Daffodil Project is planted at Jewish Museum and Culture Center

by | Nov 9, 2023 | Other News

Myrna Amdursky
The stars lined up correctly on Sunday, Oct. 22 for Tidewater’s 2nd Annual Daffodil Planting Day at the Jewish Museum and Cultural Center in Portsmouth. The sun was shining brightly, the temperature was comfortable, Bob and Jeanne Zentz played music, and there were plenty of brownies – so everyone had a great time.

The goal of the International Daffodil Project is to plant 1.5 million bulbs to remember and honor the 1.5 million children murdered during the Holocaust, as well as all children everywhere who are victims of violence. The JMCC continues to support this Living Memorial effort and spearheaded the planting of nearly 5,000 additional bulbs this year.

More than 3,000 bulbs were planted at the JMCC and another 500 bulbs were planted at The Moses Myers House. Bulbs will also be planted in Portsmouth on High Street and Western Branch Blvd. as designated by Portsmouth Mayor Shannon Glover and at these Portsmouth churches and Norfolk and Virginia Beach synagogues and schools: St. John’s Episcopal Church, Court Street Baptist Church, Ebenezer Baptist Church, and Fourth Street Baptist Church, Ohef Sholom Temple, Congregation Beth El, and Strelitz International Academy. Individuals also purchased bulbs to create their own private memorial gardens.

The planting on began at 11 am, followed by a program at noon. After remarks by Karen Plotnick, acting JMCC president, Brendan Wagner and David Goodman carried the American and Israeli Flags for the ceremony. With the accompaniment of Bob and Jeanne Zetnz, the Star-Spangled Banner and Hatikvah were sung, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance. Allan Zeno read Mayor Glover’s proclamation, designating Sunday, October 22, 2023 as “Daffodil Planting Day.” Mayor Glover then spoke, thanking JMCC for sponsoring this very important Daffodil project and noting the relevance of this project to today’s world events. Next, Rabbi Michael Panitz offered an historical overview of the different ways Jews were required to dress throughout history to distinguish themselves from others. This segued into the Jewish Star required to be worn by Jews during World War II, highlighting the similarity between the shape of the daffodil and the Jewish star. This year, the definition is expanded to include all children who have and continue to be victims of violence.
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After Rabbi Panitz’s remarks, a reception of delicious brownies followed. Then, all in attendance planted the bulbs. Daffodil Blooming Day is planned to take place in March.