Days of Remembrance was established by the United States Congress as our nation's annual commemoration of victims of the Holocaust.
The Holocaust has challenged society to confront some of the darkest aspects of human nature. The willingness to protect the innocent and the vulnerable is essential. Remembering the past for the sake of the future is an act of hope.
Last September, Edith Shaked, a Pima Community College Holocaust Studies teacher, alerted the Mayor's office of a Civic Proclamation to set aside a day to remember the victims and events of the Holocaust.
"Hatred is hard to define. You cannot just say to stop hatred and bigotry," said Shaked. "I am challenging the city and the Mayor to celebrate achievement towards equal dignity and equality for all."
After consideration, Tucson Mayor Robert E. Walkup proclaimed April 19 through May 8 as the "Days of Remembrance." This Monday, April 16, the proclamation was successfully presented during the Mayor and Council Chamber Meeting.
As stated in the proclamation, "We as citizens of Tucson must remember the victims of the Holocaust and honor the survivors as well as the rescuers and liberators. We should strive to overcome intolerance and indifference through learning and remembrance."
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum has determined that the ultimate achievement should be "that remembrance of the past will influence the course of the future."
Deborah Kravitz can be reached at
Link it: www.ushmm.org
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"Pima Community College is the natural place to create an institute for Holocaust and Human rights studies. Contributing to a better understanding of our diverse community and the concept of equal dignity in a truthful democracy. This is beyond tolerance," says Edith Shaked, a PCC Holocaust Studies teacher.
According to Shaked, history teaches us that the Holocaust might not have occurred if governments and leaders had spoken out during the Nazi rise to power. More people could have been saved if individuals had raised their voices to force their governments to offer safety and refuge. Indifference to genocide cannot be tolerated. The remembrance of the Holocaust imposes a moral obligation to speak out.
In 1998, Shaked implemented a program of diversity. PCC faculty and administration collaborated to create a certificate that is recognized for University of Arizona general education credit. Shaked has also produced a comprehensive teachers guide that is used internationally.
"Edith Shaked is one of the few teachers I have met throughout my school years that has restored my faith in the educational system," says Regina Romero, PCC Youth Programs coordinator.
Shaked is seeking a permanent position to ensure teaching all aspects of diversity.
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