The mission of the Holocaust Commission of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater is to foster an understanding of the uniqueness and magnitude of the Holocaust, while inspiring students, teachers, and our community to champion human dignity in our constantly changing world.

To Life: Stories of Sacrifice and Survival, Past is Still Present.

As we face a future without eyewitnesses to history, the Holocaust Commission is now revising, updating, and expanding the stories of our community’s survivors, liberators, and rescuers.

Support the new, expanded edition of To Life, which also includes the production of our first podcast series, Stars Among Us.



















"Evil does not need your help, just your indifference"

- Hanns Loewenbach, 1915-2012





In 2011, the Holocaust commission captured on film the first hand stories of the four remaining survivors from our Speakers' Bureau.  In 2014, our LA-based filmmakers returned to shoot footage for three more educational films. The 7 short films now live on our dedicated video channel, where you can watch them in full. Yet these stories don't end here.

In 2012, We launched a program that delivers trained volunteer docents to present these films to schools, community groups, and military audiences. Our highly engaging actors arrive at your venue with a vintage suitcase filled with replicas of many of the treasures depicted in each of the short films. And thanks to the generous donors who contribute to the Holocaust Commission, we are able to bring the What We Carry program to visit your school or organization for no charge. Since the COVID pandemic, we can also arrange for zoom presentations.

To inquire about dates, please email and note What We Carry in the subject line.






As the dangers of all types of prejudice, peer pressure, unthinking obedience to authority, and indifference to the suffering of others are still widespread in our world. It is essential that young people develop the moral courage necessary to defeat these dangers, for their own sakes and for the protection of our democratic values.

Every year, we invite Middle School and High School students in grades 6-12 to participate in writing and visual arts competitions named in honor of Nobel Laureate and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel. 


Through the generosity of our sponsors — The Simon Family Foundation and Towne Bank — The Holocaust Commission is able too ffer cash prized to students who apply the lessons of past atrocities to their writing or their visual artistry addressing prompts dealing with current situations. This is a multi-faceted, extremely positive experience for all involved as teachers are also rewarded with classroom resourses when they enter their students.


The Commission’s goal with this competition is to encourage students to learn about the Holocaust and apply its many lessons to their own lives. The Commission wants students to understand the importance and true nature of moral courage.






Each year we gather to commemorate & celebrate the power of the human spirit and the enduring faith of those who witnessed and survived the Holocaust.


At that time, we present the winners of our educator awards and student competitions to the community, and hear from a powerful guest speaker.







Named for a 1943 resistance group that heroically protested the policies and actions of the Nazi regime. These funds, supported by generous donations, go to purchasing educational materials (books, films, etc) to be donated to Hampton Roads’ schools, Naval ships, libraries, and more.





Speakers, panels, discussion and networking. A gathering of educators and student advocates, offered biennially.







The Holocaust Commission is first and foremost  an educational outlet.  Please visit some of the resources linked below to educate yourself and become an ally of truth. With the recent spike in Holocaust deniers, distortionists, and truth-benders, the best thing you can do is become a credible ally, armed only with facts. 








Contact Elka Mednick, Holocaust Commission Director, at or (757)965-6112.