State Reps. Juanita Brent (D-Cleveland) and Casey Weinstein (D-Hudson) introduced a concurrent resolution this week to urge Congress to recognize the Kol Israel Foundation Holocaust Memorial as a National Memorial. The memorial is located in Zion Memorial Park in Bedford Heights, OH and is believed to be the first memorial constructed in the United States dedicated to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust.
“As a Jewish Ohioan, these physical memorials to the Holocaust are more important now than ever. With hate crimes on the rise in Ohio, they serve as a reminder that we must all work to fight hatred and bigotry in every form,” said Rep. Weinstein. “I am proud that this resolution has received bipartisan support and that we are able to ask for the national recognition this marker deserves.”
“The recognition of Kol Israel Foundation Memorial as the first national memorial to acknowledge the genocide of 6 million Jews during the Holocaust and the trauma of survivors is long overdue,” said Rep. Brent. “Our country must educate and acknowledge this tragic part of history to make sure systemic changes protect and prevent those atrocities from ever happening again. The significance of this site certainly makes it worthy of being designated a National Memorial.”
The monument serves as a holy site and an educational location, signifying the historic events of World War II, and provides a site for survivors, their descendants, and community members to learn, grieve, and offer prayers.
This year marks the monument’s 60 anniversary. The Kol Israel Foundation built the memorial in 1961, and it consists of a granite monument and low granite walls with the names of Jewish victims and departed Survivors engraved. Beneath the monument, ashes recovered from three concentration camps are buried, along with other artifacts. This memorial would be the first Holocaust-related monument designated as a National Historic Site or National Memorial.
This resolution has already received bipartisan support. The resolution awaits a bill number and assignment to a House Committee.