*  Greater Lafayette Holocaust Remembrance Conference
*  "Shoes of Memory: Holocaust Ceramic Work"

February 23, 2007

Holocaust Remembrance Conference to begin March 1

"Shoes of Memory"
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The 26th annual Greater Lafayette Holocaust Remembrance Conference, titled A 21st Century Perspective on the Holocaust, will take place March 1-9.

The conference will be held at various locations on the Purdue University campus and the surrounding community. The Greater Lafayette Holocaust Remembrance Committee is sponsoring the event.

This year's lineup of speakers and exhibitions continue with the theme of genocide around the world, said Susan Prohofsky, conference co-chair.

"We sadly live in a world where radical elements in rogue nations and others deny that Nazi Germany and its allies committed ethnic atrocities during World War II," she said. "It has been 62 years since the Allies freed people in the death camps and the world learned about the Holocaust.

"It's important that we not let time gloss over or wipe out the truth of what happened during that 20th century of hate and especially during this new century when we see new seeds of hatred rise up and feed violence across the globe. We must find ways to encourage our leaders to confront such terror and assist in negotiating peaceful resolutions between warring factions."

Preconference events will begin with "Shoes of Memory: Holocaust Ceramic Work" by Jenny Stolzenberg, a traveling exhibition on loan from the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre. The free exhibition will run from March 1-9 and then from March 12-15 by appointment at the Patti and Rusty Rueff Galleries in Yue-Kong Pao Hall of Visual and Performing Arts, 552 W. Wood St. The exhibition includes 70 pairs of ceramic shoes created to evoke the memory of the people that were killed during the Holocaust. Also included are photographs of piles of shoes, clothing, hair, glasses and suitcases found in the warehouses of Auschwitz after the camp's liberation.

An opening reception for the exhibition will take place at 7 p.m. March 1 at the Rueff Galleries. Musician Jerry Silverman, who has collected songs from the Holocaust, will perform. The galleries are open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

A preconference Shabbat dinner at Purdue's Hillel Foundation, 912 W. State St., West Lafayette, will take place at 6:30 p.m. March 2 and will feature a discussion with Charles Small, a professor at Yale University who is an expert in global anti-Semitism. The meal is $3 for students and adults may make a donation of their choice. Reservations must be made by Feb. 28 by calling the Hillel Foundation at (765) 743-1293.

The conference, which balances subjects concerning the Holocaust of Nazi Germany with today's hate crimes, anti-Semitism and genocides, will officially begin with registration at 2:30 p.m. March 4 in Purdue's Stewart Center, Room 214.

Proclamations by Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski and former West Lafayette Mayor Sonya Margerum will open the event, followed by welcoming remarks and ceremonial proceedings by Prohofsky and co-chair Johanna Gartenhaus, and Brad Bodine and the St. Tom's Singers.

This is the first year for a lecture named in honor for conference founder Rabbi Gedalyah Engel. The recognition was announced last year during the conference's 25th year.

A schedule of other conference events, which are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted, is as follows:

*  March 4. 3:30 p.m. Stewart Center, Room 214. Jan T. Gross, history professor from Princeton University, will present "Reflections on the Frightening Legacy of the Holocaust." Introduction by professor George Horwich.

*  March 4. 4:30 p.m. Stewart Center, Room 214. Charles Small, founding director of the Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy at Yale University, will present "Globalization and Its Impact on Contemporary Antisemitism." Introduction by professor Rachel Einwohner.

*   March 4. 6:30 p.m. Dinner in the Purdue Memorial Union Drawing Room. Cost is $15 for general public, $3 for students. Reservations required by Feb. 27 to Prohofsky at

*   March 4. 8 p.m. Rawls Hall, Room 1086. Anna Berkovitz, a Holocaust survivor and West Lafayette resident, will discuss "Revisiting Auschwitz."

*  March 6. 7:30 p.m. St. Thomas Aquinas Center, 535 W. State St., West Lafayette. "New Directions in Jewish-Christian Dialogue." Tom Ryba of the University of Notre Dame will moderate the panel discussion that includes Steven Kepnes, director of Jewish Studies and professor of religion at Colgate University and Kevin Hughes, theology and religious studies professor at Villanova University. Respondents will be English professor Ann Astell and Jewish Studies director Dan Frank, both of Purdue.

*   March 7. 7:30 p.m. Krannert Auditorium. "A Symposium on the Darfur Castastrophe." Purdue history professor Ray Dumett will moderate the discussion, led by social science professor Benaiah Yongo-Bure of Kettering University in Flint, Mich.; Ali Dinar, outreach director of the African Studies Center at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia; and Karen Hirschfeld, Sudan coordinator of the Physicians for Human Rights in Cambridge, Mass.

*   March 8. 7 p.m. Purdue Hillel Foundation. Showing of the 2005 film "Protocols of Zion." This 95-minute documentary, directed by Marc Levin, is about the rise of anti-Semitism in the United States after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Discussion will follow.

*  March 9. 8:30 p.m. Temple Israel, 620 Cumberland Ave., West Lafayette. "Anti-Gay Activism and the Propaganda of Hate," presented by John Metzinger, president of the local Citizens for Civil Rights. Presentation and discussion follow Shabbat services, which begin at 7:30 p.m.

The conference is sponsored at Purdue by the James F. Ackerman Center for Democratic Citizenship of the College of Education, College of Liberal Arts, Department of History and the Jewish Studies Program.

Additional sponsors are the Diocese of Lafayette and St. Thomas Aquinas Center, Hillel Foundation, Jewish Federation of Greater Lafayette, Tippecanoe County Religious Leaders, University Religious Leaders, Congregation Sons of Abraham and Temple Israel.

Holocaust Remembrance Day, known in Hebrew as Yom HaShoah, will be observed this year on April 15. Translated from Hebrew, the phrase means day of catastrophe.

Writer: Christy Jones, (765) 494-1089,

Sources: Susan Prohofsky, (765) 463-1980,

Carol Bloom, conference publicity chair, (765) 496-7998,

Lindi Kistler, Patti and Rusty Rueff Galleries coordinator, (765) 496-2958,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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