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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


UA Hillel Foundation promotes increased tolerance at Holocaust Vigil

Michelle A. Monroe
Michelle A. Monroe / Arizona Daily Wildcat University of Arizona Police Department officials gave awards to UA employees and one student who helped them solve crimes or arrest people.

The UA Hillel Foundation will hold its 20th annual 24-hour Holocaust Vigil on Wednesday to remember the Holocaust and increase tolerance and understanding both on campus and in the Tucson community.

The vigil will start at noon on Wednesday on the UA Mall and will end Thursday at 12:15 p.m. The schedule includes a reading of the names of those who died in the Holocaust, as well as a list of speakers. The theme of this year’s vigil is “Silence Helps the Oppressors,” said Naomi Schuster, director of Jewish Student Life.

“Our goal is to not have people be bystanders,” Schuster said. “Stand up for yourself and make sure that an atrocity such as the Holocaust doesn’t happen again.”

All events are open to the public and free of charge. Survivors will speak throughout the day.

The Holocaust Vigil will feature three additions this year, according to Schuster. The first addition is a depiction of a family before World War II. The exhibit will allow people to see pictures of real families before they were killed in the Holocaust, Schuster said.

“The [UA] mall is to serve the public, to gain the public eye and make sure people see it and make sure people can learn about what happened,” Schuster said.

The second addition is a pledge, which provides an opportunity for campus members to pledge to “never be a bystander or silent to tragedies happening around the world,” Schuster said.

Lastly, UA Hillel will be bringing the Butterfly Project: Zikaron V’Tikvah- Remembrance and Hope to Tucson. This project was created in 2006 at San Diego Jewish Academy. The Butterfly Project memorializes the Jewish children killed in the Holocaust and seeks to create 1.5 million ceramic butterflies in honor of their memory, Schuster said.

“I think it is important for students in particular to learn about and know about the Holocaust and what happened,” said Michelle Blumenberg, executive director of the Hillel Foundation. “Only by knowing the past can we prevent future tragedies. We have been holding this annual vigil for over 20 years. Even if our campus community stops by for 30 seconds, at least they’ll hear a couple of names being read that were lost in the Holocaust.”

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