Posts Tagged ‘Holocaust’

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Elon Hillel remembers Holocaust victims, honors survivors

April 22, 2009

Jessica L. Dexheimer

April 22, 2009

More than half a century after the end of World War II, Elon students are working to ensure that the tragedies of the Holocaust are not forgotten. 

Hillel, the campus organization for Jewish students, usually acknowledges Holocaust Remembrance Day (which falls on a different date each year) by having members publicly read the names of some of the six million victims. On April 22, 24 Hillel members took turns standing in front of Moseley Student Center in 15 minute shifts, each student reading victim’s names from two books listing verified Holocaust victims.

“Our goal was to raise people’s awareness and get people talking,” said junior Susan Esrock, the president of Hillel. “When people walk past and hear someone at the podium reading weird names, they’re probably interested to find out what’s going on.”

Senior Amanda Gross reads the names of Holocaust victims outside of Moseley Tuesday. Members of Hillel took 15-minute turns reading the names of victims.

Senior Amanda Gross reads the names of Holocaust victims outside of Moseley Tuesday. Members of Hillel took 15-minute turns reading the names of victims.

This year was the first year that Hillel organized a week of events surrounding Holocaust Remembrance Day. On Monday, April 20, the group invited a Jewish refugee from Germany to have lunch with students and explain her experiences. The next day, Hillel  had a table at College Coffee where they passed out information about the Holocaust and white ribbons to remind wearers of the genocide. 

On Thursday, the group organized multiple events, including hosting a speech by Holocaust survivor and lighting luminaries across campus to represent the lives lost. The week concluded with a Shabbat dinner on Friday evening. 

2009 was also the first year that Hillel partnered with other campus organizations to promote Holocaust Remembrance. They worked with the service organization Alpha Phi Omega, the gay/lesbian/transgender awareness group SPECTRUM and newly formed anti-genocide coalition, STAND. Members from each of these organizations helped to organize, promote and set up for the various events.

Though April 22 served as a reminder of a tragic day in world history, Esrock believes that the events had an overall positive outcome.

“We hope [students] are reminded of everyone who lost their lives in the Holocaust and that this is an event we can never forget,” she said. “Not only should it represent a historical event that should never be repeated, but it should also remind people of the wonderful lives and legacies that were cut short by the Holocaust.”

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