Remember and reflect

Remember+and+reflect

Amy Lau

Hillel commerates 70th anniversary of the Holocaust

For Holocaust Remembrance week, which spanned from April 9 -16, Lafayette’s Hillel Society planned a variety of events to commemorate the victims of the Holocaust and educate those at Lafayette about the Holocaust.

“As a Jewish organization, it is the obligation of Hillel and its members to educate whoever will listen so that a tragedy like the Holocaust will never happen again,” said Josh Sperber ‘15, a member of the planning committee.

On the first two days of Holocaust Remembrance Week, members of Lafayette’s Hillel Society handed out blue ribbons in front of a large tub of beads. Each bead represented one person who died in the Holocaust, and the entire tub only represented two percent of the 11 million Holocaust deaths.

“I was shocked when I realized what a big number eleven million actually is,” Francesca Blood ‘18 said. “Seeing the beads in the bucket really helped me put into perspective just how many innocent people were killed in the Holocaust.”

“It is really important to remember that it wasn’t just the Jews that died during the Holocaust, as 5 million others died, as well,” said Alyssa Braver ‘16, who was in charge of the planning committee for Lafayette’s Hillel Society. “This week of programming was devised with them in mind.”

On Monday, there was a lunch and learn at the Hillel House about the Holocaust followed by a Q&A session led by Professor Robert Weiner, one of Hillel’s advisors.

Braver said that her goal is for students to remember and reflect on the events of the Holocaust, while also considering where we are in the world today and how far we’ve come.

She hopes that this will also prompt students to think about “what we can and must still work on in terms of discrimination. Not just…anti-Semitism, but all forms of discrimination that people experience.”

Wednesday night the group screened “No Place on Earth,” a documentary film about those who lived underground in order to hide from Nazis during the Holocaust, in Kirby Hall with a short discussion after.

“There are so many sad stories, but also some great stories that showcase the perseverance of the Jewish people and of other persecuted groups,” Sperber said.

Hillel concluded the week with a panel discussion on Thursday, the official Holocaust Remembrance Day, by professors Carr, Peleg and Weiner, as well as Rabbi Stein entitled “The Plight of Jews in the World Today” that considered the condition of Jews 70 years after the end of the Holocaust.

“I hope students learn more information about this horrible time in history by hearing it from different perspectives and sources,” planning committee member Alicia Rosenbaum ‘18 said. “I know I have and am still learning new things about the Holocaust.”

“After the Holocaust, the world said never again,” Braver said. “My goal when planning the week was to ultimately remind people of this promise. While no one wants to discuss tragic things…remembering is important to make sure history does not repeat itself.”