Atlanta group plants daffodils to spread Holocaust awareness


Atlanta group plants daffodils to spread Holocaust awareness

The Downtown Daffodil Celebration includes 20,000 daffodils planted by Am Yisrael Chai, a non-profit Holocaust education and awareness organization. The Daffodils represent children who died in the Holocaust, and brings awareness to current children suffrage. A short commemoration will take place in the Northern portion of Woodruff Park at the open-air reading room beginning at noon Wednesday.

Woodruff Park is the home to 20,000 daffodils this spring, a new memorial to children lost in the Holocaust.

They were planted by Am Yisrael Chai; an Atlanta based non-profit that educates about the events.

A celebration of the blooming daffodils takes place at noon in the northern portion of the park at the Woodruff Park Reading Room Wednesday. There will be a small commemoration and guest speakers.

“This is the launching point of a much bigger project,” said Andrea Videlesfsky of Am Yisrael Chai.

The daffodil project in Woodruff Park is a part of an international effort to memorialize 1.5 million children who died during the Holocaust in Europe. Am Yisrael Chai aspires to plant the annual blooming daffodils around the world.

“In addition to remembering the children it’s also to bring awareness and to support children suffering and humanitarian crisis in the world today,” said Videlesfsky.

This will be the first bloom of the daffodil memorial in Woodruff Park; the flowers were planted in November.

“We chose the daffodil because of its shape and color,” said Andrea Videlesfsky of Am Yisrael Chai. “It is yellow which is the color of the remembrance and also in the shape of a star which is symbolic of the star the Jews were to wear during the Holocaust.”

The organization planted its first 1,800 bulbs in 2010.

“This event came together when thinking about remembrance and how we can pass that message on to the next generation, and to build a memorial that people will be able to remember forever,” said Videlesfsky.

Twenty-five thousands daffodils are planted in the Atlanta Botanical Gardens and more than 26,000 planted throughout Synagogues and schools in Atlanta. Am Yisrael Chai hopes to spread the significance of the memorials in the community.

Am Yisrael Chai has already planted 360 daffodils in Poland and more than 1,000 in Canada in its expanding worldwide efforts, with 75,000 daffodils planted to date.

“There is this kind of hope, for us it’s about beautifying the community but at the same time it is a significant message attached to the flower,” said A. J. Robinson, president of Central Atlanta Progress.

Am Yisrael Chai and its partner Central Atlanta Progress, a private not-for-profit corporation committed to creating a diverse economic climate for downtown Atlanta, would like to partner with the King Center to bring their daffodil vision to reality. They want to create a trail of daffodils starting from Woodruff park, down Auburn Avenue along the street car line, and ending at the new civil human rights museum opening later this year, combining memorial efforts of the three institutions, bringing beautification and awareness to the Atlanta community.

“We want to plant a ribbon of conscience that would stretch from the new civil human rights muesum through our downtown community and over to the King Center,” said Robinson.

“I think Atlanta is a very caring and well informed city, we have the ability to show to the world that we not only we care about beautification and how our city looks but also to make a meaningful statement.”

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