Bulgaria and Denmark Honored by HUC-JIR for Rescue of Jewish Citizens during the Holocaust

Monday, April 1, 2002

On Sunday, April 7, 2002, The Center for Holocaust and Humanity Education of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion honored Bulgaria and Denmark with a formal reception, dinner, and program at the Omni Netherland Plaza Hotel in Cincinnati. These two countries remarkably saved their Jewish citizens from Nazi persecution and this special evening paid tribute to the heroism of the peoples of these countries with a culturally rich program featuring some of the Tri-state's finest performers.

The Cincinnati Arts Association Jazz Quartet performed during the cocktail reception. Dinner began with the May Festival Youth Chorus performing a repertoire of Jewish Folk songs including "Blessed is the Match" based on a poem by Hannah Senesh. The Northern Kentucky University Choral Singers performed a collection of songs from musical theater that deal with the issues of racism and bigotry. The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra closed the evening with Bulgarian-Jewish dances, the story of Danish people risking their lives to provide minorities a protected home, and the theme from "Schindler's List."

Addressing the dinner was His Serene Highness, Prince Karl-Boris Leiningen of Bulgaria. The Honorable Hristo Danov, Chief Justice, Constitutional Court of Bulgaria; the Honorable Elena Poptodorova, Ambassador of Bulgaria to the United States; and, the Honorable Ulrik Federspiel, Ambassador of Denmark to the United States were also present at the dinner.

The dinner, part of the Day of Recognition honoring Bulgaria and Denmark, launched two weeks of Holocaust Awareness Weeks 2002 programming in the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky areas. Carole Tyler Rigaud and Mary Hemmer were the co-chairs of the Day of Recognition. Ms. Rigaud, a board member of The Center for Holocaust and Humanity Education, is a committed community activist serving on a number of boards including the Free Store/Food Bank, Advocates for Youth, and the May Festival. Ms. Hemmer, Managing Partner of Hemmer Communities, is a board member of the Kentucky Humanities Council.

The Honorable S. Arthur and Louise Spiegel and the Honorable Nathaniel and Lillian Jones were chosen as the honorary co-chairs of Holocaust Awareness Weeks 2002 because of their tireless efforts in service to the community for over half a century.

In addition to the dinner, the Day of Recognition honoring Bulgaria and Denmark included a public ceremony at the Cincinnati Art Museum where representatives from these two countries received honors. Throughout the day, a series of documentary films testifying to the heroism of these two countries was shown in the auditorium of the Cincinnati Art Museum. Two related art exhibitions are on display at locations around the city: Prize-winning artist Karen Gunderson's paintings and prints are on view at the HUC-JIR Skirball Museum and the photography of Judy Ellis Glickman, Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society of Great Britain, are on display at the Cincinnati Public Library downtown.

Role Models from the Holocaust is the theme for the Second Annual Holocaust Awareness Weeks to be held from April 7 to April 21, 2002. Two weeks of lectures, exhibits, films, and cultural events are offered to the public. Area bookstores and public libraries will feature exhibits and book signings and the Cincinnati Film Society will host film viewings across the Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky area. A series of speakers will give presentations and lead discussions in universities and high schools.

The Center for Holocaust and Humanity Education is an education and community resource center established by The Combined Generations of the Holocaust of Greater Cincinnati and Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. The Center offers workshops, professional training seminars, and graduate courses. Teaching Holocaust Studies from academic and theological perspectives, The Center promotes tolerance and social justice in a broad range of civic and cultural concerns. For more information on Holocaust Awareness Weeks 2002 or to receive a calendar of events contact The Center for Holocaust and Humanity Education by phone: (513) 221-1875, ext. 355, email: CHHE@huc.edu, or see:http://huc.edu/chhe/


Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is North America's leading institution of higher Jewish education and the academic, spiritual, and professional leadership development center of Reform Judaism. HUC-JIR educates men and women for service to North American and world Jewry as rabbis, cantors, educators, and nonprofit management professionals, and offers graduate programs to scholars and clergy of all faiths. With centers of learning in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York, HUC-JIR's scholarly resources comprise the renowned Klau Library, The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, research institutes and centers, and academic publications. In partnership with the Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, HUC-JIR sustains the Reform Movement's congregations and professional and lay leaders. HUC-JIR's campuses invite the community to cultural and educational programs illuminating Jewish heritage and fostering interfaith and multiethnic understanding. www.huc.edu