Rabbi shares lessons learned from Holocaust

The Multicultural Advisory Board (MAB) hosted an International Holocaust Remembrance Program to honor the lives of those who died at Nazi Germany’s hands.

This annual event drew in members of the community, FMU faculty and students.

Rabbi Leah Doberne- Schor, a scholar of Jewish history and religion, was the guest speaker at the event. She has been studying Jewish culture for 20 years, and she was ordained as a rabbi in 2005. She said she is passionate about Jewish history and educating others about the struggles that the Jewish community faced during World War II.

During the Holocaust, more than six million Jews and thousands of other people from oppressed groups in Germany were tortured and murdered because of racism, Doberne- Schor said. Driven by Adolf Hitler’s hate-filled speeches and the German media’s anti-Semitic propaganda, Jews were persecuted and stripped of many of their freedoms, culture and dignity.

Doberne-Schor spoke about the importance of equality and awareness of racism. She advocated for eliminating racist messages from the media, but she also recognized the importance of telling people the effects of racism and warning them how dangerous that type of hatred can be.

“We have not yet created a land that provides liberty and justice for all,” Doberne- Schor said.

She said that even today there are leaders in the U.S. who perpetuate racist ideas and influence massive amounts of people to hate others because of their race.

She compared the way Syrian refugees are being turned away from the U.S. to the way Jewish refugees were turned away from many countries in the 1930s and 1940s. She spoke about the limited opportunities Jews had to leave Germany at the time.

Doberne-Schor also discussed Nazi Germany’s responsibility for the largest genocide in all recorded history. She explained that the genocide was actually known about by most of the world before it ended and that it could happen again if we continue to tolerate hate. She closed with a quote from Rabbi Abraham Joshua Herschel.

“In a free society, some are guilty, all a reresponsible,” Herschel said.

Doberne-Schor asked for questions after her speech, and many guests responded with personal stories about family members’ internments, and in some cases, deaths in concentration camps. They spoke about people who deny the Holocaust’s occurrence and the detrimental effect that ignoring the genocide can have on a world that wants to avoid future genocides. Even with photographic evidence, physical proof and countless firsthand accounts, many people still try to pretend that such an event never occurred.

Doberne-Schor assured the guests that the Holocaust was very real and caused an enormous impact on the Jewish community and on the world. According to Doberne-Schor, the genocide changed millions of lives and continues to impact us today.

Pre-nursing major Shenika Glover is the president of the MAB.

“The purpose of this event is to inform the guests about history and culture of the Jewish community and bring awareness to the Holocaust’s effects,” Glover said. “We love culture, we love to involve people, and we promote diversity.”