Cypress College held a dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Holocaust Survivor Photo Gallery in the second floor hallway of the Student Center. The gallery features photos taken by Photography Professor Clifford Lester, whose parents were Holocaust survivors.
“I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to photograph the survivors and to present to our campus community, and our community around, the message of the survivor,” Lester said at the ceremony, “which I think, over the years to come when we are all gone, that their words and their spirit should continue to bring light into our world, and to guide us into how we treat and respect one another.”
Dr. Jacob Eisenbach, a Holocaust survivor and the keynote speaker at Cypress College’s 2016 Yom HaShoah event, praised Cypress College, Dr. Simpson, and Professor Lester for opening the gallery and making inclusiveness and peace a priority.
“This gallery is teaching our students, it’s teaching our communities…that genocide and Holocaust should never be forgotten,” he said at the dedication.
Piri Katz, another Holocaust survivor and a guest of honor at this year’s Yom HaShoah event, also attended the dedication with her daughter.
Cypress College President Dr. Bob Simpson said efforts like this photo gallery and the College’s Yom HaShoah Holocaust Day of Remembrance event came out of a desire to “support and advance that core value of the College of inclusiveness” through the College’s Diversity Committee.
He added, “Another message that I have shared since I became president was I want us as a College to dream big dreams. Let’s not waste time on the little stuff. What can we do that’s going to have a profound and lasting impact?”
All members of the Cypress College campus and extended community are invited to walk through the gallery and learn the survivors’ stories.