JSU Hosts 35th Annual Holocaust Day of Remembrance

JSU Hosts 35th Annual Holocaust Day of Remembrance


The 35th annual Jacksonville State University Holocaust Remembrance will take place April 5 at 7:30 p.m. at the Ernest Stone Center for the Performing Arts.

This year’s featured keynote speaker will be Esther Levy of Birmingham, Ala., a second generation survivor. Levy, a Guardian of Remembrance from the Birmingham Holocaust Education Center, will share the story of her mother, Tobi Kamarnik Gerson, who lived in the small Polish town of Szczercow. At the time the war broke out, Gerson was 14 years old and was soon sent to the Lodz Ghetto. After spending time in Auschwitz and Ravensbrück, she was rescued by the Swedish Red Cross.

In addition to Levy's keynote address, the program will include special music by Teresa Cheatham Stricklin and Keri Parrack, a candle lighting, commentary by JSU History Professor Russ Lemmons, readings from the "Imagining the Holocaust" writing competition, and a Kaddish.

Each year, the JSU Holocaust Remembrance Committee strives to retell the stories of the Holocaust to keep the voices from the past alive. This year, the committee consists of Kim Stevens, professor and senior catalog librarian; Joe Delap, vice provost and dean of graduate studies; Bethany Latham, associate professor and electronic resources/documents librarian; Russ Lemmons, history professor; Esta Spector, community outreach; Steve Whitton, English professor; and Jesslan Sharp, SGA president.

“The annual JSU Holocaust Remembrance is an opportunity for the community to reflect on the Holocaust, remembering those who died and honoring those who survived,” said Stevens, chair of the committee. “As the Holocaust survivors pass away, some of their children – such as our guest speaker Ms. Levy – tell their family stories as part of the ‘Second Generation’ of survivors. Listening to someone's personal story offers a unique perspective that you cannot get from reading about the Holocaust. One of the goals of the JSU Holocaust Remembrance Committee is to remember the Holocaust to assure that future generations will learn its lessons so it never happens again.”

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, please contact Kim Stevens at weather@jsu.edu