Our Mission & Goals
Zachor: The Holocaust Memory Project mission is to create an archival legacy of Holocaust Survivors’ portraits and narratives, acknowledging them and ensuring their legacy is preserved for use by institutions, families and future generations. The Project is also designed to provide educational tools against future occurrences.
Zachor: The Holocaust Memory Project's plan is to create a photographic traveling exhibit available to organizations and institutions with an interest in exploring the history of the Holocaust and transforming the future by combatting hatred and prejudice wherever it may arise.
As Jewish photographers, we are creating a visual representation of those whose history will not survive many generations as a way of giving back to the Jewish Community. We believe that it is important to lay this down for the future to be shared with coming generations and that these portraits can be a powerful instrument to carry yesterday to tomorrow.
Zachor: The Holocaust Memory Project, is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization.
The project is staffed 100% by volunteers.
Who We Are
Jerry Kaye is the Director Emeritus of the URJ Olin-Sang-Ruby Union Institute in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin and was one of 30 people from around the world invited to join the International Task Force on Jewish Peoplehood under the auspices of the Tel Aviv Museum of the Jewish People.
Having stepped aside from his work with the URJ, he became one of a group of photographers reaching to build a project devoted to creating portraits of survivors of the Holocaust to expand throughout the country. This is known as Zachor: The Holocaust Memory Project.
Jerry is professionally associated with the Association of Reform Jewish Education and is a Life Fellow of the American Orthopsychiatric Association.
Jerry takes special pride in having been selected as the first recipient of the Guardian of Hope Award from Keshet, an organization of families with special needs children. In May of 2000, he received the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters honoris causa from the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion.
Jerry is best known, though, as a visual storyteller. He served as the Emmy nominated host and moderator of Sanctuary, a Chicago television series focused on Jewish communal issues.
Dick Axelrod co‑founded, with his wife Emily, The Axelrod Group, LLC, a consulting firm that pioneered the use of employee involvement to effect large‑scale organizational change. He now brings more than forty years of consulting and teaching experience to this work, with clients including Boeing, British Airways, Chicago Public Schools, Google, Calgary Health Authority, Novartis, and the UK’s National Health Service.
Over the past few years, Dick has taken a greater interest in photography. His photography adventure joined him with the two other principals in Zachor: The Holocaust Memory Project, where he serves a Vice-President. Photography is the medium that helps Dick deepen his own understanding of Zachor participants and their life experiences, and through which he hopes to share this learning with others.
Dick is a lecturer in the University of Chicago’s Masters in Threat and Response Management Program where he teaches Crisis Leadership and adjunct faculty in American University’s Masters in Organization Development program. Dick authored the award-winning Terms of Engagement: New Ways of Leading and Changing Organizations, and co‑authored You Don’t Have to Do It Alone: How to Involve Others to Get Things Done, which the New York Times called “the best of the current crop of books on this subject.” His latest book, Let’s Stop Meeting Like This: Tools to Save Time and Get More Done, is co-authored with Emily. Dick is the recipient of the Organization Development Network’s Lifetime Achievement Award and the Teaching Excellence Award from the University of Chicago.
Photography has been a part of Rick’s life since receiving a simple film box-camera at age ten. Since that time, his equipment has progressed through simple 35mm cameras to Single Lens Reflex camera before switching to Canon Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) Cameras. As the equipment became more complex, his understanding of using light as the primary factor when composing a photograph developed.
After his third retirement, (this time from a fifteen year photography teaching career, the last five as owner of a Chicago photography school), Rick joined with Jerry and Dick, to establish Zachor: The Holocaust Memory Project, where he serves as Secretary-Treasurer. Zachor is dedicated to honoring those who survived the holocaust and educating others, so that such an event can be avoided in the future. It has been a privilege to meet and spend time with people who have survived the worst that humankind has inflected and yet managed together their lives to begin anew, always with success and a positive outlook.
When not engaged in Zachor work, Rick’s photography is oriented to nature, particularly the American Southwest and its National and State parks. During the current year, his photography has included more abstract images, black and white and infrared. He has attended photography classes at the University of California, San Diego; Santa Fe Photography Workshops and the Joseph Regenstein, Jr. School of the Chicago Botanic Garden.
His images are included in private collections in Fairfax, Santa Barbara and San Diego, California; Sarasota, Florida; New York and Chicago. Midwest Palliative & Hospice Care Center (Glenview) selected twenty-four of his images for display in their permanent collection.