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NMSU Provost William Flores to speak at Holocaust remembrance

New Mexico State University Provost William Flores will be the keynote speaker as members of the Las Cruces interfaith community gather on Sunday, May 1, to commemorate the Holocaust.

NMSU Provost William Flores will be the keynote speaker for a Holocaust remembrance at Temple Beth-El in Las Cruces at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 1.(NMSU photo by Darren Phillips)

nt will begin at 2 p.m. at Temple Beth-El at 702 Parker Road (at Melendres Street). The title of Flores' talk will be "Honoring Courage." The public is invited.

Yom Ha Shoah - Holocaust Commemoration Day - is observed each year in synagogues around the world on the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. As has been done since 1999 on a biennial basis, Rabbi Gerald Kane of Temple Beth-El has invited colleagues of other faiths to join him and his congregation in remembering all the victims of the Holocaust.

"It is customary to light six candles in memory of the six million Jews who died at the hands of the Nazis," said Rabbi Kane, "but there were also five million of other faiths who were branded 'undesirable' and murdered as well. It seems fitting that we gather as a community to share our common grief and kindle 11 memorial candles."

Candle lighters will be survivors, rescuers, dignitaries, participating clergy and the youth of the congregation.

Participating clergy are expected to include Monsignor John Anderson of Holy Cross, the Rev. Mitch Dowalgo of St. Albert the Great Church, the Rev. Gorton Smith of St.Paul's United Methodist Church, the Rev. Nancy Anderson of the Unitarian Universalist Church, the Rev. Dr. Jim Lehman of Holy Family Parish, the Rev. Timothy Smith of Northminster Presbyterian Church and other members of the NMSU InterFaith Council.

Other highlights of the service will be a mandolin and guitar prelude by Steve Smith and Bob Hull; a blues guitar solo by Marc Schwartz; Kasiah Weeks singing the Yiddish art song, "Shtiler Shtiler"; Cat Hicks singing "Yesh Kochavim" by Hannah Senesh; and "Dona Dona" led by the children of Temple Beth-El's Religious School. Gabriel Lampert, an NMSU faculty member, will chant the traditional memorial prayer "Eil Maley Rachamim."

A proclamation from the city of Las Cruces will be read by Mayor Bill Mattiace and a resolution passed by the NMSU Student Senate will be read by Jason Wolfe. Following the service, Temple Sisterhood will host a reception.

"I am delighted this year to have a focus on New Mexico State University," Rabbi Kane said. "It reflects the strong partnership that New Mexico State has with the community."

For more information call Rabbi Kane at (505) 524-3380.