OPINION: Honoring Holocaust Remembrance Day

By Natasha Ma , Maayan Zuniga and Sydney Klaiman | February 19, 2020 7:06pm

From left to right, Jewish Student Union Leaders: Maayan Zuniga, secretary, Natasha Ma, president, and Sydney Klaiman, Shabbat coordinator.

The Jewish Student Union partnered with Diversity Dialogues earlier this semester to bring the event “Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education Trip” to provide an educational experience and time for reflection for International Holocaust Remembrance Day. This event promoted the Jewish Student Union’s goals to spread education and knowledge of Jewish faith and culture. Thus, the Jewish Student Union chose to go to the Jewish Oregon Museum because it provided an opportunity for people to learn about and remember the Holocaust. 

At this event, the participants had the opportunity to learn about The Holocaust through three main exhibits. One told the stories of survivors; another shared the experiences of Jews in Oregon; and the last was an exhibit on discrimination and resistance. Holocaust Remembrance Day, Jan. 27, serves as a time to pay tribute to the memories of the victims of the Holocaust, and to reaffirm our commitment to stopping forms of anti-Semitism and other forms of racism. It also serves as a reminder for everyone, especially for those in leadership positions, to value human rights and freedom. 

It is important for the UP community to become exposed to and aware of the Holocaust because this is an event that impacted and still impacts the lives of millions of Jews and other groups around the world. Additionally, it is important to never forget what human beings are capable of doing and the repercussions that it has on others. This event should be taken as a learning experience and as a means of motivation to influence those around you in a positive manner. This event highlighted the significance of accepting diversity and recognizing that people come from many different backgrounds and have unique experiences. We hope that people have taken away not just historical knowledge but also have cultivated a deeper empathy and sensitivity which they can apply to their lives. 

Natasha Ma is the president of the Jewish Student Union and can be reached at ma21@up.edu. Maayan Zuniga is the secretary of the Jewish Student Union and can be reached at zunigam21@up.edu. Sydney Klaiman is the Shabbat coordinator for the Jewish Student Union and can be reached at klaiman22@up.edu