The Butterfly Project

one butterfly painted for every child lost in the holocaust

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Our Mission

The Butterfly Project is a call to action through education, the arts and memorial making. It uses the lessons of the Holocaust to educate about the dangers of hatred and bigotry and cultivates empathy and social responsibility. Participants paint ceramic butterflies that are permanently displayed as symbols of resilience and hope, with the goal of creating 1.5 million butterflies around the world—one for each child who perished in the Holocaust, and honoring the survivors.

What friends of The Butterfly Project are saying

Over the years we've reached thousands of youth, educators, community leaders, and Holocaust survivors.

“When you told me the purpose of The Butterfly Project and that it would be butterflies, I told you that this would go over. It was not something that kids would be afraid of, not scary pictures that would make kids run away, they would want to do it, and this was my excitement.”

Hanna Marx,
Holocaust Survivor

“For years I had wanted to do something that was age appropriate for our students. Our butterfly installation in the center of our campus is a wall of remembrance and but it is also a wall of hope.”

Betty Winn,
Head of School, Abraham Joshua Heschel Day School,
Northridge, CA

“I was thrilled to bring The Butterfly Project to my students, they were honored to be painting a butterfly for someone who did not live, and they felt they are living for her or for him – and were ecstatic to participate in this project.”

Kimberly Tuttle,
Educator, N. Mecklenberg H.S.,
Huntersville, NC

“We’ve brought The Butterfly Project to the Museum of Tolerance for our youth education programs and our family days. Painting a butterfly while hearing the story of a survivor not only passes on their legacy but it is handing over the torch.”

Liebe Geft,
Executive Director, Museum of Tolerance

“I am a survivor of Terezin Concentration camp and when I see and I hear all about what you do with the butterflies it is a lesson for life, for the next generations to remember and I will tell everyone wherever I speak about my story about it.”

Ela Weissberger,
Holocaust Survivor

The Butterfly Project continues the work of Friedl Dicker Brandeis and the children of Terezin. The power of art to bring hope and to bring beauty to life where there is no beauty, where there are no butterflies. I think that’s incredible. I believe in art, totally.”

Susan Goldman Rubin,

“What The Butterfly Project does is give a voice to the anonymous child. It was not the number that was lost, it was human lives that were lost. “

Rabbi Michael Schudrich,
Chief Rabbi of Poland

“. . . That’s why artistic endeavors are so important, if you can get to youth and they’re a part of something creative and other people are connected to it that are not like them but they are still working on it together. . . a lasting impact is made.”

Brian Levin,
Director, Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism,
CSU San Bernardino

“We can never put it behind us. We need to continue telling our stories and The Butterfly Project is helping us to reach the children. . . the questions that the kids ask and the way that it gets everyone involved, all from these little butterflies, the kids really remember.”

Rose and Max Schindler,
Holocaust Survivors

“It’s important that people of all faiths remember The Holocaust and when we reached out to The Butterfly Project, the students at Calvary Christian could connect with a survivor’s story and do something through art to make a better world.”

Sydney Geering,
Youth Leader & Butterfly Project Activist

  • Hanna Marx, Holocaust Survivor
  • Betty Winn, Head of School
  • Kimberly Tuttle, Educator
  • Liebe Geft
  • Ela Weissberger
  • Susan Goldman Rubin
  • Rabbi Michael Schudrich
  • Brian Levin
  • Rose & Max (Survivors)
  • Sydney Geering (Youth Participant)
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