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DU site to generate social action through Holocaust memory

Holocaust Memorial Social Action Site to be dedicated Oct. 10

DENVER—The University of Denver (DU) Center for Judaic Studies (CJS) dedicates the on-campus Holocaust Memorial Social Action Site (HMSAS) Sunday, Oct. 10 with the setting of its first stone near Buchtel Tower. The outdoor gathering place is deliberately designed to transform the memory of the millions in Europe murdered by the Nazis more than 65 years ago into acts of social justice in the broadest sense. The dedication begins at 6:30 p.m. at the DU School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management and ends with a candle-lighting and time capsule ceremony at the HMSAS.

“Remembering the Holocaust should not simply be a passive act,” says Sarah Pessin, Director of CJS at DU. “When we say ‘Never Again’ we commit ourselves to repairing the world through learning, intercultural dialogue and social justice initiatives. These are key parts of what it means to remember the Holocaust.”

The Memorial is linked to an Endowed Chair of Holocaust Studies and will be home to performances, lectures, readings and vigils that advance humanitarian causes, foster intercultural dialogue and incubate empathy and public good works.  

“The site will be a public square for social-consciousness raising,” says Pessin.

Designed under the guidance of DU architect Mark Rodgers, the HMSAS radiates outward from a central stone bench shaped like the Hebrew word for life, ‘chai,’ to an amphitheater of facing stone benches for a wide range of gatherings. At the entry to the site are metal lattice partitions that suggest the shattered windows of Kristallnacht, and spell out the Hebrew word ‘hineni,’translated as ‘Here I am.’

“‘Hineni’ is a post-Holocaust Jewish ethical teaching about the infinite responsibility each of us has for the other,” says Pessin.

The event is free and open to the public, but RSVP’s are required. To RSVP, visit  (click on ‘Oct. 10 RSVP’) or call (303) 871-3899 by Oct. 3, 2010.


 The University of Denver is committed to improving the human condition and engaging students and faculty in tackling the major issues of our day. DU ranks among the top 100 national universities in the U.S. For additional information, go to

  Mackenzie Berg
Phone: (303) 871-4633

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