Durham News: Community

Sculpture to mark burial site of Dachau victims’ ashes

A memorial sculpture commissioned to mark the site of the burial of ashes from victims of the Dachau concentration camp will be unveiled Sunday, April 26, in the Durham Hebrew Cemetery.

The sculpture by noted local sculptor Mike Roig was commissioned by the Center for Holocaust, Genocide and Human Rights Education and two local synagogues: Beth El of Durham and Kehillah of Chapel Hill.

The ashes were given to a U.S. Army soldier at the time of the camp’s liberation. They were hidden away in a drawer for nearly 70 years and came to light in 2013 when the soldier’s son wanted to find a dignified burial for the remains.

In an emotional service in May of 2014, attended by Holocaust survivors, World War II refugees, veterans and liberators and hundreds of others, the ashes were interred in the Durham Hebrew Cemetery.

The Durham sculptor’s striking memorial is in the shape of a kinetic, eternal flame in which visitors can see their reflections. The base of the sculpture is in the shape of a bridge, arching over and protecting the burial site. On one leg of the bridge the Hebrew and English words for “Remember” (Zachor) will be inscribed. On the other leg will be a quote from Leviticus: “Do Not Stand Idly By.”

This inscription was chosen so visitors will not only reflect on the horrors of the Holocaust but also learn from the past and act to prevent such atrocities from happening again. A historical marker will hang beside the sculpture. The marker will explain the remarkable journey of the ashes, from Dachau to Durham. Nowhere else in the United States are ashes from WWII concentration camps buried, according to the center.

The Durham Hebrew Cemetery is located across the street from 840 Kent St. The public is invited to the unveiling that will take place at 3 p.m., rain or shine. The date was chosen to take place during Holocaust Remembrance Month and within a year after burial, according to Jewish tradition.

Grant awarded

The Duke Divinity School program in leadership education has been awarded a $6 million grant by the Lilly Endowment Inc.

The program encourages a theological vision of leadership and supports Christian institutions, including seminaries, denominations and other nonprofit organizations as they develop current and future leaders.

The grant will also fund the expansion of effective programs, including Foundations of Christian Leadership, a two-week intensive seminar for leaders in Christian institutions.

Richard Hays, dean of Duke Divinity, called the gift “a major boost to our commitment to offer support to emerging Christian leaders in a rapidly changing environment.”

Leadership Education at Duke Divinity was created in 2008 with a $14 million grant from Lilly Endowment. The grand helped the school start Denominational Leadership, a program that has equipped more than 150 denominational staff members with tools and strategies.

The grant also established the online magazine “Faith & Leadership,” which reaches 318,000 readers annually and publishes new content that draws on multiple disciplines, as well as the e-newsletter “News & Ideas,” a daily roundup of stories from other news outlets about the church and the world.

Poetry reading

St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, 210 St. Mary’s Road, Hillsborough, will host a 7 p.m. poetry reading titled “Lost & Found in Translation” on Sunday.

Kathleen Macfie, an associate professor of Russian literature at UNC Greensboro, and Carl Ernst, professor of religious studies at UNC-Chapell Hill, will talk about the challenges of translation and read examples of their own work. Kathleen does translation of Russian poetry and Carl works in Islamic literature.

This event is part of the church’s Faith and the Arts Series that began in 2010 as a result of the church’s desire to be more intentional in its support of the arts.

All are welcome.

‘Feed and Read’

Durham Congregations in Action will hold its monthly assembly and luncheon on Tuesday, April 21, at First Presbyterian Church, 305 E. Main St.

Program topic for the 11:45 a.m. gathering is “Feed & Read” Partnerships Between Congregations and Elementary Schools.

The discussion will center on developing a campaign to expand the number of faith communities that support low-income elementary students with food, backpacks and tutoring.

Durham Public Schools, the Food Bank, Interfaith Food Shuttle and other partners are ready to support new congregations to undertake partnerships.

Bowing practice

Won-Buddhist Temple, 8021 Old N.C. 86, near Chapel Hill, has invited the community to join a 10-day Humility/Fitness/Mind-/Body Bowing Practice, starting April 16 at the temple. No experience necessary. Classes begin at 8 p.m.

Full bowing is a form of yoga that releases the heaviness, cravings and delusions in the mind, heart and body while strengthening back and leg muscles.

During the first session, participants will explore different ways of bowing such as standing-stretching, sun salutation, traditional prostration or Tibetan bowing.

On each successive evening, the class will begin with a few minutes of stretching and Qi-gong exercises and gradually increase the number of bows. Class members are encouraged to go at his or her own pace using preferred forms of bowing with the ultimate goal of reaching 100 bows by the end of the 10 days.

Should you miss the first evening, feel free to come to a subsequent evening a few minutes early to receive one-on-one instructions about this practice.

Contact Flo Johnston at fjohnston314@gmail.com or call 910-361-4135.