UNC Asheville hosts Holocaust Remembrance Day — YomHaShoah

April 23, 2024

A community remembrance of the Holocaust will be hosted at UNC Asheville on May 5 at 3 p.m. in the Blue Ridge Room of the Highsmith Student Union. The event is free and open to the public.

The event will feature keynote speaker Ambassador Michèle Taylor, the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations Human Rights Council, who will speak on “Living the Legacy of the Holocaust.”

A daughter and granddaughter of Holocaust survivors, Ambassador Taylor is a lifelong human rights activist and advocate with a determined commitment to service. Ambassador Taylor has served in leadership on the Board of the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, as a member of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Council and on several of the museum’s committees.

Holocaust Remembrance Day honors the 6 million Jews and millions of other victims killed by the Nazis and their collaborators during the Holocaust, pays tribute to survivors and their descendants and commemorates those who resisted the Nazis and those who risked their lives to help Jews escape.

“The systematic extermination of six million Jews—alongside 5 million others deemed undesirable—under Nazi tyranny is a stark reminder of the depths to which humanity can sink when prejudice and hatred go unchecked,” said Sam Kaplan, professor of mathematics and director of the UNC Asheville Center for Jewish Studies.

The event is a collaboration between Congregation Beth Israel, Congregation Beth HaTephila and the UNC Asheville Center for Jewish Studies.

“Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, is a solemn occasion that transcends religious and cultural boundaries, marking not only a Jewish tragedy but also a human one,” Kaplan said. 

“Jews and non-Jews are all invited to this observance to affirm a universal commitment to human dignity,” he added. “We hope that from this day of remembrance, each person takes away a renewed sense of responsibility to stand against injustice, to promote human rights, and stand firm against those who use hate in any form as an avenue to power.” 

For more information, visit UNC Asheville Events