2017-04-20 / Faith

The butterflies are coming to Outreach Synagogue in Calabasas

Service to remember the Holocaust
By Stephanie Bertholdo

Butterflies will be the theme of the Holocaust Memorial Day celebration Sun., April 23 at Valley Outreach Synagogue and Center for Jewish Life in Calabasas.

The program will include a Holocaust memorial service, a butterfly craft project and the screening of the documentary “NOT the Last Butterfly.”

Attendees are encouraged to paint a ceramic butterfly, which will be counted toward the goal of displaying 1.5 million such butterflies in synagogues, schools, community centers and museums throughout the world as a way to demonstrate renewed life.

The local synagogue’s effort is part of a global initiative called the Butterfly Project, an education and arts program created to remember and honor each child that was killed in the Holocaust.

Every ceramic butterfly that is painted will represent one child, according to the Butterfly Project website, www.thebutterflyprojectnow.org.

Project organizers made “NOT the Last Butterfly,” a film released last year, to spread their message of hope and healing. Synagogue spokesperson Kat O’Malley said the film includes stories told by Holocaust survivors who used the healing power of art to deal with the atrocities they suffered.

The Butterfly Project was launched in 2006 in San Diego by artist Cheryl Rattner Price and teacher Jan Landau as a way to spread understanding of the Holocaust among students while demonstrating the dangers of hate.

“The Butterfly Project provides a timely opportunity for community members to contribute to the collective memory of so many young lives who never had a chance to take flight due to discrimination and intolerance,” said Carla Adivi, organizer of the VOS event. “We are honored to participate and invite all to paint a butterfly to add to this global installation of remembrance and hope.”

More than 150,000 butterflies have been created in communities of all faiths throughout the United States and the world, including Israel, Canada, Argentina, Mexico, Poland and Australia.

The program starts at 3 p.m. with the memorial service, followed by the screening of the documentary.

The butterfly painting project will run from 4:30 to 5 p.m.

Valley Outreach Synagogue Center for Jewish Life is at 26670 Agoura Road in Calabasas.

The program is free. A $3 donation is requested to paint each ceramic butterfly.

To register for the program, visit vosla.org or call Valley Outreach Synagogue at (818) 879-8087.

April 24 is Holocaust Remembrance Day.

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