Holocaust Awareness Weeks 2004: Facing Prejudice - Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion
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Holocaust Awareness Weeks 2004: Facing Prejudice

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Thursday, April 1, 2004

The Center for Holocaust and Humanity Education at Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute for Religion announces its 4th Annual Holocaust Awareness Weeks from April 15 - June 2004. Holocaust Awareness Weeks is a community outreach event bringing a lecture series and artistic programs across the Greater Cincinnati region through collaboration with 50 diverse local institutions, universities, and museums. Each year, The Center invites international scholars and artists to engage in public discussion about lessons from the Holocaust.

Facing Prejudice is the theme for Holocaust Awareness Weeks 2004. Facing Prejudice focuses on the realization that a technologically advanced, highly educated and cultured society became perpetrators of prejudice and bigotry. Nazi Germany's academics and professionals misused and abused their knowledge to foster hate, contaminating the arts, sciences, and humanities. Facing Prejudice explores different aspects of Nazism that labeled art and music as "degenerate," excluded and eliminated the disabled through eugenics programs and so-called "euthanasia," developed a "Ministry of Propaganda" that specialized in Hate Speech, destroyed all medical ethics by human experimentation and mass sterilization, and every workplace and profession.

How can these lessons from the Holocaust teach today's home, school, and workplace to eliminate prejudice from their midst? Facing Prejudice challenges society and if taken seriously, can transform it.

Richard Weiland, chairman of the board of the Holocaust Center, announced that Paul and Cynthia Booth and Lynne and Robert Kanter will serve as honorary co-chairs for Holocaust Awareness Weeks 2004 because of their commitment to promoting tolerance and equality throughout the community.

The lecture series presents speakers exploring prejudices within professions and how these professions contributed to the Holocaust. The series is made possible through a grant from the Ohio Humanities Council. Speakers include:

  • Edwin Black, Washington-based independent scholar and author of War Against the Weak: Eugenics and America's Campaign to Create a Master Race.
  • Prof. Robert Van Pelt, Canadian scholar and expert witness in the David Irving Holocaust Denial case.
  • Dr. David Culbert, of Louisiana State University and a scholar on the history of Nazi filmmakers and propaganda, and many more.

Holocaust Awareness Weeks 2004 also features innovative programming in the arts. The Kentucky Symphony Orchestra presents War and Remembrance, the regional premiere of Symphony No. 3 by Gorecki, sung with prayers found written on a Nazi prison wall and Survivor from Warsaw by Schoenberg.

The programming will culminate with two events in June: A multimedia concert performed by the University of Cincinnati - College Conservatory of Music at the Cincinnati Art Museum called Forbidden Sights and Sounds: Nazi Suppression of Art and Culture and the unveiling of an original exhibit designed by the Holocaust Center and the DAAP Graphic Design Department at University of Cincinnati called Facing Prejudice From Within. This major portable exhibit will tour campuses and other public spaces around Ohio and the USA. Grants from the Ohio Humanities Council and Procter and Gamble helped facilitate this major programming initiative.

All events are open to the public. For more information about Facing Prejudice or for a complete listing of events, please contact Dr. Racelle Weiman, Director of the Center, at 513-221-1875 ext. 355 or visit the website www.holocaustandhumanity.org.

The powerful appeal from Dr. Haim Ginott, a much-loved child psychologist and author, is the programming tag line for Facing Prejudice: " I am a survivor of a concentration camp. My eyes saw what no person should witness: gas chambers built by learned engineers. Children poisoned by educated physicians. Infants killed by trained nurses. Women and babies shot by high school and college graduates. So, I am suspicious of education. My request is: help our children become human."

The Center for Holocaust and Humanity Education is an educational and community resource center at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati. It offers workshops, professional training seminars, graduate courses, and development of original curriculum. Teaching Holocaust studies from academic and theological perspectives, the Center promotes tolerance and social justice in a broad range of civic and cultural concerns.

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 leaders to serve 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, museums, 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