Yom HaShoah commemorations at Appalachian State University begin with play by second-generation Holocaust survivor

BOONE - The Center for Judaic, Holocaust, and Peace Studies at Appalachian State University is hosting a series of Yom HaShoah commemorations beginning Saturday, April 30, and concluding May 5th, Holocaust Remembrance Day.

The commemorations on Saturday, April 30 will begin with a play, the Mitzvah Project, by second-generation Holocaust survivor, Roger Grunwald, and an educational program on Germans of Jewish ancestry in the Holocaust. This program will start at 7:30 pm at Plemmons Student Union (Blue Ridge Ballroom, Room 201 AB). It is free of charge and open to the public. No tickets are required.

The Mitzvah Project, written by Roger Grunwald and Broadway veteran and director Annie McGreevey, tells the story of Christoph Rosenberg, a German of half-Jewish descent, who became a decorated officer in Hitler's army. The 30-minute play is followed by a panel discussion with the artist and two Holocaust historians, Professor Thomas Pegelow Kaplan, the director of Appalachian's Center for Judaic, Holocaust & Peace Studies and Professor John Cox (UNCC). The play and panel is followed by a question-and-answer period.

On May 5, Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Memorial Day), in collaboration with Temple of the High Country and Appalachian's Hillel chapter, the Center will hold a public reading of the names of European Jews murdered by the Germans during the Holocaust in front of Belk Library. This reading is scheduled to start at 10:00 am and will last until 6:00 pm, when it concludes with a ceremony that will last until 6:30 pm.

The United States Congress established the recognition of Yom HaShoah as the Days of Remembrance in order to commemorate the Holocaust annually in the United States.

"The recalling of the names of the deceased and murdered is not only an important part of Jewish religious practices," says Dr. Thomas Pegelow-Kaplan, Director of the Center for Judaic, Holocaust, and Peace Studies, "It also serves as a practice for individuals of all backgrounds, faiths, and cultures to commemorate the victims. Much more than a devastating part of Jewish history, the Holocaust is truly an event in global history. The Holocaust's crimes of unimaginable cruelty offer opportunities to recommit to the need for respect for all people and to reflect on the moral responsibilities of individuals and communities today."

For more information and a link to the sign-up sheet to be part of the reading, please see the Center webpage on this event. For questions about the play and panel, please call 828.262.2311 or email thomaspegelowkaplan@appstate.edu.

Published: Apr 26, 2016 3:31pm