» The Rodgers Center for Holocaust Education

Holocaust education at Chapman University has grown from a single course into a distinctive multi-faceted program.  The Rodgers Center for Holocaust Education is one of only a very few centers in the United States located in and supported by a private university.

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Lecture Series

Chapman University's academic program for students is augmented by an exceptional co-curricular program, including The "1939" Club Lecture Series, the Schwartz Holocaust Lecture Series, and The "1939" Club's Leopold Page Memorial Righteous Rescuers Lecture Series.  These lectures bring to Chapman distinguished scholars, innovative film makers, and inspiring survivors and rescuers of the Holocaust, as well as those who are voices for justice and human rights in our world today.

Recent speakers have included "Righteous Among the Nations' Marion von Binsbergen Pritchard; Paul Rusesabagina, whose story was recounted in the film Hotel Rwanda; film makers Daniel Anker; Jon Avnet, Jon Kean, and Pierra Sauvage; Holocaust survivors and witnesses Thomas Blatt, Gerda Weissmann Klein, Curt Lowens, and Leon Leyson, and scholars Dr. Christopher Browning, Dr. Debórah Dwork, Dr. Nechama Tec and Sir Martin Gilbert, among many others. These events are open to the community without charge.

Annual Holocaust Art and Writing Contest

One of the Rodgers Center's most significant activities is its outreach to middle and high school teachers and students through the annual Holocaust Art and Writing Contest, co sponsored by The "1939" Club and supported by the Samueli Foundation and Dana and Yossie Hollander. Each year more than 5,000 students from over 100 public, parochial and private schools participate.

Focusing on themes central both to the Holocaust and ethical decision making in our world today, the contest gives students from Southern California and beyond the opportunity to share their creative work in response to survivors' oral testimonies. Representatives from each school, along with their teachers, attend the awards ceremony and reception where students and survivors meet.

An Evening of Holocaust Remembrance

The annual Evening of Holocaust Remembrance, sponsored by the Lodzer Organization, draws some 800 to 1,000 people from throughout the community to an occasion of remembrance and reflection. Each year, survivors, accompanied by first prize recipients in the annual art and writing contest, light six candles in remembrance of the millions who perished.

Among the speakers at the ceremony have been Professor Judea Pearl, eminent computer scientist and father of slain Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, and Maestro James Conlon, music director of the Los Angeles Opera.

Commemoration of Kristallnacht

The Rodgers Center for Holocaust Education  and the Fish Interfaith Center present an annual student-led commemoration of Kristallnacht in remembrance of the events that shattered a community on November 9-10, 1938.

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