October 26, 2021

A Beautiful Tribute

Ilyse Muser Shainbrown Director of Holocaust Education

To each number there is a name. And to each name there is a life, a story, a family. Understanding the magnitude of the loss of life during the Holocaust is difficult to comprehend.  

6 million Jews 

12 million total 

1.5 million Jewish children 

Those numbers transcend our comprehension as we grasp how much was lost. In a worldwide effort to bring some connection to the vast number of children lost in the Holocaust, a project was developed to plant 1.5 million daffodils worldwide in order to honor and remember each and every child that perished.  

The journey for Greater MetroWest to partake in this effort began over a year ago when our Federation Holocaust Council and Center for Volunteerism thought this would be a meaningful project to offer during Community Mitzvah Month in the spring. Dates and sites were chosen, plans were made. But alas, we’re not as knowledgeable about gardening as we are about Holocaust Education. We soon learned that, in New Jersey, daffodil bulbs are planted in October, prior to the first frost, in order to bloom in the spring.  

So, October became Daffodil Planting Month in Greater MetroWest, and has exceeded all our expectations! More than 100 individual families picked up planting kits to plant at home and 30 others joined us in-person to plant in the garden at the Aidekman Jewish Community Campus in Whippany. Additionally, 17 schools and synagogues, as well as other community partners joined in the effort and planted at their own sites.  

To accompany the planting, we created a Daffodil Resource Page with suggestions for books and films, videos of interviews with survivors, tips for planting your own bulbs, and more. There’s still time to plant your own bulbs!   

Incredibly, more than 6,000 daffodil bulbs have been planted in our community throughout the month of October. We can’t wait to see them in bloom this spring as a beautiful tribute to the children who perished!