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February 22, 2024

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Spring Housing Guide

Jewish group raises awareness

Steven W. Echard

Hillel, a Jewish group on campus, holds a discussion after students watch The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

To Sophie Goldenberg, Holocaust Remembrance Day is about preserving memories and stories, while also sharing them with those who might not know them.

Goldenberg has gone to temple and learned about the Holocaust since she was young. She has even been to every concentration camp.

Now she and other members of Hillel, a Jewish student organization with a chapter on campus, want to spread that knowledge to the rest of campus.

“Jewish people already know about the Holocaust so it’s important for everyone to understand,” said Goldenberg, a senior and president of Hillel, which has up to 40 members at the University. “It’s our duty to carry on their memory.”

Hillel hosted a movie event for Holocaust Remembrance Day, which is internationally recognized. Even as far as Poland, people honor the memories of those in the Holocaust by marching three miles to Auschwitz, Goldenberg said.

About 15 students gathered Sunday night in the Union to watch “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas,” a 2008 film based on a novel of the same name. The film centers around a World War II Nazi concentration camp and is told from the perspective of two boys: one the son of a Nazi commandant and the other a Jewish prisoner of the camp.

Hillel members chose a movie with children as the main characters because the only Holocaust survivors still alive today were children during that time, Goldenberg said.

“Hopefully this will inspire someone to go talk to a survivor,” she said.

Sydney Brinsky, a junior and member of Hillel, liked the movie for the different perspective it took.

“You got to see what a German family saw,” she said.

Emily Daiell, chair of public relations for Hillel, further commented on the movie.

“It also shows the power of brainwashing and what propaganda can do for a nation,” she said.

Ray Plaza, associate director in the Office of Multicultural Affairs, got the word out about the event to the campus through fliers and campus update.

Plaza said he wants to bring to light an aspect of diversity often overlooked: religion.

“As an underrepresented community, it’s what we can do to better educate the community on Jewish tradtion,” he said. “Our goal is just to let the campus community know this is going on.”

The goal of the remembrance day is to make sure the stories and memories stay alive, even when the survivors pass on, said Senior Morgan Levin, secretary of Hillel.

“If we don’t keep talking about it there are people who say it didn’t happen,” Levin said. “In ten years time, we’re slowly losing the survivors [of the Holocaust] … we only have so much time to get their stories.”

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