To honor the millions who died in the Holocaust and to recognize those who survived its horrors, the Rochester’s Jewish Community Center (RJCC) hosted Holocaust 2009: Community Commemoration on Monday, April 20, featuring two HWS panelists. At the event, speeches were given by Kara Miller ’11 and keynote speaker Michael Dobkowski, professor of religious studies, as well as Sam Rind, a child survivor of the Holocaust, Rabbi Alan Katz, Rabbi Shaya Kilimnick and Dr. Rabbi Sandra Katz to address fundamental questions at a community commemoration.
The Democrat and Chronicle covered the event and recounted some of Rind’s poignant memories and his message to the audience to “Be aware that history repeats itself if we do nothing.”
Miller, who participated in the March of Remembrance and Hope during the summer of 2008, spoke on behalf of her companions who traveled to Holocaust sites in Europe, including several concentration camps. “I want people to understand how important it is to have the knowledge of this incredibly unfortunate event,” explained Miller before the remembrance event. “It is only with knowledge that we can exercise power and caution so that something as horrific as the Shoah [Holocaust] never happens again.”
Using his expertise in Holocaust Studies, Dobkowski addressed fundamental questions related to the Holocaust in his keynote speech.
Dobkowski holds M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in history from New York University. His main areas of interest include Holocaust Studies, American Anti-Semitism, the American Jewish experience, the History of Judaism, and the history of Zionism and Modern Israel. At the Colleges, he is also involved in the Holocaust Studies minor.
A popular lecturer and well-liked professor, he brings analysis tempered by humor and irony to these significant subjects. Dobkowski has organized trips for HWS students to take part in the March of Remembrance and Hope, which allows them to visit monuments and memorials that commemorate the once-thriving Jewish cultural centers in Berlin, Warsaw, Krakow and Lublin that were destroyed during World War II.
Miller is a Psychology Major and a Holocaust Studies Minor. She is also a member of the William Smith Crew Team and the Music and Media Chair for Campus Activities Board.
Full text of the Democrat and Chronicle article follows.
Democrat and Chronicle
Survivors help Jewish community remember Holocaust
Ashwin Verghese • staff writer •April 21, 2009
Sam Rind’s father was killed for his leather jacket.
His brother was beaten to death on their mother’s lap.
And his aunt was executed while her two daughters stood behind her.
When the Polish-born Holocaust-survivor recounted those horrific details to a crowd of hundreds Monday night at the Jewish Community Center, he delivered them with a message: Learn from the past.
“I want people to be aware that history repeats itself if we do nothing,” said Rind, 72, who now lives in Brighton.
Rind spoke Monday during a service for Yom HaShoah, a day of remembrance for Holocaust victims.
Several Holocaust survivors, plus many of their family members, were in attendance for the event.
Rind, who lived in numerous ghettos and concentration camps as a child before finally escaping to freedom, said he wanted people to use the memory of the Holocaust to prevent other genocides around the world.
“I try to tell people from other places that the Holocaust is not a Jewish thing,” he said, noting that Gypsies, homosexuals and other groups were also targeted by the Nazis.
Rind was a featured speaker during Monday’s service, along with Michael Dobkowski, a religious studies professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges.
The service featured prayers, hymns and a ceremony during which survivors and their families lit candles. They were assisted by Leon Moszkowicz, who dressed in his father’s concentration camp uniform.
Kara Miller, a sophomore at Hobart and William Smith who is from Atlanta, also spoke about her voyage to Germany and Poland last summer to visit several camps and museums.
“You have to see it to understand the magnitude,” Miller said.
The photo above was taken during last year’s March of Remembrance and Hope.