Butterfly Memorial

Butterfly Memorial 2018-03-20T10:08:55-04:00



The Children’s Holocaust Memorial Sculpture honors the 1.5 million children who perished in the Holocaust. The sculpture, designed by Paul Rousso is adorned with almost 6,000 ceramic butterflies created by Charlotte faith, school and community groups. After the sculpture was dedicated in May of 2011, the garden was expanded to include a seating area, plantings and an Inspirational Pathway incorporating relevant quotes and additional butterflies were added to the sculpture. The garden is located adjacent to the entrance to the Blumenthal Education Building next to the Levine-Sklut Judaic Library & Resource Center.

The Butterfly Project originated at the San Diego Jewish Academy. It was inspired by the film documentary Paper Clips and a poem, The Butterfly, written by Pavel Friedman, a young man who died in the Auschwitz concentration camp.

The project is meant to memorialize the 1.5 million youth who perished during the Holocaust and to help combat anti-Semitism, indifference, and Holocaust denial through educational workshops that personalize the history for each participant. The goal of the project is to create 1.5 million ceramic butterflies, worldwide. Since the inception of the project in Charlotte in 2008, the Charlotte community has painted more than 30,000 butterflies.

In addition to the creation of the butterflies, Levine JCC staff and volunteers lead educational workshops about the Holocaust and tolerance for approximately 6,000 students annually (from private and public schools), civic and religious groups in Mecklenburg County and beyond. To make it personal for participants, those who paint the sculpture’s butterflies receive a certificate with the name of a child who died in the Holocaust.

For information on participating in a workshop, please contact butterflyproject@charlottejcc.org.