"Six Million Coins" Initiative to Aid Holocaust Survivors in Need

Year-Long Effort Launches at Mount Sinai Simi Valley on Holocaust Remembrance Day, April 7

Mar 28, 2013, 09:00 ET from Mount Sinai Memorial Parks and Mortuaries

LOS ANGELES, March 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Once imprisoned in concentration camps across Eastern Europe, thousands of Holocaust survivors are again struggling day to day – except now it's against the grim reality of economics. For these survivors, as well as some rescuers, Mount Sinai Memorial Parks and Mortuaries and the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles are jointly launching an initiative, Six Million Coins™, to raise critical funds for those in need and, concurrently, to educate young people about genocide and to honor the six million lives lost in the Holocaust.

Launching April 7, 2013 on Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom HaShoah), and continuing until the next commemoration on April 27, 2014, the Six Million Coins™ initiative will see the distribution of more than 25,000 tzedakah boxes throughout Southern California, with the goal of collecting six million coins. Participants can deposit coins they collect into a special, 8-foot-high tzedakah box located at Mount Sinai Memorial Park in Simi Valley. All proceeds will be distributed to six charities assisting survivors and rescuers in need of basic necessities, such as food and rent; they are Beit Tzedek, Bikur Cholim's Holocaust Survivors Program (HSAP), Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles, Survivors of the Holocaust Program, the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous, the Survivor Mitzvah Project and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee's Vulnerable Survivor Support Fund.

The initiative launches with a Yom HaShoah Memorial Service at Mount Sinai Simi Valley, at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday, April 7, where names of the six million will start to be read. Following the service, there will be panel of Survivors and distinguished Holocaust educators which will be moderated by Steven Smith, Executive Director of the USC Shoah Foundation, discussing worldwide tolerance. For two weeks after Yom HaShoah 2013, names will also be read by children and family members at local Los Angeles schools and synagogues. The reading of the names will be streamed live through a dedicated website, www.sixmillioncoins.org, where visitors can learn more information and request a tzedakah box.

The Six Million Coins™ initiative is supported through alliances with The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, USC Shoah Foundation –The Institute for Visual History and Education, The Los Angeles Jewish Journal, and local synagogues, schools and organizations.

Yom HaShoah Event Day Schedule

10:00 AM 

Six Million Coins - Coin Collection Begins

11:00 AM   

Yom HaShoah Service

2:00 PM      

Panel Discussion with Lizzie Scheja, Director of Association for Jewish Culture in Sweden, Andrew Stevens, Wallenberg Survivor and Carl Wilkens, Director of World Outside My Shoes  moderated by Stephen D. Smith.                 

Following the Yom HaShoah Service, the reading of the six million names will begin in addition to other activities. Mount Sinai Memorial Parks and Mortuaries will be dedicating a section of the Caves of Abraham to honor Righteous Resuers with the unveiling of a plaque in honor of Holocaust rescuer, Raoul Wallenberg.

A special orchestra performance, Transformation of Memory, by the students of the USC Thorton School of Music led by Nick Strimple will take place.

SOURCE Mount Sinai Memorial Parks and Mortuaries