Two young Vermonters are making a difference in their hometown. 

Mount Abraham Union High School student Eliza Doucet and her twin sister, Emma, plan to bring the Bristol community together to commemorate ‘International Holocaust Remembrance Day’. 

The Bristol student got involved in this activism in 2016 when her congregation in Middlebury, Havurah House, was vandalized with a swastika. Eliza says she also experienced similar, anti-semitic behavior at her school. 

All this inspired her to provide Holocaust Education and Anti-Semitic awareness to the community on a day that honors the 6 million Jews and millions more who lost their lives in the Holocaust. 

The event will take place Thursday, January 27 with a half-hour presentation for ages 9 and up and a candle-lighting ceremony to follow. It will be at Holly Hall, Bristol Recreation Dept. and Bristol Town Green.

“I think the first step to fighting ignorance and antisemitism and all those issues is education and acknowledgment and understanding. The only way to do that is to be out in the community, talking to people and helping them understand what it’s like to grow up as a Jewish person in this society,” said Eliza.

Eliza is not alone in these efforts. Last year, both Mount Abe and UVM students created a petition to make Holocaust education required in all public secondary schools. More than 850 signatures were collected and have led to bipartisan draft bills now being introduced in the state.