Hemshech Looks to Future, Expands Goals

Hemshech Looks to Future, Expands Goals


It’s black, gray and yellow, features a Jewish Star and six vertical lines. Hemshech’s new logo grabs your attention with its stark colors and sharp angles, and the hope is that it will help carry the organization’s message into the 21st century.

Karen Edlin (left), president of Hemshech, and Rhona Storch Albright, chair of this year’s 48th annual Yom HaShoah commemoration. PHOTO / Gary Feinberg
Karen Edlin (left), president of Hemshech, and Rhona Storch Albright, chair of this year’s 48th annual Yom HaShoah commemoration. PHOTO / Gary Feinberg

“We wanted to make sure when people looked at our logo, they got what we were about,” said Karen Edlin, the organization’s president. “And we wanted to make sure that people understood that Hemshech is open to anyone who supports our mission.”

Hemshech – the word for “continuation” in Hebrew – is a group of Holocaust survivors, their families, friends and supporters. It was started in the mid-1960s as “Eternal Life – Hemshech” by survivors searching for a healthy way to embrace their past and remember those lost.

The organization’s first mission was to create a permanent monument, a place where survivors and their families could say Kaddish. What started off going in one direction – a simple piece of marble stuck in the ground – soon veered off on an altogether different path when Ben Hirsch, a young architect and a survivor himself, became part of the planning process.

The resulting memorial, a euphonic blend of chiseled stone and soaring torches, was dedicated in 1965 at Greenwood Cemetery in South Atlanta during the first official Yom HaShoah service in the city. Now, nearly five decades later, the memorial will be the site for the 48th annual community-wide Yom HaShoah service on April 7; the featured speaker this year will be none other than Hirsch, who remains inextricably connected to the memorial and Atlanta’s Holocaust community.

Hemshech logo - OptimizedThe memorial, by the way, is linked to Hemshech’s new logo. At least, that’s the view of some of the organization’s members, who see the memorial’s torches reflected in the six vertical lines filling the top of the image.

“It’s interesting what people had to say about the logo,” Edlin said. “Some people mentioned the torches, others the Six Million who died in the Holocaust. Some said it reminded them of the uniforms inmates wore in the concentration camps.”

The image also makes it clear that the organization, started by survivors and supported by family members, is open to “friends.”

“Many people think Hemshech is only for survivors and their families,” Edlin said. “But the organization is open to anyone dedicated to our mission and cause.”

And that cause – honoring and remembering the Holocaust and its victims – remains just as important today as when the group first gathered together years ago for support and friendship.

“It’s important to recall the past and what happened,” Edlin said. “I think the best gift we can give to the Six Million is to remember them and to continue telling their stories.”

For additional information on Hemshech, contact Karen Edlin at Klanskyedlin@aol.com.

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