Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Holocaust Remembrance Day; Stockton’s Voice is Heard

By: Kate Rowland 

Sundown on April 11th, for many marked the beginning of Yom HaShoah, universally known as Holocaust Remembrance Day. This service is meant to commemorate the 6 million Jewish victims of the Holocaust, represented by the 6 candles that burn through the ceremony, and give a voice to those that have no one to speak for them. Stockton’s Sara and Sam Schoffer Holocaust Resource Center sponsored a Yom HaShoah service that Tuesday at Congregation Beth Israel, located in Northfield, which was titled “Unto Every Person There Is A Name.” 

To Gail Rosenthal, director of the Sara and Sam Schoffer Holocaust Resource Center at Stockton University, “Yom HaShoah is the remembrance of the Holocaust, which is a prime example of prejudice taken to the extreme. Cause it’s not just one person that brought about the violence and destruction . . . It was neighbor against neighbor.” Stockton electives who were in attendance during the Yom HaShoah ceremony were students Michael Salza, Morgan Vukicevich, Brooke Sovern, David Vaknin, and Stockton President Dr. Harvey Kesselman. Each presenter recited works that commemorated both the deceased and survivors, overall representing Stockton University honorably.

To bring the topic more close to home, Stockton University also provided on campus services as well to honor the 6 million lives lost. Representatives from the two sponsors of the event, Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity, Delta Zeta Sorority, students, faculty, and staff read the names of the Jewish victims of the Holocaust that were recorded with Yad Vashem - The World Holocaust Remembrance Center in Jerusalem. 

This event was not only special in that it payed tribute to the millions who died without a voice, but also in showcasing the power of student influence and government. Gail Rosenthal comments, “This was not my idea, I wish I could say, but it wasn’t my idea. It was student initiative and student leadership, so that’s an important way to get activities started.” To see localized activism take this form through Stockton student planning, and to see the turn out of volunteer’s to read the names of those Jewish victims, goes to show that Holocaust Remembrance Day has a reach that goes beyond what is often expected. These services are not just for those in the Jewish community, but for anyone who feels the desire to take a stand for all communities. With that said, make it a must to mark those calendars for next year, and get involved in local services, because there is something for everyone to learn through Yom HaShoah.

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