LWA Antics

‘Never again,' honoring Holocaust Remembrance Day


Lawrence Woodmere Academy hosted a beautiful assembly on Jan. 26 to recognize and honor the observance of Holocaust Remembrance Day that was the following day.

Both Middle and Upper School students were called to the auditorium where lights were dimmed, curtains were drawn, and candles lined the pathways on that Friday. 

Curated by students and faculty that identify with the Jewish community, the assembly progressed through its prepared program.

It began with quiet reverence to the instrumental “Hatikvah” — Israel’s national anthem translating to “The Hope,” symbolizing peace, strength, and endurance through hardship.

A brilliant man was welcomed to the stage: Professor Asher Matathias. The Woodmere resident generously shared his brave and powerful story with the LWA family, discussing everything from his birth in a cave in German-occupied Greece to his journey to the United States while building his wonderful family.

Students followed his presentation with the recitation of various facts and statistics, along with hand-selected poetry written by survivors themselves while the subtle melody of “When You Believe” underscored their voices.

The Holocaust is, though a period of history, an event that occurred not too long ago. There are people — both victims and perpetrators — still here today.

We are lucky to be able to listen to survivors share these vulnerable memories, memories of which did not need to be shared with us, but were, due to the bravery and strength of men like Asher Matathias.

We thank the professor for returning to our school to educate us and ensure that history isn’t forgotten, thank the students and faculty who worked hard and overcame the fear of the stage to honor the survivors and those lives lost to genocide, and thank the audience for remaining patient and respectful. 

The Holocaust might be a memory, becoming ever more distant, but we live in a day and age where antisemitism is at an ultimate high. Please remember this, and remember us.