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March 26, 2004 - Image 25

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2004-03-26

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Need To Remember

the Holocaust following World War II until the Six-
Day War in the Middle East.
While Diner said Many books "buy into the para-
digm of silence," an understanding that recognizes
1967 as the starting point for public Holocaust
memorialization following a period of it not being
discussed, her research showed empirical evidence
Conference speakers included the son of
that the Holocaust was being discussed and memori-
Wladyslaw Szpilman, who talked about his father's
alized even while the war was still going on.
World War II experiences, portrayed in the movie
In the community of Holocaust scholarship,
and book, The Pianist, and Michael
Diner's comments seemed long overdue
Berenbaum, a founder of the United
to Ann Arbor resident Elliot Gertel.
States Holocaust Memorial Museum in
"As she very well expressed it, there
Washington, D.C.
seems to be a large-scale myth that in the
Issues addressed ranged from how post-
post-war period, 1945 until at least 1967,
war American Jews responded to the
no one in the American Jewish commu-
Holocaust to the way scholars and Jewish
nity, including newly arrived immigrants
communities interpret and reflect on this
who were themselves survivors of the
piece of the past today.
Holocaust, discussed the destruction of
"The more distant we stand from the
European Jewry at the hands of the Nazis
Holocaust, the larger the event looms,"
and their collaborators," he said.
Berenbaum told conference attendees
Gertel, whose parents survived the
March 18, discussing the way Holocaust
Holocaust, remembers hearing it dis-
Professor Diner
memory "went from the ghetto to the
cussed growing up at home, in his youth
mainstream" in the late 1970s and after-
group, Habonim, and at summer camp
Kindervelt in Highland Mills, N.Y. "When I was a
"The place from which you remember an event
child, I was strongly inculcated with the horror of
shapes how you remember the event," Berenbaum
what happened and from which my parents were for-
also explained, saying that the geographic location
tunate enough to just barely escape, while my grand-
and spiritual environment of a given space impact
parents and many uncles, aunts, and other relatives
were not so fortunate," he said.
the way the Holocaust is remembered there. The
same type of memorial or museum, he said, is thus
Ginzburg said he hopes people come away from
not appropriate for every location.
the conference, which was planned, organized and
run by students, with tools they can use to build
more tolerance and understanding in the world
1967 Starting Point
around them.
New York University Professor Hasia Diner spoke
"I hope they just meditate on it, but first realize
with participants Wednesday about the way the
that human nature is capable of atrocities like the
Holocaust was remembered in texts during and fol-
Holocaust, and then you have to live with it, to fig-
lowing World War II. She addressed its integration
ure out how you're going to live with it," he said. "I
into many prayer books and songs as well as the need hope they find ways to fight hate with whatever les-
son they learn." LI
to debunk the popular myth of public silence about

U-M 25th annual Holocaust conference focuses on memory.

Special to the Jewish News

Ann Arbor


erspectives on the Holocaust have changed
since Jeff Coleman started the University
of Michigan Hillel Annual Conference on
the Holocaust in 1979 — and current
conference co-chair Roman Ginzburg wants students
and community members to stop and think about
"It's just trying to understand why we remember;
it's been drilled through most students' minds that
we must remember," said Ginzburg, 21, a senior
from Buffalo Grove, Ill. "The question is how do we
use it, what do we do with that, how do we build on
The 25th Annual Conference on the Holocaust
offered students and community members the
opportunity to explore these and other questions for
two weeks through film, music and lectures. A 24- •
hour memorial also was held, with campus organiza-
tions and groups publicly reading the names of
Holocaust victims.
Perry Teicher, 19, a U-M freshman from West
Bloomfield, said reading the names as people stood
silently in commemoration was a very moving expe-
rience. He said he won't forget the look of one man
who spent hours standing there listening.
"I read names, left for an hour, and when I came
back he was still standing there," said Teicher, who
was on the conference planning committee. "The
look on his face really exemplified the feeling within
me of pain, anguish and hope that events like the
Holocaust never occur again."

Camp Keshet Receives Grant

Camp Keshet, a summer camp run by
the Humanistic Jewish community,
begins its second year on a high note.
The Center for Cultural Judaism, a
New.York-based philanthropic organiza-
tion, with backing from London's Posen
Foundation, has presented the fledgling
camp with a three-year grant of
$72,000. In addition, the foundation
will pay for two Israeli educators to serve
as counselors over the three-year period
as well as advertising.
"We founded Camp Keshet because
we feel our message is crucial to the
future of the Jewish people," said Rabbi
Tamara Kolton of the Birmingham
Temple, who will continue as director of
the national camp. "We are extremely
appreciative of this grant, which will
enable us to give more scholarships as
well as enhance our programming."

Camp Keshet takes place July 12-30
on the grounds of Camp Cavell, a
YWCA camp in Lexington, Mich., on
the shores of Lake Huron.
Last year, the camp's Jewish content
included conversational Hebrew, a
Jewish "Survival Island," a mock wed-
ding and an Ellis Island experience
where a hayride took the place of the
ship that brought the immigrants across
the ocean. Plans for this summer
include a baby-naming and Palestinian-
Israeli conflict resolution day.
The camp also offers standard camp
experiences such as hiking, horseback
riding and archery.
For more information, call (248) 478-
7610 or 477-1410; or e-mail:


• Are you a Jewish high school senior
graduating in June?
• Do you have a 3.60 or higher
unweighted GPA?
• Have you been contacted by your
school about the Jewish News Cap &
Gown section on May 21?

If not, go to the upper right corner of
our Web site and print out the infor-
mation on how to be included:

And if you want to place an advertise-
ment in our Cap & Gown issue, call
(248) 351-5100 or see the ad on page.
77 in this issue.


• George Surowy is a social worker
in private practice who treats patients
with addiction problems. Contrary to
the story ("Too Much Gambling?"
March 12, page 25), he does not prac-
tice at the Maplegrove Center in West
Bloomfield. He left there in 1989.
• Staff Writer Shelli Liebman
Dorfman wrote two stories in the
March 19 Spirituality section
("Shabbat Light," page 52, and
"Shared Healing," page 53), but her
byline was inadvertently omitted.
• In a story about Ann Arbor's
Limud program ("Enlivening
Education," page 66, March 19), the
Jewish Community Center of
Washtenaw County should have been
listed as a sponsor:

— Diana Lieberman, staff writer



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