Cumberland University Brings 93-year-old Holocaust Survivor to Campus for Days of Remembrance

Yom Hashoah

Cumberland University’s Eternal Memory & Life Beyond Survival speaker series will partner with the Tennessee Holocaust Commission for its third annual Holocaust Remembrance ceremony in Baird Chapel on April 17, 2023 at 11 a.m. 

Ms. Anya Baum, “93 years young” Holocaust survivor, will be the keynote speaker during the Days of Remembrance of the Holocaust, also nationally known as Erev Yom HaShoah. Baum is known for her vivacious outlook on life despite unimaginable atrocity and her time as a seamstress for Hollywood stars like Barbra Streisand and Cher. 

“As data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reveals an alarming increase of antisemitic hate crimes and bias domestically, educators are simultaneously reporting an equally disturbing lack of awareness about the Holocaust among American youth,” shared Assistant Professor of Sociology and Yom HaShoah coordinator Dr. Kent Hallman. “For the first time in generations, many Jewish Americans are once again fearful of attacks against their homes, businesses and synagogues right here in the United States.”

Cumberland’s very own Vise Library was named after Holocaust survivor and late Trustee, Harry Vise, who believed wholeheartedly in the power of education. During construction of the library, Vise said, “It is my desire that when the new library is created, it will stand in Lebanon as a house of learning for all people for years to come.” 

Cumberland University values being a house of learning for those in our immediate community and beyond. This type of education is also close to Hallman’s heart, as he is the grandson of Romani survivors who experienced Nazi persecution. 

“Each year, we host this event and other educational opportunities to stand in solidarity with, not only the Jewish community, but also other groups who continue to experience marginalization and oppression. I believe that ignorance and hate can be driven out by education through a platform for empathetic conversations and meaningful dialogue.” 

RSVPs with the Office of Advancement at Limited seating will be available. 

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