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March of the Living

March of the Living is an international educational program that brings Jewish teens from all over the world to Poland on Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Memorial Day) to march from Auschwitz to Birkenau, the largest concentration camp complex built during World War II. Teens then travel to Israel to observe Yom HaZikaron (Israel Memorial Day) and Yom Ha'Atzmaut (Israel Independence Day).

The goal of the March of the Living is for these young people to learn the lessons of the Holocaust and to lead the Jewish people into the future vowing Never Again.

March of the Living 2016

Due to a change in our staffing as well as the inclusion of MOL in a larger Strategic Planning process for the advancement of Jewish Education in San Diego, it has been determined that the JCC will not be sending a teen delegation on this year's March of the Living.

It is our intention to allow the current strategic thinking process to help inform the best structure and support for the San Diego March of the Living program in the years ahead.

Hence, there will be no MOL trip led by the LFJCC in 2016.

Rather, for this year, we encourage interested teens to contact the Western Regional Office via the website at

Marcia Tatz Wollner is also continuing on with the Regional Office and can be of assistance to San Diego area teens. You can reach directly at

We wish you meaningful experiences in your teen’s Jewish journey, and look forward to returning with San Diego March of the Living trip programming in 2017.   

Below is the Ode to Poland 2015, a summation written by the participants of The Western Region 2015

Ode to Poland, 2015

Pride, joy, and unity were found in places of horror and torture.

Despite the destruction and extermination of our people, us Jews continue to be strong, confident and proud to be Jewish.

Our strength to carry on with our dignity and joy intact is proof that we won.

We must always carry in our memory all the people who died who have no one to remember them.

Poland, the opportunity to learn about the family we have never met.

What an amazing experience, :-)!!

Never again!!!!!

Walking in freedom to honor the people who were less fortunate than us.

Don't worry, be happy!!!!

I now know we survived because we value human life.

Educational on the purpose of begin Jewish

Rest in power

We've found that hope and faith over power all darkness.

There are no words.... Only hope for the future.

On Thursday, in Auschwitz, we looked back at the past with pride and incredible ruach.

It was more than just 6 million people, also what would have been the generations to come.

Acknowledge the past and move forward with love and strength.

United as one

And now I see through my own eyes.

We have overcome the worst evil and we are stronger than ever.

The unforgiving conditions of the poor shelter at camps along with the brutality and inhumanity of the beast we call Nazi.

Unbelievably proud to be a Jew and this trip has been life changing. NEVER. FORGET!!

The emotional roller coaster, that is Poland.

Cucumbers and tomatoes.

The more we learn, the less we understand.

Never again!!! We will not forget! Can we forgive???

I am glad we are going to Israel. Hurray.

We become community while we ensured each of our home communities will never forget.

We march for those who could not.

When we remembered them, the spirits moved the trees to show us they were there.

Tears for the ashes for our ancestors, love for our people, hope for the future.

March of the Living is open to students currently in grades 11 and 12. This program requires emotional maturity due to the subject matter. Participation in the March of the Living educational seminar is required.

There are five components of the application process:
• General application.
• Medical forms.
• Essay detailing why you want participate in March of the Living.
• Letters of recommendation written by a teacher, principal, Rabbi, high school counselor or youth advisor.
• Personal interview.

Isn't this a really depressing trip? We have found that visiting sites in Poland, while filled with emotion, is also quite uplifting. There are thousands of Jewish teens from all over the world experiencing it together. Additionally, there is a mental health professional with the group at all times. The Israel portion of the trip is powerful and inspiring, and students come away from the March of the Living knowing they have experienced a life-changing event.


Financial Aid

An across-the-board subsidy will be available to all San Diego participants through the March of the Living Philanthropic Fund. Needs-based scholarships are available through the March of the Living Philanthropic Fund. In 2014 and 2015, needs- based scholarships have generously been provided by the Jewish Federation’s Israel Travel Scholarship program.

Info about the Lili Bialar z"l Memorial March of the Living Scholarship >

Religious Practices and Dietary Accommodations

The program is set up to accommodate the religious needs of all the students. All food in both Poland and Israel is certified kosher. Other special dietary needs may be difficult to accommodate, especially in Poland.


Security is of the highest level in both Poland and Israel. Security in Poland is coordinated jointly by the Polish and Israeli governments. Security in Israel is coordinated by the Israeli government.


A doctor, a mental health professional, educators, a Rabbi, and a Holocaust survivor accompany the students.

Birthright Israel Eligibility

Students who participate in the March are still eligible for the Birthright Israel program. March of the Living spends only seven days in Israel, so teens can participate in both programs.

Excusal From School

Contact the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center for a letter that details the March of the Living experience that you can provide to your counselor. If they have further questions, they can contact Wendy Sabin-Lasker, 858.362.1149.

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