Holocaust and Genocide Awareness Week 2020


Beyond Duty: Diplomatic Heroism During the Holocaust

Tuesday, March 17th, 5:15 pm, International Village Lobby

Exhibit Opening and Reception*

*Please note the reception is cancelled but the exhibit is on display until April 3

Co-sponsored by the Consul General of Israel to New England and the Jewish Studies Program

Reckoning with Genocide: Student Projects and Reflections

Monday March 23rd, 5:30 pm, Raytheon Amphitheater, 120 Forsyth St.

An original animated film based on The Children’s Tree of Terezin, created by Yael Sheinfeld ’21, Gideon Klein Scholar.

The Children’s Tree of Terezin is a powerfully moving, true story about children and hope in desperate circumstances by Dede Harris, illustrated by Sara Akerlund.

Film animation by Bea Tolan, videography by Joshua Noll

From the Archives: A presentation by Jessie Sigler ’20 on enhancing the online Holocaust Awareness Week archives to make over 25 years of survivor talk videos more descriptive and accessible to the public.

Remembering Srebrenica, a student panel moderated by Prof. Denis Sullivan


Philip N. Backstrom, Jr. Holocaust Survivor Talk:

Esther Adler

Wednesday March 25th, 12 noon in the Cabral Center, African American Institute, 40 Leon St.

Esther Adler was born in Germany to Polish parents and escaped as a teenager to Palestine after experiencing the events of kristallnacht. Her story includes years of separation from and reunification with her parents and brothers. She eventually graduated from the Teacher’s Institute of the Jewish Theological Seminary of New York and has spent many years as a teacher in both formal and informal settings. She has published a collection of poetry and an autobiographical novel, Best Friends: A Bond that Survived Hitler.


28th Annual Robert Salomon Morton Lecture

David Nirenberg

Thursday, March 26th 6pm, Alumni Center, 716 Columbus Ave, 17th floor.

Does the Past History of Anti-Semitism tell us Anything about its Future?

From their earliest origins to the present moment, Christians and Muslims have given shape to their faiths by interacting with and thinking about Jews and Judaism. How has that long history of thought contributed to anti-Semitism in the past and present? And what can the study of that history offer the future?

David Nirenberg has written widely about the ways in which Jewish, Christian, and Islamic cultures interrelate with each other. He is the author of, among other books, Communities of Violence: Persecution of Minorities in the Middle Ages; Anti-Judaism: The Western Tradition; Neighboring Faiths: Christianity, Islam, and Judaism Medieval and Modern; and Aesthetic Theology and its Enemies: Judaism in Christian Painting, Poetry, and Politics. In addition to his scholarly publications, he has written for the London Review of Books, The Nation, The New Republic, Raritan, and Dissent, and contributed to numerous documentaries and films in Europe and the US. Professor Nirenberg teaches in the Committee on Social Thought and the Department of History at the University of Chicago, where he is also the Dean of the Divinity School.


Activism Workshop

Monday March 30, 5:30 pm, Renaissance Park 909

Never Again: a Rallying Cry to Abolish ICE

Never Again Action was formed in the summer of 2019 by a group of Jewish and immigrant activists in response to public discourse about the camps in which immigrants are being detained at the border. While politicians and mainstream institutions squabbled over the use of the word “concentration” to describe the camps, Never Again Action took the position that the words used to describe conditions are less important than fighting to end the conditions themselves. After major actions at ICE detention centers in New Jersey and Boston, over 40 actions spread across the country called for the closure of ICE.

We will talk about the history of Never Again Action, provide time for attendees to get to know one another and share stories, engage in a brief political education workshop on immigrant justice, and offer opportunities for people to continue working with Never Again Action.

Presented by Never Again Action


Holocaust and Genocide Awareness Week events are sponsored by the College of Social Sciences and Humanities, the Jewish Studies Program, the Humanities Center, the Holocaust and Genocide Awareness Committee, and the Office of the Provost.