Daylong Holocaust Vigil Sponsored by UJS, Hillel

For the third consecutive year, the Union of Jewish Students and Hillel of UCSD sponsored a vigil for the 1.5 million children who lost their lives during the Holocaust.

Volunteers from student and cultural organizations read aloud victims’ names in the Price Center from 3 p.m. Wednesday until 3 p.m. Thursday.

The Union of Jewish Students calculated that in order to remember and honor every known Holocaust victim, it would require seven people to read names aloud 24 hours a day for a week and a half.

The event, which took place on Holocaust Memorial Day, was a part of Jewish Awareness Month. The date corresponds to Israeli Independence Day, which coincides with Yom Ha’Shoah on the Hebrew calendar.

In addition to the vigil, all 11.5 million victims of the Holocaust were represented at the Hump near the Student Center by the use of color-coded flags, each one representing 8,000 victims of different groups and ethnicities.

Jon Pomerantz, the social action chair for UJS, explained the purpose of reading aloud the names of Holocaust victims.

“”It’s to educate people so that this will not happen again to any group,”” Pomerantz said. “”Because we are the last generation to hear Holocaust survivors speak, it is important not to forget their stories and to record them as proof of what happened.””

Members of the UJS and Hillel viewed the event as a success, as a result of the many students from different organizations who participated.

Among such organizations are the A.S. Council, members of the Catholic Community at UCSD, affiliates of the Jewish fraternity AEPi and members of the graduate student group Gesher.

Volunteers read names during 10-minute time slots from a podium on the second level of the Price Center.

The list of names was taken from the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Israel.

The victims’ names, location and date of their death, and the victim’s age were read by the members of UJS and Hillel.

Additional activities included a discussion led by guest speaker Gershon Evan, who is a Holocaust survivor and grandfather of UCSD student Serena Evan.

His narrative of life during the Holocaust was followed by a presentation by Lidor Ritblatt, a student who participated in the “”March of the Living.””

She shared anecdotes and slides of her visit to Eastern European concentration camps.

Jewish Awareness Month will continue to represent aspects of Jewish life with more activities. These activities include a concert on April 30 by an Israeli band from Los Angeles.

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