Fighting Anti-Semitism and Bigotry: The Weil Family Fund 🚫🤬✡️
Quotes have been slightly edited for clarity.
In 1938, when he was only 12 years old, Arthur Weil was shipped out of Nazi Germany on the Kindertransport on the eve of the Holocaust. Though himself spared from the worst of the Holocaust, Weil nevertheless lost all his family — except, miraculously, his parents — to the unadulterated cruelty and barbarity the Nazis wrought upon the Jews of Europe.
Since then, he has made it his life’s work — as both a poet and high school history teacher — to promote Holocaust education, often through his own story and experience, so that such an atrocity never happens again.
But even though Weil is at a ripe age of 92, there is still much work to be done to ensure we continue to heed the lessons of the Holocaust for generations to come. After all, Weil says “never again,” not “not again for the next 50, 100, or 1000 years,” and he means it.
That’s why he has established the Weil Family “Never Again” Fund, an endowment that will — in perpetuity — fight the evil specter of racism, anti-Semitism, and bigotry by supporting programs that educate, engage, and empower people to create a truly inclusive and just society.
Examples of possible future programs that may come about because of the endowment include lectures, presentations, museum exhibits, film screenings, online resources, and others. Reflecting Weil’s beliefs of the importance of reaching youth, his fund will especially seek out programs for teens and young adults.
“Even though I’m 92, I still go out to schools. I’m very concerned about the nature of hate and tolerance,” he said. “Everybody has some prejudices, and once you learn these feelings, it’s very hard to change. Especially if learned from childhood, it’s almost impossible to get rid of them. And that is why anti-Semitism, as stupid as it is, persists.”
“My mother put me on a ship in 1938, and the Jewish Family Service in Chicago took care of me for about three years. I’m eternally grateful for them, and the Jewish organizations all over, for helping me.”
May the lessons of the Holocaust, and the memories of those who perished, never be forgotten. Come join us for a community commemoration of Yom Ha’Shoah:
*Sunday, April 8 from 3:00 – 4:30 pm at Congregation B’nai Shalom (74 Eckley Lane, Walnut Creek).
*Wednesday, April 11 from 7:30 – 9:00 pm at Congregation Beth El (1301 Oxford Street, Berkeley)
Both commemorations are free and open to the public.
Have you considered a legacy gift to Federation? A charitable gift in your will, trust, retirement account, or life insurance policy will let you be there for future generations after you are gone. Your bequest will be added to permanent endowments, creating a permanent source of funding to address the needs and priorities of every succeeding generation. You don’t have to be wealthy. You can designate a small percentage of your estate or the remainder of your retirement plan. There is no minimum or maximum gift amount; all gifts are appreciated and recognized. Contact Joanne Neuman, Director of Development, at 510.809.4908 or firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more, or tell us about your legacy gift plans.