Artist and Survivor Speaks at Holocaust Commemoration

 The Holocaust Remembrance Day Commemoration took place April 30 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the Samuelson Chapel at California Lutheran University.

Michael Berenbaum, who is a scholar, rabbi and filmmaker, spoke at the event. He serves as the director of the Sigi Ziering Institute: Exploring the Ethical and Religious Implications of the Holocaust and teaches Jewish studies at the American Jewish University in Los Angeles.

During his speech, Berenbaum expressed the importance of reflecting on the Holocaust.

“If you are fleeing evil and you look back too soon you are paralyzed by grief. You must achieve distance to be able to look back,” Berenbaum said.

Berenbaum said he believes that the Holocaust is the single most documented event in human history from the perspective of the victims.

Rabbi Belle Michael encourages students, as well as members of the community, to attend these events in order to become more knowledgeable about the Holocaust.

“We are not immune of hatred, we are not immune of prejudice, we are not immune of something like this happening again and history shows that these things happen so we definitely see it both as a service to the community, but also as a service for us as a community of learners to learn more about the Holocaust, what happened, how did such a thing happen with the aim of these things never happening again,” Rabbi Michael said.

On display at the event was the artwork of artist and Holocaust survivor David Labkovski. His paintings showed life before, during and after the Holocaust.

“After the war, he documented with his paintbrush how life used to be for 400 years and the survivor’s experience during the Holocaust,” said Executive Director of the David Labkovski Project Leora Raikin.

At the event, donations were accepted for the Clara Knopfler Jewish Leadership Scholarship in order to support Jewish student leaders at Cal Lutheran.

Kate Artmann 
Staff Writer