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Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Center for Judaic Studies


Holocaust Awareness Institute

Holocaust Memorial Social Action Site

The University of Denver is proud to be home to a project so strongly dedicated to raising social consciousness and multicultural respect in memory of Jewish lives lost to the Holocaust. This project marks the spirit of inclusion and respect that DU stands for, and heralds an exciting new set of community and campus opportunities for collaboration and learning. - Chancellor Robert D. Coombe, University of Denver

The Holocaust Memorial Social Action Site is a space dedicated to inclusivity and diversity through learning, intercultural dialogue, and social justice initiatives. The mission of the site is to honor and remember those who lost their lives in the Holocaust by dedicating ourselves to acts of learning, dialogue, and bridge-building aimed at making the world a better place today and into the future.

Our vision is linked to the Hebrew expression, "Hineni": "Here I am," a post-Holocaust ethical teaching about the infinite responsibility that each one of us has for the other. In post-Holocaust Jewish philosophy, this expression conveys a strong message: The words "Here I am" are words of ethical response—they mark the infinite responsibility that each of us has to the person standing before us. In this spirit, the site calls us to action, while emphasizing learning and dialogue.

Watch a short video about the Holocaust Memorial Social Action Site:

Source: DU VideoManager

In the spirit of our project, the memorial is also linked to an endowed chair of Holocaust Studies.

The design of the site incorporates symbols that underscore its mission:

  • Through its inclusion of a primary stone shaped like the Hebrew word "chai," which means life, the memorial honors the past by encouraging people to gather together in the present to dedicate their actions to positive change.

  • The shape of this gathering space also calls to mind an eternal flame: Unlike an eternal flame made of fire, our eternal flame is made up of the people who gather at this site to make the world better. Through gatherings dedicated to education and action, we testify to the endurance of memory.

  • Several metal lattices beckon to the shattered glass of Kristallnacht, at once symbolizing the ruptures of history and the present-day call to heal the world.

  • These lattices also spell out the Hebrew word "Hineni" or "Here I am." In post-Holocaust Jewish philosophy, "Here I am" represents the responsibility that each human has to respond to the call of their fellow human. In its programming and symbolism, the site embodies this commitment to response.

Please visit our Flickr page for pictures of just some of the growing number of events held at this important new city-wide gathering space.

Visit our Current Initiatives page to learn about other exciting initiatives at CJS.


To help fund ongoing and new programming at the Holocaust Memorial Social Action Site, you can donate online to the Holocaust Memorial Fund, or you can send your gift by mail to:

Center for Judaic Studies
University of Denver
2000 E Asbury Ave., Ste. 157
Denver, CO 80208-0911