The Unknown Child Foundation

Holocaust Remembrance - Sponsored by SouthGroup Insurance Services

Speaker Rick Wienecke Sculptor

Originally from Canada, Rick traveled to Israel in 1977 with the intention of working on a Kibbutz for six months. He is now an Israeli citizen, married with two sons, and has been living in Israel for over 33 years.

Rick's draw to Israel was a personal search for God. He was fascinated with the birth of Israel as a nation only three years after the devastation of the Jewish people in the Holocaust. Rick perceived that if there is a God, He must have something to do with the Jewish people. How could they have survived without an intervention of God with so much against them? Not only the Holocaust, but their declaration of Statehood in 1948.

The Kibbutz in Israel that he went to was founded in the early 30s by a small group of young Zionist Polish Jews. Rick soon discovered that a large number of these early pioneers were orphans because they had lost the majority of their families in the Holocaust. The Holocaust, as seen through their eyes, was no longer a book of stories for him, but had become relationships and friendships. After a year of working on the Kibbutz, he was asked to be a member and remained there for seven years.

Everything began for Rick during these years in the Kibbutz. He became a believer in Jesus. I received residency in Israel, served in the Israeli Army, and fought in the first Lebanon war. Rick met his wife Dafna and married. I began to learn how to sculpt and this developed an inner spiritual language for Rick. Processing through a piece of work became like a prayer or intercession. He would meditate for hours on a particular theme or idea as he touched it artistically.

Through his years of relationship to the Jewish people and this land, Rick has learned the deep controversy of the person of Jesus towards them. During the last twelve years, he has completed five major works that in some way touch the remembrance of the six million that perished in the Holocaust.

The Holocaust is a place that I enter into creatively with only questions.

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