UNIVERSITY OF NEVADA NEWS RELEASE – Gayatri Mantra, considered the most sacred mantra of Hinduism, opened the “Day of Remembrance” at the University of Nevada (UNR) Sunday, April 7, in remembrance of lives lost or altered by the Holocaust and genocide around the world. Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, who delivered the Gayatri Mantra from Rig-Veda, the oldest scripture of the world still in common use, started and ended the invocation with “Om” the mystical syllable used in Hinduism to introduce and conclude religious works.
History teaches us that genocide can be prevented if people care enough to act. Our choices in response to hatred truly do matter, and together we can help fulfill the promise of “never again,” event organizers said. The event was organized by the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) of UNR, in partnership with the UNR Interfaith Students Club.
Dr. Robert Krell, Emeritus Psychiatry Professor of University of British Columbia, and Holocaust survivor and educator, delivered the keynote address “Why Remember the Holocaust?” Besides Zed, Christian, Buddhist and Jewish leaders also participated in the candle-lighting ceremony marking the occasion. Rabbi ElizaBeth W. Beyer delivered the benediction.
Dr. Krell has treated Holocaust survivors and their families as well as Dutch survivors of Japanese concentration camps. He founded Vancouver’s Holocaust Education Centre, which teaches 20,000 students annually. Rajan Zed has also raised huge voice against the apartheid faced by an estimated 15-million Roma in Europe, many of whom were also killed during the Holocaust.
OLLI at UNR, is a diverse community of independent thinkers that serves adults over the age of 50 to foster intellectual stimulation and personal development through academic pursuits. Joe Coleman is President of its Board. UNR Interfaith Students Club, with Daniel R. Sanchez as president, aims to cultivate social cohesion among people of different religions. UNR, founded in 1874 and which has over 18,000 students, is known for helping to create the world’s most accurate atomic clock, and is home to one of the largest earthquake-simulation labs.