The Holocaust, with Punchlines


City is a daily comic strip published in many national newspapers. It’s about a family, the Ardins, who happen to be Jewish.

Jewish subjects don’t feature in the Ardins’ life every day, but their religion does come up sporadically. (The strip’s creators, Terry and Patty LaBan, are both Jewish–and a married couple–and they frequently draw on their own life experiences for the stories, and the humor, in the strip.)

This month, the LaBans are trying something different. Colin Ardin, the preteen son, is working on a Holocaust awareness project. “Oh, gosh!” says Mrs. Ardin, when Colin tells her about his Hebrew school assignment. “Is it disturbing?” Colin replies: “Not really…it happened an awfully long time ago.”

As the family helps Colin with his project, they all discover how little they really know about the Holocaust. The strip serves to educate, while simultaneously producing the required daily punchline. So far, the LaBans have navigated some potentially risky territory admirably. Colin explains how they were given memorial candles to light for Holocaust Memorial Day. “And you’ll light it yourself?” asks his father. “Um…” flounders Colin. “If I remember.”

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