call out, loudly and clearly, the heinous words and actions that have tarnished this presidency?

This is the time to be an “upstander” and not a “bystander” in our daily interactions as well. Our children, whose footsteps are shaping the path of our nation’s history, are listening.

This is the time to remember and honor all those who have stood up and fought against Nazism, Fascism and global genocides at any level.

March by white nationalists carrying torches in Charlottesville. Photo:

White nationalists marching in Charlottesville. Photo: All InOne News video.

This is the time to remember the diminishing number of Holocaust survivors who are the heroic remnants of the horror inflicted by racial and ethnic hatred.

This is the time to feel empathy for the African Americans who still feel the inequalities, for the moderate Muslims who feel threatened, and for the undocumented, law-abiding immigrants who want a fair opportunity and path to citizenship.

My father fled the pogroms of Communist Russia and always cautioned me about speaking out on issues I believed in. He felt that as a Jew, I should keep a low profile. “Well,” I told him, “Elie Wiesel believed that even if no one is listening, we need to yell against injustice so others don’t change us!”

So, as a human being, as the daughter of an immigrant, as an American Jewish woman, as a mother, as a grandmother and as a Holocaust educator, I will continue to speak my mind.

Hillel said, “If not now, when?”

Deanne Scherlis Comer is past chair of Abington School District’s Holocaust Curriculum Committee and is an education consultant for the Holocaust Awareness Museum and Education Center of Delaware Valley.

Holocaust Awareness Museum and Education Center’s Annual Auction & Dinner

The Holocaust Awareness Museum and Education Center (HAMEC) of Philadelphia is holding its 55th annual auction and dinner. This year, we will be honoring Hal Kessler and Donald Wittenberg, as well as celebrating the legacy of HAMEC.

HAMEC is the premier provider of Holocaust education programs for young people in the Delaware Valley. In the last school year alone, HAMEC completed nearly 500 programs and reached over 43,000 students. With the passage of Pennsylvania’s new Holocaust and genocide education law and its implementation, which began this fall, those numbers are expected to increase exponentially. The museum has been dedicated to educating students about the consequences of intolerance and hate. Each year museum programs reach thousands of students through Holocaust survivor presentations, school visits and videos, as well as plays through our Anne Frank Theater Project.

Ticket prices for the annual auction and dinner: $95 per person; $175 per couple
RSVP: info@hamec.org or 215-464-4701
More information: Geoff Quinn, HAMEC program director, 215-464-4703 or geoff@hamec.org