President Robert L. Manuel > Notes from Rob > 2023-24 > Commemorating Yom HaShoah and reflecting on the present

Commemorating Yom HaShoah and reflecting on the present

Dear Faculty, Staff, and Students,

On this Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, it is with a heavy heart that I reflect on the profound impact of the Holocaust and the enduring importance to never forget the horrors of that time in history.

We remember the millions murdered, just over 80 years ago, during one of humanity’s darkest chapters. The Holocaust stands as a stark reminder of the consequences of hatred, prejudice, and indifference. It compels us to confront the atrocities of the past and to stand united against any form of discrimination in our present and future.

This year, as we commemorate Yom HaShoah, we are faced with the reality that differing perspectives on current global struggles are being heard around the world, across the country, and on our campus. I also recognize that antisemitism exists everywhere in our world.

I am troubled by incidents on and near our campus where Jewish students and our neighbors did not feel safe. In this difficult moment, we must work more fervently than ever to call out antisemitism, and we are grateful to those who have stepped forward to share and report their experiences. We can uphold the rights of DePaul community members to free speech, including those mourning the loss of innocent lives in Israel and Palestine and protesting the war, but we will not tolerate speech that intimidates or incites violence.

In this moment of reflection, we are called to embrace the Vincentian values of inclusivity, compassion, and justice more fervently than ever before. We recognize the urgent need to confront the injustices that persist in our society and to work towards a future where all people are treated with dignity and respect.

Let us recommit ourselves to the pursuit of knowledge, empathy, compassion, and social responsibility. Let us honor the memory of the victims and survivors of the Holocaust by standing up to hatred and intolerance, on campus, in our communities and in our hearts.

Together, let us strive to build a world where the lessons of the Holocaust guide us - as one DePaul family - towards a future of peace, understanding, and mutual respect.


Robert L. Manuel