Annual Meeting Gratitude and Recognition

Mystic Seaport is featuring GERDA III: Danish Lighthouse Tender

GERDA IIIBuilt in 1926 as a lighthouse tender, the Gerda III appears to be a common Danish workboat. But in October of 1943, she played a much more important role. The boat was used by Henny Sinding, the 19-year-old daughter of the boat’s manager, and a four-man crew to rescue Jews from Nazi-occupied Denmark.

The refugees were brought to a warehouse along Copenhagen’s waterfront and smuggled aboard the Gerda III, hiding in the cargo hold. The little vessel then set out on her official lighthouse supply duties, but detoured to the coast of neutral Sweden and put her “cargo” ashore. Although the vessel was regularly boarded and checked by German soldiers, the refugees were never discovered. The Gerda III rescued approximately 300 Jews, in groups of 10 to 15.

Henny Sinding and the brave crew were not part of the organized Danish resistance movement. Ordinary Danish citizens were outraged by the Nazi plan to deport Jews to the death camps. The Danish people mounted a spontaneous effort that saved more than 7,000 of their Jewish neighbors – almost the entire Jewish population of Denmark.

By an act of the Danish Parliament, the Gerda III was donated to the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York City. The vessel was restored to her wartime appearance, complete with neutral flags, by the J. Ring Andersen yard in Denmark. Mystic Seaport is proud to help care for the boat and exhibit her in the United States.

Holocaust Escape Tunnel

For centuries, the Lithuanian city of Vilna was one of the most important Jewish centers in the world, earning the title “Jerusalem of the North” until World War II, when the Nazis murdered about 95% of its Jewish population and reduced its synagogues and cultural institutions to ruins. The Soviets finished the job, paving over the remnants of Vilna’s famous Great Synagogue so thoroughly that few today know it ever existed. Now, an international team of archaeologists is trying to rediscover this forgotten world, excavating the remains of its Great Synagogue and searching for proof of one of Vilna’s greatest secrets: a lost escape tunnel dug by Jewish prisoners inside a horrific Nazi execution site.

Featuring our friends at the University of Hartford: Avi Patt and Richard Freund

To watch the full video, click here.


Voices of Hope Statement on Charlottesville

Dear Friends and Members of Voices of Hope:
The violence in Charlottesville this past weekend has shown that hate exists and is still actively a part of our culture. These perpetrators of hate were well organized and prepared to provoke violence. They walked the streets chanting Nazi and anti-Semitic slogans; they spouted racial epithets; they posted Holocaust imagery on their websites; and shouted unrepeatable vitriol at Jewish worshippers in a nearby synagogue. These are the same thoughts and actions that led to the events of the Holocaust and other genocides.
There is no place in our society for hate, intolerance, bigotry or injustice. We understand what can ensue when people remain indifferent and fail to take a stand when evil rears its ugly head. We must continue to educate and teach how important it is to stand up and speak out.
No individual should be intimidated for their religious beliefs. No one should be singled out for their race, sexual orientation or any other trait that makes them different. Voices of Hope is committed to condemning hate speech in any form but also to teaching that we cannot forget the past, we cannot be bystanders and that we have an obligation to speak up. We are committed to sharing the testimony and lessons of the Holocaust.
Voices of Hope will continue to bring young people to hear firsthand testimony and create the opportunity for them to learn about how the Holocaust and Genocide are related to both historic and current events that echo the worst instances of man’s inhumanity to man. Our goal is to engage more teachers and students to examine how to critically face racism, anti-Semitism and bigotry and to understand that prejudice is the catalyst that leads to violence and ultimately genocide.
Voices of Hope is here to stand with you in teaching, learning and making a difference through Holocaust and genocide education. We have curriculum, speakers and resources available to help you make a difference. We will continue our mission to foster a culture of courage and social action against hate, bigotry, intolerance and indifference.
Peter Fishman
President, Voices of Hope
Alan Berkowitz
Vice President, Voices of Hope

Why I Went to Auschwitz

There was a small hole in the kitchen floor that led to a secret crawl space. That image is burned into my memory. The space was maybe five feet long by five feet wide.

The owner of the house said, “They used to fit six people inside there. When the Nazis would come.”

His name was Tadeusz Skoczylas, and the house we were in had belonged to his family during World War II. It was a small brick house in the town of Ciepielów, Poland. It had a red roof that had seen better days. The front door was just a few steps off the street. In the backyard were a few barns and other small shacks.

I had been in Poland for a few days already, and the horror of the history I had experienced was overwhelming. But this was something different. This was so personal.

I’m looking at this tiny space. And I’m imagining six people down there, hiding from death. Six real people. Crawling through that little hole right in front of me. Not that long ago. It wasn’t a history book. It wasn’t a museum. It was right there.

Tadeusz explained that one day in 1942, Nazi soldiers visited the house on a tip. Someone in the village had told them that the family had been harboring Jewish people. There were supposed to be 10 Skoczylas living in the house. On this particular day, the youngest boy in the family was not home when the soldiers came by. The Nazis grew suspicious and began tearing the house apart. They found the hole and the crawl space, but the Jewish people the family had been hiding were not there. They had already moved on.

Without saying a word, the Nazis went next door to a neighboring family and took their young son. The punishment for hiding Jews was death for the entire family, and they had a quota to fill.

The soldiers took all 10 people out back and executed them right in front of those barns and shacks that are still standing there today.

When the little Skoczylas boy returned home, he found his entire family dead.

That little boy was Tadeusz’s grandfather. The house stayed in the Skoczylas family, and his grandfather lived in it. Now Tadeusz and his mother live in it.

I couldn’t believe it. And as I walked through the rest of the house, this feeling sort of took over me. There was all this history right in front of me. And it was real. I could reach out and touch it. I could feel it between my fingers and smell it in the air. It was a tangible thing.

I took that trip just a few months ago. It was my first time in Poland. I went there to learn more about something that had fascinated me since I was a teenager: the Holocaust. I’d read so many books and articles about it, but reading words on a page is not the same thing as seeing things up close.

Then I visited the Holocaust museum in Washington, D.C., for the first time. It was 1998, and I was playing for the Milwaukee Bucks. I was in D.C. meeting our owner, Herb Kohl, over the summer. We had some time free time on my last day in the city, and Mr. Kohl suggested we go to the Holocaust Museum on the National Mall. I’ll never forget how I felt after those two hours in there — I could have spent two days. My immediate feeling was that everyone needs to go there.

There was one room in particular, though, that I think about often. It’s filled with photos of Jews from a town in Poland. The pictures line the walls and extend up toward the sky, where light floods in from a window. Almost 90% of the people in the images were sent to their death. Before they were taken to concentration camps or executed, they would leave their prized possessions behind with friends or family.

The people of these Jewish communities were pushed to the absolute limit of their human instincts. They just wanted to survive. And from that, the tales of brotherhood and camaraderie are so awe-inspiring. It was a reminder of what the human spirit is capable of — both for good and evil.

Honestly … it made me feel sort of irrelevant. Which was a strange thought to have as a young NBA player who was supposed to be on top of the world. I was realizing that there were things outside of my bubble that mattered so much more. I wanted my teammates to feel that as well. So every team I played on after that, whenever we were in D.C. playing the Wizards, I would ask our coach if we had time to go through the museum. Every visit was different, but each guy came out thanking me for taking us there. I could see in their eyes that they had a different perspective on life after that experience.

I thought I knew what the Holocaust was, and what it meant. I went to Poland with a few close friends to learn more. But I wasn’t prepared for how deeply the visit would affect me. I had seen so many documentaries and films on Auschwitz, but nothing really prepares you for being there. The first thing I felt when I walked through those iron gates was … heavy. The air around me felt heavy. I stood on the train tracks where the prisoners of the camp would arrive, and I felt like I could hear the trains coming to a halt. I had to take a breath to center myself. It was so immediate. So overwhelming.

We walked through the barracks and gas chambers and what I remember most is what I heard: nothing. I’ve never experienced silence like that. Apart from footsteps, the complete lack of sound was almost jarring. It’s eerie and sobering. You’re standing in these rooms where so much death has taken place and your mind is trying to come to terms with all that’s happened in this space.

One question keeps repeating over and over and over in your mind: How can human beings do this to one another?

How does somebody process that? You can’t.

This is not history. This is humanity. This is now. This is a living lesson for us as a people.

After Tadeusz Skoczylas took us through his family’s home, I stood outside for a while by myself, thinking about everything I had experienced.

Why do we learn about the Holocaust? Is it just so we can make sure nothing like this ever happens again? Is it because six million people died? Yes, but there’s a bigger reason, I think.

The Holocaust was about how human beings — real, normal people like you and me — treat each other.

When the Skoczylas family was risking their own lives to hide people they barely knew, they weren’t doing it because they practiced the same religion or were the same race. They did it because they were decent, courageous human beings. They were the same as those people crouched in a hole. And they knew that those people didn’t deserve what was being done to them.

I asked myself a really tough question: Would I have done the same?

Really, would I have done the same?

When I returned home to America, I got some very disheartening messages directed toward me on social media regarding my trip. Some people didn’t like the fact that I was going to Poland to raise awareness for the issues that happened there and not using that time or energy to support people in the black community.

I was told my ancestors would be ashamed of me.

I know there are trolls online and I shouldn’t even pay attention, but that one sort of got to me. Because I understood where they were coming from. I understand that there are plenty of issues in our own country right now, but they were looking at my trip the wrong way. I didn’t go to Poland as black person, a white person, a Christian person or a Jewish person — I went as a human being.

It’s easy to say “I went to make sure these things don’t happen again.” But I went to learn about the true reality of what happened during the Holocaust, and what we can take from that. The people who believe that I am not spending my time the way the right way … well, they’re missing the entire point. We shouldn’t label people as this thing or that thing. Because by doing so, you create these preconceived notions, which is how we get into these horrible situations in the first place.

We have to do a better job breaking through ignorance and the close-mindedness and the divisions that are plaguing our society in 2017.

I remember being a kid in elementary school, and we all used to have a couple pen pals from around the world. I was so excited to hear back from people in different countries. I wanted to know about how they lived. I was curious about their lives. And I feel like we’ve lost that a little bit. It seems like now, we only see us. We only want to look out for us. Whatever us even means.

I think about the Tadeusz family. Who did they define as us?

They saw us as every human being, regardless of what they looked like, or what they believed. They thought everyone was worth protecting. And they were willing to die for it.

That is something worth remembering, always.

New CT Hate Crimes Bill Passed

My Real Birthright by Carly Shapiro

May 8, 2017


As I spent the weekend trying to gather and process all my feelings and thoughts, I figured a blog post would be the best way to publicize my impactful weekend traveling throughout the country of Poland. I didn’t know what to expect. I have been learning about the Holocaust and World War II since I was 13 years old. I had never envisioned myself, at 20 years old, flying from the amazing city of Tel Aviv, Israel to Warsaw, Poland. I knew that to some extent I had Polish roots. But, due to many factors, I was unable to trace these roots directly. So I accepted in my mind that I would be an impartial viewer of each camp, ghetto, memorial, and grave site. I am going to do my best to summarize and dissect the most impactful moments of the weekend.

I understand that my opinions and views may not agree with yours, so please be kind in reading.


After a tiring flight from Tel Aviv at 6:00 AM, we started our touring immediately. Just an hour after landing, I found myself standing in the Warsaw Ghetto, with my hand on the partial ghetto wall that remains. My first thought was, “who’s window is that…?”

The Warsaw ghetto wall remains sandwiched between two large apartment complexes. The windows look out onto the courtyard where Jews once sat starving and dying of disease. And the complex entrance walls are scattered with hundreds of bullets from the war. It baffled me that people could possibly live on the same grounds, let alone in the same buildings as the Warsaw Jewish ghetto. These apartments were refurbished, beautiful, and modern. What type of person could bare to live within these still standing ghetto walls? If these walls could talk…



Later that day, we boarded our bus to head to our first concentration camp… My first concentration camp: Treblinka. I pictured everything I had seen in photos and movies: the wooden barracks, barbed wire fences, dirt paths. I was so shocked as I walked into this lush green forrest, watching the tall trees dance, and smelling a familiar woodsy scent that was hauntingly similar to my old Jewish summer camp.

What I didn’t know was how much deception went on from the German Nazis. Everything they did was to deceive Jews. There was a ‘building’ in Treblinka with a Red Cross sign, where they took the injured, disabled, elder, and children. They would enter the doorway and wait their turn for help. When they entered the building doorway, there was a mass grave and they would receive a bullet in the head. Sickening.

The entire camp ground, which I had learned, was completely destroyed. Everything that stands there is made of stone and is there to be of tribute to all the Jews that had perished in that wooded area.

There was a feeling at that camp that I cannot put into words, but it fills your spine with chill and puts a knot in your stomach.

Each stone standing is meant to represent an entire community that died at Treblinka. It must have been two football fields of statues. One small stone statue to represent an entire community. It’s sickening.

The idea of stones in Judaism is a very powerful meaning that I thought was so touching. It is customary to leave stones at a gravesite because stones do not perish. They stand with time, as opposed to flowers, which die within a matter of days. Stones withstand time and weather and are so powerful in representing those who perished. In a way, it’s beautiful what they have done with the space where Treblinka once stood. It’s poetic in withstanding time for those innocent Jews who barely had any time on this Earth.

We all walked off the camp feeling distraught from our first exposure to the painful truth of what happened to our ancestors.

The brutality and the dehumanization was so off-putting that it was hard to eat after leaving the camp. But while our bus pulled away from Treblinka, our trip rabbi explained something that I think says a lot about the Jewish people and Judaism itself. He explained how after visualizing all this death and feeling so stunted by it, we were able to physically walk off this camp, unlike our distant relatives who previously entered the camp. For that reason, we celebrate and we drink a l’chaim. He poured shots of whisky for whoever wanted.


“There are no birds here, only crows. Birds don’t sing in Majdanek.”

As we drove through a residential town in Poland and passed a McDonalds, I was hit by a brick wall. The forced labor camp we had just driven to came out of nowhere, and we were now in a place that felt like hell on Earth. The bus went silent.

The first thing I noticed were the houses directly outside of the camp. This is a child’s view outside their window… sickening. I saw a man exit his house and hop on his bike to go down the path directly next to the gas chamber and crematorium.

One of the first things we did upon entering the camp, was walk through the gas chamber. As I stood there, I felt numbed by the pain that was once experienced in that relatively small building. Our tour guide read a story about a young girl named Helena Birnbaum who survived Majdanek and the Holocaust. But she was separated from her mother immediately after being shaved and showered prior to the gas chamber. As Helena stepped out to be put into the labor camp, she noticed her mother no longer behind her. My heart strings tore at the thought of being ripped from my mother knowing my last hug with her had already passed.

As I walked out of the gas chamber and onto the bright green grass, I had this overwhelming thought that was so emotional and beyond words at that point. We, a group of 20-21 year old Jewish adults who came here from Israel, are walking out of this camp. With our lives, our dignities, our ambition, and most importantly, our sense of Judaism. As so many of our ancestors weren’t able to, we have the privilege to leave this place and pass on the story and our Jewish tradition.

We also were able to walk through the crematorium, which is in its original form. I have chills up and down my spine thinking about that room. It was unlike anything I’d ever seen. I was so horrified and disgusted, I was beyond the point of sadness. My stomach hurt in the worst way to think about everything that took place where I was standing. As I left that horrible space as fast as I could, I could only pray that the twisted, barbaric, messed up people who operated that system were rotting in hell.

Auschwitz – Birkenau I and II

This place I was dreading. I knew it to be the mother of all labor and extermination camps, but I didn’t know how I would react. So far, I had seen a lot of the same terrible things that went on under Adolf Hitler’s power, but I didn’t know what made these two camps so monumental and – dare I say – famous.

Auschwitz I is an absolute tragedy. It was a twisted and manipulative fate for Jews that had been deported there. The grounds are massive, we weren’t able to do all of it in a whole day. The large brick buildings all housed different purposes: a brothel of Jewish prisoners, a Nazi doctor who experimented on women and children, a canteen for German’s to relax and look out and admire their prisoners, the list goes on.

The most sickening part about Auschwitz I was that it almost felt like a college campus. There was structure to it: big buildings, stone paths, gates. I almost felt like there should be a map on the corner showing which building was which. But instead of a place filled with opportunity and learning, it was a twisted living community for Jewish prisoners awaiting their fate and living miserably in the mean time. But compared to Auschwitz-Birkenau II, Auschwitz I looked like a fantasy land…

Auschwitz-Birkenau II was horrific. The living conditions alone showed how worthless the Germans saw Jews to be. They treated them worse than animals and it’s something that I never want to envision anyone

having to go through the unimaginable torture they endured. People risked their lives by hiding in the toilets, covered in feces, with the hope of escaping the forced labor camp. And when they didn’t die of disease or starvation, they were sent to the gas chambers.


Auschwitz-Birkenau II went on forever. The rubble of barracks (prisoners living quarters) went on for what seemed like miles. Each barrack was filled with 100+ prisoners and was around the same size of a typical bunk at my summer camp – which typically fit 15. I didn’t understand how someone could possibly survive this place, let alone live to want to tell the story about it.


On Shabbat, our rabbi, Ezra, told us a story. Abridged: A man living in Krakow, Poland has a dream that there is a hidden treasure under the Charles Bridge in Prague, Czech. He has this dream many times and decides that it must be true, so he travels to Prague. Once he gets to the bridge, it’s blocked off and he cannot go under to see if there is treasure. He asks a policeman what’s going on. He tells the policeman that he has to go down under the bridge because he had this dream. The policeman laughs and says if he listened to his dreams then he would meet a man from Krakow who had treasure under his stove in Poland. So the Jewish man goes home to Poland and looks under his stove and finds the treasure.

Sometimes you have to go a long way to find what you’re looking for very close to you. And here I am living in the most amazing city and country in the world for five months, but I had to travel all the way to Poland to find what was in my heart all along. After this amazing trip, I’ve finally realized my purpose as a young Jewish woman: to live my life as a proud Jew for those 6 million who unfortunately could not. I never thought that it was important to raise my children Jewish, or to marry a Jewish man. But now I can’t picture myself doing anything else. I lost 6 million of my own kind due to ignorance, selfishness, and pure hatred. It would be purely selfish if I did not do everything in my power to grow the Jewish race. I not only feel rare and special, but I feel like I have a purpose.

The trip was something I never envisioned myself doing, but I am so incredibly proud that I was able to and that I have taken away so many important realizations from it.

“Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it”        -George Santayana

We Rise: Yom Hashoah

Holocaust Remembrance Day Commemorated in Communities Across Connecticut

Hartford Courant April 25, 2017

Eric Zachs, of West Hartford, board chair of the Greater Hartford Jewish Federation, and other volunteers read the names of Holocaust victims in the Chase Family Gallery at the Mandell Jewish Community Center in West Hartford on Monday morning. Zachs is just one of dozens of people who read the names of Jewish children who perished during the Holocaust. Standing at a lectern in a low-lit gallery at the Mandell Jewish Community Center Monday morning, Meredith Smith and her twin daughters, Emelia and Samantha, read aloud names of those who died in the Holocaust as part of Holocaust Remembrance Day.

“It worries me that it’s going to be lost at some point and not remembered the way it should be,” Smith said. “How do they know that there was such a tragedy? If we don’t know about it, it’ll happen again. It is happening, it does happen all over the world.”

Smith was one of nearly 100 people who, throughout the day, read some of the Holocaust victims’ names and ages at a remembrance with local nonprofit Voices of Hope. Similar events were scheduled around the state.

On the steps of Simsbury’s Eno Memorial Hall Monday morning, speakers read the names and ages of Holocaust victims over the sounds of bustling traffic on Hopmeadow Street. Volunteers started reading names aloud on Sunday evening in the 24 hour around-the-clock event.

Rabbi Bekah Goldman, of Farmington Valley Jewish Congregation, said the event holds extra weight in light of a string of recent religious hate crimes, including anti-Semitic threats to Jewish organizations 
“When it becomes OK to shoot up a mosque, or set a church on fire, or to graffiti a synagogue in broad daylight … when there are no repercussions, when our government doesn’t … say, ‘We condemn this behavior,’ that’s when hatred starts to take hold,” Goldman said. “That’s when … we all sort of stand by and allow this to happen.”

“I think today, more than any year in the past, it’s important for us to remember and to pass these lessons onto our children,” she said.
Caren Pauling of Avon volunteered for the first time this year after learning of the event via social media.

A member of Valley Community Baptist Church and mother of two, Pauling said it is important for people of all faiths, not just Jews, to take pause and remember those who perished, many of whom were children.

“We take so much for granted and it’s important to know and realize what these people sacrificed and went through, what they experienced because of their faith,” she said, wiping tears from her eyes.

“I could read all day, knowing what they went through,” Pauling said. “It’s an honor.”

In the Chase Family Gallery at the Mandell JCC Monday, lights were dimmed, posters displayed art projects by second- and third-generation Holocaust survivors, and as each person completed their 10-minute speaking slot, they lit a candle in front of the podium. The poster art is based on a poem written by a man killed at Auschwitz.

The list of names was provided by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and is part of the Yom Hashoah Holocaust Remembrance Day Honoring the Martyred Six Million, according to Voices of Hope Director Anna Huttner.
Voices of Hope organizers hope the nearly 100 speakers Monday will read 100,000 names total before the end of the remembrance ceremony at 8 p.m. Teachers, police officers, students, business leaders and town officials are some of the volunteers scheduled to read names during the day. Others include two visiting priests from Tanzania. Organizers expect students from Watkinson School, Hebrew High School and the BBYO teen leadership youth group to attend Monday’s ceremony.

This is the fourth remembrance ceremony the group has hosted at the Mandell JCC, Huttner said.

“It’s not a Jewish issue, it’s a human issue,” Huttner said.

On Friday, state leaders, Holocaust survivors and members of the community are asked to attend 39th annual Holocaust remembrance ceremony. The ceremony begins at 11:30 a.m. on the third floor of the Capitol in Hartford. The theme of this year’s event is: “Early Warning Signs: Lessons from Vienna 1938.”

Keynote speaker Leah Linton, born in Vienna, was 12 when Adolf Hitler came to power. Her father was killed in Auschwitz,and her brother spent six months in Dachau. Linton moved to the U.S. when she was 13 and lives in Southbury.

The event is sponsored by the Jewish Federation Association of Connecticut, the Jewish Federation of Western Connecticut, Voices of Hope, the Anti-Defamation League and the United States Holocaust Memorial Council, among others.

A kosher lunch will follow for Holocaust survivors, program participants and elected officials. Those interested in attending the lunch are asked to RSVP to Ayelet Weber at the Jewish Federation Association of Connecticut, 860-727-5771 or email

Tutti Fishman, Holocaust survivor, keynote speaker at University of New Haven annual Holocaust Remembrance Event

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Never forget. Never again.

Wednesday is Holocaust Remembrance Day. At the University of New Haven, Holocaust survivor Ruth Fishman of West Hartford provided the audience some powerful perspective.

“Six million Jews is twice the population of Connecticut. That gives you an image. I am one of the lucky ones. I survived,” Fishman said.

From the New Haven Register 3/28/2017
Ruth Fishman

WEST HAVEN >> Holocaust survivor Ruth Fishman of West Hartford will be the keynote speaker at the University of New Haven’s 14th annual Holocaust Remembrance Event at 3 p.m. April 19 in the Bucknall Theater in Dodd’s Hall on the UNH campus.

The ceremony, free and open to the public, will feature the reading of names of persons who perished in the Holocaust and who have a relationship to a member of the university.

The ceremony will include a rendition of the poem, “The Butterfly,” by Pavel Friedman, delivered by students in the theater department. Friedman was a prisoner at Theresienstadt, a concentration camp in Czechoslovakia near Prague, where Fishman also was held.

“The event has found resonance because it affords a unique opportunity for our students to get clear lessons on the roots of genocide and the importance of tolerance and understanding as bedrocks for a peaceful society,” said Ira Kleinfeld, professor emeritus of engineering and retired associate provost.

“Its primary purpose is to honor and memorialize the millions of Jews and others who were targeted and murdered during the Holocaust,” Kleinfeld said. “In today’s climate, such lessons are increasingly important.”

Ruth Lichtenstern Fishman was born in Cologne, Germany, on July 17, 1936, but moved with her family to Amsterdam. She was with her family at Theresienstadt when it was liberated by Soviet troops on May 9, 1945. She moved to the United States when she was 18.

West Hartford News March 30, 2017

WEST HAVEN >> Holocaust survivor Ruth Fishman of West Hartford will be the keynote speaker at the University of New Haven’s 14th annual Holocaust Remembrance Event at 3 p.m. April 19 in the Bucknall Theater in Dodd’s Hall on the UNH campus.

The ceremony, free and open to the public, will feature the reading of names of persons who perished in the Holocaust and who have a relationship to a member of the university.

The ceremony will include a rendition of the poem, “The Butterfly,” by Pavel Friedman, delivered by students in the theater department. Friedman was a prisoner at Theresienstadt, a concentration camp in Czechoslovakia near Prague, where Fishman also was held.

“The event has found resonance because it affords a unique opportunity for our students to get clear lessons on the roots of genocide and the importance of tolerance and understanding as bedrocks for a peaceful society,” said Ira Kleinfeld, professor emeritus of engineering and retired associate provost.