Voices of Hope Statement on Charlottesville

Dear Friends and Members of Voices of Hope:
The violence in Charlottesville this past weekend has shown that hate exists and is still actively a part of our culture. These perpetrators of hate were well organized and prepared to provoke violence. They walked the streets chanting Nazi and anti-Semitic slogans; they spouted racial epithets; they posted Holocaust imagery on their websites; and shouted unrepeatable vitriol at Jewish worshippers in a nearby synagogue. These are the same thoughts and actions that led to the events of the Holocaust and other genocides.
There is no place in our society for hate, intolerance, bigotry or injustice. We understand what can ensue when people remain indifferent and fail to take a stand when evil rears its ugly head. We must continue to educate and teach how important it is to stand up and speak out.
No individual should be intimidated for their religious beliefs. No one should be singled out for their race, sexual orientation or any other trait that makes them different. Voices of Hope is committed to condemning hate speech in any form but also to teaching that we cannot forget the past, we cannot be bystanders and that we have an obligation to speak up. We are committed to sharing the testimony and lessons of the Holocaust.
Voices of Hope will continue to bring young people to hear firsthand testimony and create the opportunity for them to learn about how the Holocaust and Genocide are related to both historic and current events that echo the worst instances of man’s inhumanity to man. Our goal is to engage more teachers and students to examine how to critically face racism, anti-Semitism and bigotry and to understand that prejudice is the catalyst that leads to violence and ultimately genocide.
Voices of Hope is here to stand with you in teaching, learning and making a difference through Holocaust and genocide education. We have curriculum, speakers and resources available to help you make a difference. We will continue our mission to foster a culture of courage and social action against hate, bigotry, intolerance and indifference.
Sincerely,
Peter Fishman
President, Voices of Hope
Alan Berkowitz
Vice President, Voices of Hope