Some of us are born with cardigan sweaters on our backs. You know, old souls from birth. I know I’m one. Zak Kolar, a teenager from Naperville, Ill., seems to be one too. His website, Each of Us Has a Name, aims to individually memorialize every Jew who died in the Holocaust. Such nachas his parents must have!
“It occurred to me that in Judaism we don’t really have an afterlife,” he tells The L.A. Times. “It’s important how much you’re remembered after you die. I didn’t think it was fair that we were remembering these 6 million as a whole.”
As stated on his site, “Each of Us Has a Name is a website devoted to preserving the memories of those who perished in the Shoah (Holocaust). It provides a weekly list of yahrzeits so that we may say Kaddish for them.
“The idea for ‘Each of Us Has a Name’ started during Yizkhor services. At one point, we paused for a prayer to remember those who perished in the Shoah.
“While this collective remembrance is certainly important, it seemed insufficient. This tragedy happened to individual people, each with a name and each deserving of remembrance.
“Each of Us Has a Name allows us to remember these people, one by one. It allows us to say Kaddish for them not only as a faceless mass but also with the dignity and individual attention that each one deserves.”