Orange County University Students Gather for Holocaust Remembrance Eventby SDJJ Staff April 24, 2017
On Thursday, April 20, the Rodgers Center for Holocaust Education at Chapman University presented An Evening of Holocaust Remembrance in Memorial Hall. Now in its 18th year, this annual event included reflections and tributes in words, music, dance, and documentary film. This year’s ceremony featured a lighting of memorial candles and an emotional tribute to the late Elie Wiesel, Nobel Peace Prize laureate and Distinguished Presidential Fellow at Chapman from 2011 to 2015.
“Elie Wiesel believed strongly in the power of memory and in our obligation to witness to memory,” said Marilyn Harran, Ph.D., director of Chapman University’s Rodgers Center for Holocaust Education. “Over the years, at Chapman, we have been privileged to have many Holocaust survivors and witnesses participate in this special evening of remembrance, including Professor Wiesel in 2012. This year, the candle lighting included survivors, members of the second and third generations, and Chapman students, symbolizing the continuation of memory into the future.”
This year’s event included an originally choreographed dance by Chapman dance performance major Cristina McKeever, as well as music performed by Maestro Daniel Alfred Wachs, director of Orchestral Activities in Chapman’s Hall-Musco Conservatory of Music, and violinist Iman Khosrowpour, artistic director and conductor, Symphony Orchestra, Irvine Valley College. Both musicians performed for Professor Wiesel when he spoke at Chapman. Reflections were given by Rabbi Elie Spitz of the Congregation B’nai Israel in Tustin; Dr. Gail Sterns, dean of the Wallace All Faiths Chapel at Chapman; and Dr. Harran. The evening included readings from Professor Wiesel’s works and a screening of the 20-minute documentary Memory Keepers by Washington, D.C., based writer and director Molly Blank. The documentary was filmed in Elie Wiesel’s birthplace of Sighet, Romania.