Sunday, May 4, 2014

Choosing It

There are moments we want to last forever, and moments we want to forget immediately after they occur. Each are emotional, each consuming.
And then there are moments which are both. So hard that we feel the urge to avoid or change the subject or make light… yet also so important that we become extra-present to focus in on every nuance. These are the ones which are the most important to capture. Yet maybe the trickiest.

As human beings, we avoid pain. It’s basic human instinct. It’s easy to avoid a topic, to instead focus forward, just not go there. Many do just that… maybe a whole generation… because it’s frankly much easier and way more pleasant that way. 

Everything about genocide and the Holocaust creates this conflicted tension. Most of us don’t seek it out, but listen uncomfortably when we’re told about it. We don’t want to think about the details, but once we hear a bit, want to understand exactly what, how and with what gruesome precision it happened. We want to block the images out, but they haunt us with a sense of importance. The more we understand it, the less we can understand it. 
And articulating it can feel daunting.

So here we are with a project to help you capture and hold onto the very thing we instinctively want to avoid thinking about? And we’re asking you to make a statement about this thing that’s full of conflicting senses and hard to express? Hmm. 

There’s a twist. 
We know that there’s a cycle with anything dark or painful. We can avoid it, we can hope it just never gets dark again… or we can move through it to bring in some light. We’ve created P6M out of our own commitment to bring light to the dark, and positively impact humanity with what we know.
Not to forget, but to learn from. 
Not to dwell in it, but to create something different out of it.
Not to live in the past, but to have the past live in us to inspire every choice we make.  

So… rather than avoiding or being overcome by it, choose now how to be changed by it.
With your awareness of the atrocities of genocide and Holocaust, what can you capture and harness for impact later?  
What do you want to remember? 
How do you want this awareness to influence the way you think, choose and interact? 
What do you want to commit to from this? What do you want to honor or remember? 

We know that our collective future will be shaped by the individual answers to those questions from each one of us. These are our statements.
That’s why we’ve created Project6Million, and why one of our favorite parts is where we send your statement back to you in intervals… in two weeks, in 6 months, in a year, in two years, with the same questions every time: “What does it stir in you now? What can it to spark or shape in your life now?” ...Just in time for wherever you'll be in your life, to make impact right there. 

We have no doubt that the collective, deliberate light of every one of us out of the darkness we understand.. will create a different world forward. 

Capture your statement before another minute passes…

(And don’t worry- you can edit it any time.)

Tuesday, April 29, 2014


On a stage yesterday, standing 20 feet away from the crematorium that incinerated 1.5 million of my people in Auschwitz-Birkenau we did much more that deliver a call to action and new process to the 15,000 assembled there.

We actually brought and will continue to bring through P6M...
Light to the dark.
Energy to the void.
Creation to the loss.
Life to the death.
Action to the remembrance.
Hope to the sadness.
Color to the gray.
Generation to the frustration.
Positive to the negative.
Healing to the shattered.
Commitment to the question.
New relief to the survivors.
Young strength to carry the torch.

I felt a shift in that place, a light breaking through.
This is the beginning of a new way to look at remembrance, memorial and what humanity's capable of... and all about us (you included) creating what's possible forward.

Capture what that means for you, right now....

Monday, April 28, 2014

Today was the March of the Living, and Project6Million was there! However, as I try to think of words to describe the impact we made today and how we were impacted, I am stumped. What words could possibly be adequate to depict the sea of blue jackets and shining faces overtaking one of the darkest places in Jewish history.
Instead, I will share a poem that was written today by a woman I met on The March. Her name is Judie Berger, and after I explained P6M to her, she promptly composed this:

Among the bricks and stones and pain
We come to show we live again.
We cannot be diminished- we will not go away
The Judaism rises in generations every day.

The world will spin- we all will grow
The world gets smaller- as you know
But the Jew survives- and we know why
For all the earth- Am Yisrael Chai

The importance of this place

Today we will stand in the spot where 1.5 million Jews were marched to their executions. 
We'll deliver a message to 13,000 people including 10,000 teenagers... to capture the moment, to stake a stand for their part in creating a world which can't allow atrocity like this place's history to ever exist again.  We'll bring a process that allows that moment of awakening for them to last, and inspire future moments, choices as we bring their statement back to them to shape their thinking in 2 wks, 6 months, a year, 2 years, etc.

I stood last night with the Sam Ron, the 90 year old Holocaust survivor who was like my uncle growing up, who taught me the meaning of the word survivor my whole life in the way he's lived his, who always said that it's not about revenge but about creating something else. I was able to look him in the eye last night to tell him with authenticity that we're carrying on his torch, with passion, honor and energy. This new generation will create something different. 

I stood on these tracks yesterday and cried again, where the urge to do something hit me in the first place three years ago as I walked them with some very special teens, including P6M's cofounder, the grandchild of four survivors.
Today 13,000 people will gather here, and we'll help them capture the moment into commitment to what's possible.

This is the place where so much ended. And this is the place where so much can begin. 
I keep coming back to the word honor, which doesn't do it justice. The gravity of it all is staggering.

Let's go.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Watch Project6Million LIVE!!!

Tomorrow is the day! Project6Million will be speaking live to all 13,000 participants on this year's March of the Living and YOU can watch it LIVE! 
Check out the link below at 9 A.M. EST tomorrow and make your statement at!


On a train full of other Jews for three hours in Poland. 
Later today we’ll be at Birkenau. 
This is a beautiful day, we’re in a nice compartment on a nice train, and we’re having a great conversation with lovely people we just met today from Israel.
And yet it’s hard to shake the images that keep coming into my head as I watch this country whizzing by through the window and listen to conversations happening around me in languages I don’t speak mixed with the unmistakable sound of the train tracks under us. 
1.5 million Jews were brought from their home towns and countries directly to their death on trains straight into Birkenau. Trains in this country were used as the perfectly efficient way to move people quickly, disorientingly, en mass to their deaths.

I am grateful to be on this train today, not then, going to bring and commit to more life and a world which will not allow the hatred which perpetrated those deaths.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Productivity and Reflection

Today, Project6Million's second day in Poland, was a big day. I know that people often refer to days as big days, but today really was quite a big day. We began with the launch of the updated edition of our website, (in case you didn't get here from there), equipped with all of the new tools for our statement process. The update allows the uploading of images as a form of statement. I know I can speak for all of us when I say how much we are looking forward to seeing the expanded potential of our project be fully realized.
We continued our day by meeting and speaking with a delegation of teenagers  from New York and New Jersey.  They shared with us some of their experiences from the first few days of the trip which we connected back to the project. Their enthusiasm and understanding for what we are doing was inspiring, and I am looking forward to reading their statements!
We then proceeded to share Project6Million with the adult delegation from Mexico.  It was an amazing feeling to know in that moment that our reach is truly global. This feeling was only intensified just a short while ago tonight as we spoke to around 1500 teens, adults, and survivors from Canada, Sweden, South Africa, Panama, and Israel.
In between all of our presentations, including one for the Miami delegation, we found some time to see the new Jewish museum in Warsaw. Lost on the way, we were lucky enough to run into a former regional BBYO advisor of mine. He invited us to join in with his group from Los Angeles on their tour of the old Jewish neighborhood of Warsaw. 
This part of the day was the reflective part. As the memories of our first trip here flooded back, I experienced the way that my perspective has changed since the last time I was here. In 2011 I was shocked and disturbed by the atrocities of the Shoah and the shadows left by its victims. Now, three years later, I am unfortunately unsurprised at the new facts I learn, and I feel that I am processing them much more easily. I am grateful for this, yet at the same time it is hard to accept that I can accept what I'm hearing.