Pond of the 200,000 Twinning Project
Since 1997, a pond at Venture Center in Sparkill has served as a reminder that Jews were not alone as the victims of the hatred and inhumanity of the Holocaust. In a moment celebrated by people of all faiths, Camp Venture’s “Memorial Pond of the 200,000” was dedicated to the memory of individuals with developmental and other disabilities who were killed at the order of a madman who reviled them as “useless eaters.” Today, nearly two decades later, time and harsh weather has left Venture’s pond in need of a face-lift and an upgrade to elevate it as a proper memorial and better meet the needs of the developmentally disabled consumers served by Venture Center. To accomplish that end – and to further connect two groups of tormented souls lost to the forces of hatred and bigotry – Camp Venture in October will twin its pond with the Memorial Ash Pond at Auschwitz-Berkenau, where the ashes of murdered Jews still rise to the surface in a symbolic cry across the decades whenever the pond’s surface is disturbed.
Venture’s pond needs restoration and improvements – creation of a walking path; benches and landscaping to offer settings for meditation; repair or replacement of a boat dock and fishing pier; artwork that needs a face-lift after decades of weathering; unveiling of a memorial stone matching those at the Auschwitz pond to connect two locations with a shared dark past far into a bright, hopeful future. We welcome donations large and small from simple gifts of $18 – symbolized by the Hebrew word Chai, or life – to those that carry naming opportunities for portions of the Venture Pond Twinning project. With the goal accomplished, in October – 70 years after the Holocaust – we will stand together in a world still scared by intolerance to proclaim, once and for all, “never again.”
Please click here to donate to this project, or click here to learn more about the history and our plans.