Butterflies Flood the Halls: A Symbol Against Anti-Semitism


On January 28th about 3,000 butterflies flew through the halls of Grandview High School. Although the butterflies are made of plain paper they carry a more meaningful message.

“The butterfly project is an international organization and its goal is to create 1.5 million  butterflies for the 1.5 million children that died in the holocaust,” Jewish Student Society Co-president Naomi Frishman said. “So as Jewish Student Society we want to spread a message to the school regarding anti-Semitism and how it’s not okay,” 

The butterfly mural is a project for the Holocaust Remembrance Day. Which seems like the best opportunity to reflect the hardships the Jewish community overcame while bringing awareness to ongoing anti-semitism. 

“It’s kind of a wake-up call to be more aware when we see anti-semitic incidents,” Jewish Student Society Co-president Ofri Leshem said.

This project isn’t just the Jewish Students Society’s work either. Each student decorated a paper butterfly in their advisory class, and this community effort is extremely important.

“With every person in their advisory decorating a butterfly will get maybe at least 2000 butterflies, which is awesome! It’s a huge milestone for the butterfly project,” Frishman said. 

A Grandview Student colors butterflies during Advisory.

However, it is still easy to forget what these colorful butterflies really mean. Each butterfly represents exactly one human child’s death. If you think 3,000 is a big number, remember that’s only 0.2 percent of all kids who died in the Holocaust.

“It kind of hits more close to home knowing that some people didn’t even get as far as we got and it’s kind of a sign of appreciation to where you’re at,” Leshem said.

That’s why it is so important to have a Holocaust Remembrance Day. It’s important to talk about these subjects, whether it’s through butterflies or in history class. 

“We [have to] learn so that it never happens again,” Frishman said.