Students set an example as they work toward ideal of peace and reconciliation

By Betsy Frank

Betsy Frank is UHC para-rabbinic fellow and president.

On April 7, United Hebrew Congregation welcomed the Terre Haute South Vigo High School STAND club, whose members commemorated the 25th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide with a program entitled, Together We Remember.

Participants also read names of Holocaust victims and victims of more recent atrocities.

Rwandan genocide survivor Emmanuel Habimana served as the event’s main speaker. He recounted how as a 9-year-old, after witnessing his father’s murder, he escaped through the jungle with another child of similar age.

Emmanuel Habimana speaks out

Emmanuel lived in a refugee camp in a neighboring country until he could return home, only to find many members of his family had been murdered, including his parents and four siblings. Yet, he survived and is speaking out about the hate that can almost annihilate an entire people.

The local students who planned this moving program under the direction of THS teacher Peggy Grabowski understand their generation must work toward peace and reconciliation amongst all peoples.

We as adults hold an obligation to promote the high ideals of our youth. They are our future!

Their message was particularly apt during this recent Passover season. Passover not only commemorates the Jewish people’s escape from Pharaoh, but during the seder we also remember all victims of injustices in our own times.

These Terre Haute South High School students and others like them maintain idealistic views. We as adults hold an obligation to promote the high ideals of our youth. They are our future!

Shalom,

Betsy Frank

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