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During her time at DU, she has played a key role in launching DU’s Holocaust Memorial Social Action Site, including a new annual interfaith bridge-building workshop. “What the Holocaust teaches about human responsibility is something with which all people need to wrestle,” she says.

Sarah Pessin, Center for Judaic Studies, Department of Philosophy

A scholar of Jewish philosophy and the granddaughter of Holocaust survivors, Sarah Pessin holds the Emil and Eva Hecht Chair in Judaic Studies. When he created the position with his wife, Eva, the late Emil Hecht, himself a Holocaust survivor, hoped to foster respect for Judaism through the study of classical Jewish texts.

“Ensuring that Jewish texts be studied in a cross-cultural university context is a visionary response to the Holocaust,” Pessin notes.

Taking her cue from Hecht, Pessin works to advance the study of these texts and their universal messages. She also works to help people remember the Holocaust through intercultural dialogue and social justice work. During her time at DU, she has played a key role in launching DU’s Holocaust Memorial Social Action Site, including a new annual interfaith bridge-building workshop.

“What the Holocaust teaches about human responsibility is something with which all people need to wrestle,” she says.

For Pessin, the study of Jewish philosophy offers hope: “I aim to teach Judaism through these texts, but I also aim to actualize the ethical teachings of these texts into the world.”

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