Campus & Community / Magazine Feature

Holocaust Memorial Social Action Site to be dedicated Oct. 10

Holocaust memorial site

DU's Holocaust Memorial Social Action Site will be dedicated on Oct. 10. Rendering: Mark Rodgers

DU’s Center for Judaic Studies will dedicate the on-campus Holocaust Memorial Social Action Site on Oct. 10 with the setting of the memorial’s first stone near Buchtel Tower.

The outdoor gathering place is designed to transform the memory of the millions in Europe murdered by the Nazis more than 65 years ago into acts of social justice in the broadest sense.

The dedication begins at 6:30 p.m. at the DU School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management and ends with a candle-lighting and time capsule ceremony at the site.

“Remembering the Holocaust should not simply be a passive act,” says Sarah Pessin, director of the center. “When we say, ‘never again’ we commit ourselves to repairing the world through learning, intercultural dialogue and social justice initiatives. These are key parts of what it means to remember the Holocaust.”

The memorial is linked to an endowed chair of Holocaust studies and will be home to performances, lectures, readings and vigils that advance humanitarian causes, foster intercultural dialogue and incubate empathy and public good works.  

“The site will be a public square for social-consciousness raising,” Pessin says.

Designed under the guidance of DU architect Mark Rodgers, the memorial radiates outward from a central stone bench shaped like the Hebrew word for life, ‘chai,’ to an amphitheater of stone benches for a wide range of gatherings. At the entry to the site are metal lattice partitions that suggest the shattered windows of Kristallnacht and spell out the Hebrew word ‘hineni,’ which translates to ‘Here I am.’

“‘Hineni’ is a post-Holocaust Jewish ethical teaching about the infinite responsibility each of us has for the other,” Pessin says.

The event is free and open to the public but RSVPs are required. To RSVP, visit or call 303-871-3899 by Oct. 3, 2010.


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