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College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Center for Judaic Studies


Holocaust Awareness Institute

Promoting Holocaust awareness and education in Colorado and the Rocky Mountain region

The Holocaust Awareness Institute (HAI) works within the Jewish community, the University of Denver and with people of all faiths and cultures to explore the meaning of the Shoah and its lessons for future generations.

HAI is a campus and community resource for coursework, teacher trainings, education materials and programming and is a leading agent in the region for promoting education about the Holocaust and related ethical and social justice issues.


Rose           hai

The Holocaust Awareness Institute at the Center for Judaic Studies in the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences at the University of Denver is honored and thrilled to announce award of a $25,000 grant from the Rose Community Foundation to support our website project, Witness to History: Holocaust Education Now.

This website will be a free resource for educators and students and supports Colorado's newly legislated statewide education mandate for Holocaust and Genocide Studies in Colorado Public Schools (HB20-1336). With this support, we are able to launch this new, online platform with updated, digitized curriculum offering free access to teachers throughout the state.

The website will present narrative profiles of Holocaust survivors who made Colorado their home. Their stories will be integrated into an interactive chronological timeline of the Holocaust and interactive maps keyed to events in the survivors' narratives. Users will be able to explore the site via three-fold navigation along 1) the overall historical timeline 2) individual narratives or 3) geographic context. Drawing on archival materials and first-hand testimony, content will be "mapped" to existing lesson plans and the Colorado educational standards now in development under the new educational mandate. We are so appreciative to the Rose Community Foundation for this support!

Founded in 1995, Rose Community Foundation strives to advance inclusive, engaged and equitable Greater Denver communities through values-driven philanthropy. The Foundation envisions a thriving region strengthened by its diversity and generosity, and utilizes grantmaking, advocacy, donor engagement and community leadership to advance this aspiration.


The Holocaust Awareness Institute condemns the use of ill-informed comparisons between current events and the catastrophe of the Holocaust. 

Recent remarks by Colorado House Minority Leader Patrick Neville describing Governor Polis' stay-at-home order to protect Coloradans during the COVID-19 pandemic as leading to a "Gestapo-like mentality" are offensive, divisive, and inaccurate. Such analogies trivialize and distort the significance of the events of the Holocaust and their perception in public consciousness. Coloradans deserve more from their elected representatives than such irresponsible and demeaning words.  



Education is the key to never forgetting. It is in this spirit that CJS and DU are working, with your help, to endow a chair in Holocaust studies. The Endowed Chair of Holocaust Studies is a visionary scholar and a leading voice in regional and global Holocaust studies who will expand Holocaust educational offerings on and off campus. This scholar also will direct our Holocaust Awareness Institute, and will oversee new programming at the Holocaust Memorial Social Action Site and across the community.

Establishing this position makes the University of Denver the only campus in the world with an endowed chair of Holocaust studies tied to a Holocaust Memorial Social Action Site.

To learn more about this $3-million project and how you can help, please contact Prof. Adam Rovner at or by phone at 303.871.3020.

HONORING Holocaust survivor speakers

The Center for Judaic Studies and the Holocaust Awareness Institute are sad to announce the loss of two members of our Speaker's Bureau during the last year.
Paula Burger and Jack Welner shared their experiences with many audiences throughout Colorado and beyond. We celebrate their resilience and generosity to CJS. They are deeply missed. 

"There was no rhyme or reason why we should have survived, except to tell the story."

Portrait of Paula Burger by Deborah Howard

Paula was born in Novogrudok, Poland (today Belarus) in 1934. She and her brother survived the Holocaust with the Bielski Partisans in the Naliboki forest. In 1949, she immigrated to the US. Paula was a gifted writer and artist. More than 90% of the art hanging on the walls of our Center was created by Paula. Paula passed away in September 2019. Find Paula's obituary here.

"Never let hate take root in your heart."

Portrait of Jack Welner by Deborah Howard

Jack was born in 1920 in Lodz, Poland. He and his family lived in the Lodz Ghetto from 1940 until it was liquidated in 1944. Jack survived several concentration and labor camps, including Auschwitz and Dachau. He was reunited with his sister after the war, and both immigrated to the US. Jack passed away in August 2019, just weeks before his 99th birthday. Find Jack's obituary here

Portraits of Paula Burger (2006) and Jack Welner (2004) by Deborah Howard. Images courtesy of the Beck Archives, University of Denver Libraries.


Explore the collections of the Beck Archives at University Libraries through two new online exhibitions! 

Drawings by Deborah Howard

DU professor of studio art Deborah Howard has interviewed 25 survivors in the course of her portrait project, including Jack Welner and Paula Burger, above. View the entire series here.  

Select Documents from the Loewenstein Family
Papers and Art Collection  

The historic documents in the Loewenstein Family Papers and Art collection tell the story of one Jewish family's miraculous survival and amidst the horrors of the Holocaust. Henry Lowenstein was born in Berlin in 1933 and left Germany in 1939 via Kindertransport to England. He was reunited with his family in the U.S. in 1947.The documents in the collection were assembled by his mother Maria, and donated by Henry to to the Beck Archives. Explore the exhibit here

"Abide: Endure. Sustain. Live On." An Uncommon Exhibit of Photographic Survivor Portraits by Wayne Armstrong (DU Photographer) at the Mizel Museum, in partnership with HAI's Survivors Speakers Bureau.


CJS and HAI are proud to support the CU Anschutz Holocaust Genocide and Contemporary Bioethics Program (HGCB) and their annual program during the week of Yom Ha'Shoah. 


April 5-9, 2021

For more information, visit the HGCB website.