The International March of the Living is an annual educational program, bringing individuals from around the world to Poland and Israel to study the history of the Holocaust and to examine the roots of prejudice, intolerance and hatred.
Since its inception in 1988, more than 300,000 alumni from 50 countries have marched down the same 3-kilometer path leading from Auschwitz to Birkenau on Holocaust Remembrance Day – Yom Hashoah – as a tribute to all victims of the Holocaust.
The universal goal of the International March of the Living is to help inspire our participants to fight indifference, racism and injustice by witnessing the atrocities of the Holocaust. Our hope is that the program will help strengthen Jewish identity, connections to Israel and build a community of future Jewish leaders.
The March of the Living is joined every year by thousands of Jewish teens, adults and survivors from around the world, along with many other people from diverse faiths and backgrounds.
A key element of the program is the unique participation of Holocaust survivors. By being able to hear survivors stories in the very places where they unfolded, is an experience of a lifetime to remember the past and ensure the future. The years approaching are some of the last that survivors will be able to join us, making participation in this trip more timely and relevant than ever before. As Elie Wiesel once said: “When you listen to a witness, you become a witness.” Our participants will become the living testimony for future generations.
According to objective third party studies, the long-term effect of the March of the Living program has been significant in terms of its impact on both Jewish and universal values. The participants return with a greater commitment to Israel, to remembering the Holocaust, to strengthening Jewish identity and practice, and becoming involved in their local Jewish communities. March of the Living alumni have also made important social contributions to the community at large, such as assisting the homeless, combating the ongoing genocide in Darfur, volunteering at home or abroad in various worthy humanitarian efforts, and working diligently to combat prejudice and hatred of every kind.
We pledge to keep alive and honor the legacy of the multitudes of our people who perished in the Holocaust.
We pledge to fight anti-Semitism, anti-Zionism, Holocaust denial and all other forms of hatred directed towards the Jewish people and Israel.
We pledge to fight every form of discrimination manifested against any religion, nationality or ethnic group.
We pledge to actively participate in the strengthening of Jewish life in the Diaspora and Israel.
We pledge to increase our knowledge of our Jewish heritage and to pass on a love of Jewish life and learning to the next generation.
We pledge to give tzedaka, to assist in helping the needy, wherever they may live in the world.
We pledge to involve ourselves in tikkun olam, to build a better world for all members of the human family.
After the Shoah the promise of ‘Never Again’ was proclaimed.
We pledge to create a world where ‘Never Again’ will become a reality for the Jewish people and, indeed, for all people.
This is our solemn pledge to the Jewish people, to those who came before us, to those of our generation, and to those who will follow in future generations.
Text taken from the Canadian March of the Living Trip Diary, Edited by Eli Rubenstein, National Director, March of the Living Canada
Chief Operating Officer
Director of Digital Communications
Director of Education
Director of Programming
Deputy Chairman, General Director, Poland & Israel Projects