The Holocaust Center will be dedicated Sept. 18.

By ELLEN THOMPSON


The Holocaust Resource Center and Archives at Queensborough Community College has told the story of the Holocaust, for more 23 years, through the survivors.

Survivors had handed over hundreds of their photos, letters and family heirlooms all with a unique narrative, adding to the bigger story. Those distinct narratives will now have an even louder voice in the story with help from Queens resident, Harriet Kupferberg, and a generous donation of $1 million in the name of Harriet and her late husband Kenneth Kupferberg.

The current center will be renamed the Harriet and Kenneth Kupferberg Holocaust Resource Center and Archives and will be dedicated to the philanthropist Queens couple Sept. 18.

“Over the last 100 years, from the Armenian genocide in 1915 to the events in Darfur today, genocide has been a part of the world we live in,â€? said Dr. Eduardo J. Martí, President of Queensborough Community College. “Nothing like the Holocaust has occurred in human history. The Kupferberg Center demonstrates our commitment to learning the lessons of the Holocaust.â€?

The mission of the Center has been to educate current and future generations about the ramifications of unbridled prejudice, racism and stereotyping, Martí said, and will continue in that vein, but more in a more focused effort than ever.

The renamed Kupferberg Center, the only educational center of its kind in New York City, will house an exclusive body of materials, programs, exhibits and historical information on the Holocaust and other instances of genocide.

Besides telling the story of the Holocaust through unique exhibits developed by scholars, it also provides extensive teaching and learning materials for use in schools around the nation.

“We view the Holocaust Center as a learning laboratory for our students, the local community, and the country,â€? said Martí. “More than ever we need to celebrate people’s individual differences and understand the value of immigrants to our culture and the role they play in making ours the great country that it is.â€?

The renamed center will be housed in a new, 7,000 square foot permanent home and is scheduled to open in the spring of 2008, reflecting the theme “Let There Be Light.â€? Marti said the new building will be a “unique architectural statement,â€? featuring dramatic use of glass to symbolize awareness, hope and the lasting memory of those who were victims of the Holocaust. The Queensborough Community College Fund is in the midst of a $5 million fundraising drive to secure the ongoing operation of the Center.

“Our commitment to the Kupferberg Center demonstrates our dedication to the ending of hatred, the promotion of diversity, and the fostering of understanding among all people,â€? said Martí. We will continue to support these ideals in the future.â€?