For the past 10 years, it’s been a massive effort to have a Holocaust memorial built on the Atlantic City Boardwalk. That dream, is getting closer to becoming fact.
Ventnor Rabbi, Gordon Geller, the religious leader of Shirat Hayam Synagogue said the memorial is ready for construction.
The funding is almost in place. It will take about six months to build.
The Roosevelt Pavilion Plaza is located on the Atlantic City boardwalk in Atlantic City, in front of the new Stockton University
The ACBHM is planning an erection at this site to memorialize the Holocaust and the acts of genocide and intolerance that happened during that horrific period in history. The planned memorial will be surrounded by the new Stockton facility, on the boardwalk.
The “Genocidal-Tsunami” design of ACBHM depicts imprisoned European Jewry during WW II engulfed by the diabolical Nazi scheme insidiously known as “The Solution to the Jewish Problem.”
Each rock represents one of the myriad European cities, towns and hamlets where significant Jewish populations resided; they also personify the martyred millions of individual Jewish men, women and children who were murdered in the Holocaust.
The en-caged stones additionally memorialize those multitudes of innocent victims of all other genocides during our contemporary 20th and 21st centuries thereby symbolizing the urgent need to continually combat human bigotry and intolerance.
The Atlantic City Boardwalk Holocaust Memorial, Inc. Committee will work with Stockton. Rabbi Geller was a history teacher for over 30 years, supporting the concept. Stockton University will soon provide develop an educational component.
Stockton University will not be providing any financing to erect the monument, but Stockton professors, staff and students helped the architect design the monument. to come up with the design.
“The New Jersey Holocaust Commission has a mandate to teach the Holocaust in schools, and this could be a way to bring the genocidal tsunami to life,” Rabbi Geller said.
The monument will be a destination site for visitors. It will raise the public’s consciousness about the atrocities of the Holocaust.
A diverse group of religious leaders of the different faiths support the effort: Jewish, Muslim, Catholic and Protestant.
The petition states: “In a city that represents diverse racial and ethnic populations, the placement of an educational and inspirational Holocaust Memorial Monument would be a symbol of universal tolerance and a positive statement for harmony and understanding.”
- The cost of building the memorial could top $1 million.
- Will the CRDA help financially? Good question. Let’s hope so.
- Architect Daniel Scott Mascione’s provided the final, winning design.
- It will be 10 feet high and has a metallic roofing that represents a wave, which is appropriate being so close to the ocean, and large number of rocks will be encased in a steel cage beneath. The wave really represents the tsunami that engulfed European Jewry.
- The rocks were inspired by the Jewish tradition of placing rocks on grave sites.
- A time capsule will be installed in the concrete base, which will bear the inscription of a famous quote by philosopher George Santayana, which in its original form stated, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
The monument will be located in the highly-traveled Boardwalk right-of-way and will have benches were visitors can sit and reflect on what they are viewing.
Atlantic City Council recently passed a resolution with approvals to construct and maintain the memorial at the Roosevelt Plaza pavilion.
Donna Marie Shea, chairwoman of the Atlantic City Arts Commission, said the memorial “powerfully captures and conveys emotion and the message about Genocide and the Holocaust” and that the monument provides “synergy with the surrounding environment.”
“It will be viewed by millions of people of all ages and backgrounds that stroll the world famous walking path of the Atlantic City Boardwalk each year”.
She said the memorial, just steps from the Stockton campus, will serve as a valuable tool for educators, who teach the Holocaust as part of the state’s Common Core Curriculum.
A gala, fundraising event will be held at Resorts Hotel Casino in June to raise the additional monies needed to build and maintain the monument.
“We have witnessed in recent years an increase in the establishment of memorials to the victims of the Holocaust around the world. As those who bore direct witness to this tragedy now pass from the scene, it is all the more important to insure that future generations will not forget. These memorials serve as an important reminder. With the approval you have received from the Atlantic City council, it will be possible for you and your colleagues to establish a Holocaust Memorial at a location that will be visited by millions of visitors each year. It is surely a very special opportunity.On behalf of the American Jewish committee let me wish you success in this important endeavor.”
Rabbi Andrew Baker, Director of International Jewish Affairs