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Natural Awakenings Boston

March of the Living Program Takes Teens and Adults to Poland and Israel

Concerned by the Holocaust knowledge gap and denial of history that has become pervasive on college campuses, Irv Kempner, son of Holocaust survivors, has taken on the role of CEO of the New England Friends of the March of the Living (NEMOTL). MOTL is an international nonprofit organization which annually brings some 10,000 Jewish teens from around the world to Poland and Israel to study the history of the Holocaust and to examine the roots of prejudice, intolerance and hate. 

Donations are needed to ensure the perpetuation of March of the Living through its Teen Trip Scholarship Fund and other activities to create awareness, to promote and fund the upcoming trip on April 17 through May 1. The MOTL experience instills the necessity to "Never Forget" and of continuing to share the stories of Holocaust survivors for generations to come. An adult march will be held from April 20 to May 3.

In a 2018 survey, 31 percent of Americans—and 41 percent of millennials in that group—admitted they don’t believe that 6 million Jews were killed during the Holocaust. Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), is concerned about the level of Holocaust knowledge, particularly among young people: “The farther we move away from the terrible events of the Nazi era, the more creative we have to be in connecting young people, for whom it is all ancient history, to the horrors that took place—and how it is relevant to today’s society.”

A CUNY survey showed that 95 percent of past teen participants say the MOTL trip strengthened their Jewish identity and their bond with Israel. Ninety percent of respondents said MOTL made it more likely they would financially support Jewish causes, and 90 percent said they are now more inclined to get involved when confronted with anti-Semitism, such as on their college campuses.


Donations may be made online at MOTLNewEngland.org. For more information, call 508-846-2448 or email Development Chair Jim Slovin at [email protected] For information on registration for upcoming teen and adult marches, visit MOTLNewEngland.org.


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