Of the 6 million Jews who perished, 1.5 million were children.
Tens of thousands of Romani/Gypsy children,
German children with disabilities living in institutions,
Polish children living in occupied Soviet Union.
Mere children.


The Leaf Project is a call to action to learn lessons drawn from the Holocaust to help us recognize prejudice, discrimination and stereotyping. By collecting one individualized leaf at a time, this Project enables us inspire tolerance and appreciation of diversity, courage and heroism through interactive learning. The goal is to create and collect 1.5 million leaves, one for each child who perished in the Holocaust. In this way, we connect to history and honor lives lost.

Vermont Holocaust Memorial will collect, count, mount and eventually display the leaves in a collective exhibition.

Why Leaves?

In Vermont, trees dominate and populate our landscape. Trees have always served as a metaphor for life, for family. There are no two trees alike. There are no two leaves alike. There are no two people alike. All trees are separate, yet all trees have a need to survive and are connected as one.

The leaves are our children....our hope...our life dream.
Leaves fall and scatter their seed.
The seed takes root.
The roots grow trees.
The trees bear new leaves.
And - the cycle of life continues.

Imagine a landscape where all the trees have been cut down....uprooted?
Imagine a future without our trees?

Get Involved

Through the Leaf Project, communities can take action to further Holocaust awareness. Create leaves to honor and remember the lives lost. With your help, our mission will be fulfilled. Help transform the way we can learn about this difficult part of our history.

Ways you can get involved

Teachers, community leaders, faith leaders, librarians, families, can join together to create beautiful leaves that help reach our goal. It’s a powerful way to engage groups large and small in interactive learning. Use crayons, paints, stickers, glitter Write messages of hope, of love, in memory or in honor of someone. All are unique, all are different - as are all people.

  • Download stencils for leaves to decorate here. Make your own leaves to decorate.
  • Use any medium - cardboard, fabric, tissue, or paper for example. Note: size should not exceed 6”
  • Contact VTHM to receive a packet of 100 pre-cut leaves for decorating

Build a meaningful temporary installation or mural of your own - and share it with others.

As you create and collect leaves in your community, school, library, church, special interest group - display the leaves by hanging them, mounting them, spreading them out. Talk about its importance, make others aware of the significance of remembering lives lost, discuss the uniqueness and differences of all people.

Who can participate? Anyone!

  • Public and private schools
  • Home schools
  • Religious organizations
  • Special interest groups
  • 4-H
  • Scout troops
  • Camps
  • Art classes
  • ...Anywhere people are taught ethics and good citizenship


Follow our progress as we count to 1.5 million.
Check out our recommended lesson plans.

excerpted from "The Outside World" by Tovah Mirvis
Think of the parts of a tree
a leaf that becomes a twig
which becomes a branch
which becomes a trunk
which becomes roots
which become the ground
and then the earth
and then the whole world. 

What we remember, can shape our future.
How we remember, will shape our lives.