We should ask ourselves are we doing enough to raise our voices and take action against increasing hatred and violence in our communities and around the world.
The development of the new community sensory and memorial garden at Congregation Or Atid’s Gan Chesed kindness garden will strive to create a welcoming, safe space for all persons to play and learn side by side.
We seek to help build a bridge for peace, kindness, and understanding within the community.
As its first event, Congregation Or Atid has partnered with The Daffodil Project, a project of Am Yisrael Chai! — a nonprofit Holocaust education and awareness organization. Their goal is to plant 1.5 million daffodils in memory of the children who perished during the Holocaust and in support of children who continue to suffer in genocides and other humanitarian crises around the world today.
A couple of weeks ago, Congregation Or Atid planted 250 daffodil bulbs in our new community memorial garden to remember Kristallnacht. The Holocaust memorial garden and its sensory garden is being developed in coordination with dedicated volunteers from Or Atid along with students from the Religious School. The gardens are supported in part by generous contributions from the Jewish Community Federation of Richmond and Richmond Jewish Foundation.
Safe and Welcoming Place
The gardens will provide a safe and welcoming place for all faiths to attend small events and workshops.
The daffodil flower is purposefully planted in our memorial garden to recall the memory of the Holocaust children because of its 6 petals that reminds us of the six million Jews who perished, its yellow color to reminds us of the yellow star the Jewish people were required to wear on their clothes, and the flower. which is dormant during the winter months but returns in the spring, giving us hope for the future.
Our memorial daffodil garden offers a unique, hands-on approach to allow for students to remember the children of the Holocaust. One of the overall goals of the memorial garden is to honor the legacy of those lost and its Survivors and to help students better understand Holocaust history and its lasting legacies.
The mission of the Gan Chesed sensory garden is to create a cohesive community and become a place of interest for those who want to engage all their senses in nature. The sensory garden and play space are designed to teach children about Judaism through sensory play and hands on gardening and learning Jewish values and traditions.
Congregation Or Atid’s Gan Chesed will evolve to become a multi-phased communitywide initiative. Stay tuned for more news about additional educational programs and celebrations in the days ahead.
If you would like to become involved in Congregation Or Atid’s Gan Chesed kindness garden project with volunteering your time and/or donations, please visit our web site at www.oratid/ganchesed.com.