|Vol. 18, No. 9||Oct. 29, 1998|
The University will celebrate its first Holocaust Education Week, Nov. 1-6, with a variety of events designed to appeal to students with diverse interests.
A bus trip, film, lectures, a dance performance and the chance to take part in the making of a Holocaust memorial quilt will all be offered.
The week has been organized in response to a Holocaust denial story printed last year in The Review, one of over 70 college and university publications across the country duped into printing the offensive material.
"That raised awareness of just what a lack of Holocaust education and knowledge our students have," the Rev. Laura Lee Wilson, executive director and campus pastor for the Wesley Foundation and chair of the Religious and Spiritual Life Concerns Caucus for UD, said. The Rev. Wilson cochairs Holocaust Education Week with Renee B. Shatz, executive director of University of Delaware Hillel.
"After the column was published, the College of Arts and Science Outreach program organized a group of concerned professors, administrators and religious leaders to address this lack of Holocaust education," Wilson said. "That group sponsored a panel discussion last spring. The idea for a week of diverse programs that would attract a variety of students grew from there. The goal of the week is to speak to the students, educate them and raise their consciousness of how the Holocaust has affected all of our lives.
"The Holocaust is not just a Jewish issue; it's an issue for everyone," Shatz added.
Other University groups that have worked to coordinate the week include representatives of the Office of Residence Life, Office of Affirmative Action and Multicultural Programs, the Jewish Studies Program, the Office of Greek Affairs, the Morris Library, the Women's Studies Program, the Center for Black Culture, and the Lesbian Gay, Bisexual Student Union.
"Open Wounds: Images of the Holocaust by a Contemporary American Jew" will be on display during Holocaust Education Week, Nov. 1-6, in the Rodney Room of the Perkins Student Center.
David Aronson of Willow Grove, Pa., created the 12 images to explore his own feelings about the Holocaust and its effect on his self-image as a Jew. Some of the images are a combination of pencil drawings and computer manipulation; some are computer-generated photo collages.
"I created these images to evoke the Holocaust so that the viewer, who may or may not be saturated with information about the Holocaust, will respond to it emotionally," Aronson said.
A trip to the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., will take place on Sunday, Nov. 1. Sponsored by the Office of the President, the trip will depart from campus at noon. The trip is sold out, but a waiting list is available. Call 453-0479.
The Academy Award-winning movie Schindler's List will be shown from 6-11 p.m., Monday, Nov. 2, in the Trabant University Center Theatre. Sponsored by UD's World Peace Club, the screening is free and open to the public.
Lucia Palmer, philosophy, will present the lecture "What Is Wrong with Genocide?" at 6 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 4, in the Multipurpose Room of the Trabant University Center. Palmer's areas of research include the history of philosophy, ethics, philosophy of the emotions and passions. She is the adviser of the World Peace Club at UD.
Throughout the week, students will be able to make a square for a Holocaust memorial quilt in the Concourse of the Perkins Student Center. Quilting supplies also will be available in the Trabant University Center on Thursday, Nov. 5.
Folksinger Joe Aronson will present "Stories, Song and Verse from the Holocaust," at 8 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 3, in the Scrounge of the Perkins Student Center.
The program includes authentic, translated material and is designed to help audience members experience some of the emotions of the participants-the victims, rescuers, resistance fighters, liberators and survivors-and to understand some of the issues of the Holocaust.
It closes with postwar reactions as people struggled to understand what happened and why and what might be done to prevent it from happening again.
The Lima News called Aronson "equal parts historian, artisan and shaman...delivering lessons that go down as easily as the honey dropped on a young man's tongue in the first Torah lesson."
The Avodah Dance Ensemble, a dynamic modern dance company rooted in Jewish tradition with a multicultural emphasis, will perform at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 5, in Mitchell Hall.
The event is free to UD students with ID and $5 for the general public. Tickets are available in advance at box offices at the Trabant University Center and the Bob Carpenter Center.
Avodah was founded more than 25 years ago by JoAnne Tucker, who combines a unique background of professional modern dance training from the Juilliard School and the Martha Graham Studio with the rigors of academic research at the University of Wisconsin.
The company helped pioneer the use of dance in Jewish ritual and education.
Jennifer Dunning of The New York Times wrote, "There are not too many practicing choreographers of dance based on religious themes in these godless days. JoAnne Tucker is one of the most persistent and one of the best, creating simple, luminous and heartfelt dances based on Jewish traditions."
Avodah's Holocaust related repertory includes "I Never Saw Another Butterfly," danced to poems written by children and young adults in the concentration camp of Terezin, and "Shema," inspired by the writing of Italian Holocaust survivor Primo Levi.
In reviewing a performance of "Shema," Jack Anderson of The New York Times wrote, "Ms. Tucker captured the spirit of the texts, and 'Shema' effectively contrasted relentless pacing representing concentration camp regimentation, with sudden outbursts symbolizing the prisoners' turbulent personal feelings."
A third piece of Holocaust repertory is a new dance on the righteous gentiles by up and coming choreographer Charlotte Griffin.
Holocaust Education Week will conclude with a service at 5:30 p.m., Friday, Nov. 6, in Hillel, 47 West Delaware Ave. Students who participated in the March of the Living will speak about their experiences. The March of the Living is a program for high school students who travel to Europe and trace Jewish history through tours of former concentration camps and Israel.
For additional details on any of the events planned for Holocaust Education Week, call Shatz at 453-0479 or Wilson at 368-8802.