Hughes-Trigg Student Center, SMU

The March of Remembrance, also known as March of Life, is an international organization that honors the survivors and victims of the Holocaust while promoting healing and reconciliation between victims, perpetrators, and their descendants. It was birthed in Tübingen, Germany by Jobst Bitner, a theologian and activist, as a German-Christian response to the Holocaust. The marches have grown to a worldwide movement led by Christian leaders and universities partnering with the Jewish community.

March of Remembrance Dallas is a local chapter of a Christian organization that partners with Hillel SMU to remember the victims of the Holocaust, stand against anti-Semitism and hate, and reconcile with the Jewish community during the month of Yom HaShoa (Holocaust Remembrance Day). Our marches include a ceremony, music, Holocaust survivors and second-gen speakers, dignitaries and repentant descendants of SS officers.

The March of Remembrance Dallas appreciates the help it receives from the Nathaniel Foundation.


  • SMU Jewish Studies
  • SMU Office of the Chaplain and Religious Life
  • SMU Human Rights Program
  • Perkins School of Theology
  • SMU AEPi
  • Mishelanu

2023 Scholarship Winners

Romi Geller – Law Student graduating in 2024

Your Family Biography Documentation is a precious legacy that will be preserved for generations to come.

The distressing accounts of your Polish grandparents enduring life in the camps and the grievous hardships they both encountered was heartbreaking. We were invigorated however looking at the photographs of happier times after the war, pictures of their family and a new life in Israel. Romi, an Israeli herself is now working on her law degree and will graduate next year! I’m happy to present The Nathaniel Foundation March of Remembrance scholarship of $5,000 to Romi Geller.  

2023 MOR Dallas Submission

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Rose Hurwitz – who is working on her PHD in Anthropology.

Your Essay “Hiding in Plain Sight” was poignant and actually heartbreaking.

We are so sorry for the inexcusable anti-Semitic incidents that happened to you since you were just a 9 year old child. You have exhibited great strength In your pain and we believe have an undeniable resolve to change the way people think. You concluded your essay with these worlds “Reconciliation can lead to freedom for all to live peacefully among diverse groups, creating a more just world for everyone. Rose – this is no longer a theory! The reconciliation has started today! We are happy to present The Nathaniel Foundation March of Remembrance scholarship of $2500 to Rose Hurwitz. Congratulations my friend!

2023 MOR Submission

Hiding in Plain Sight

“It’s in your blood, sweetie. I’ll pray for you.”

Even today, Mrs. Jackie’s words echo in my memory. Her prayers for me were not for my well-being, but for my conversion to Christianity and my compliance with greater community values. She prayed for the erasure of my Jewish identity for her own safety and comfort. At just nine years old, this was my first memorable experience with antisemitism, but certainly not my last.

In fourth grade, my dearest friends and I competed in a dance quartet together. After winning Nationals, we excitedly discussed plans for dancing together again the following year in fifth grade. Once school started, I learned the other three girls had formed a trio, excluding me from the routine. The girls told me that my mom had said it was too expensive for me to dance with them this year. Confused, I asked my mom why they would think that. Equally confused, my mom suggested we call one of the mothers, Mrs. Jackie, to clear up the misunderstanding so that I could be included in the routine moving forward. I excitedly dialed her number, eager to be added back to the group and learn the new routine. However, my excited quickly faded and turned to anguish.

As it turns out, excluding me from the routine was deliberate. Unbeknownst to my family and my teammates, my friend’s mothers had agreed that they no longer wanted their daughters associating with a Jewish girl and formed the trio on their own terms. Placing the blame on a fictional financial hardship was a more palatable excuse to share with their daughters than to explain the truth behind their own prejudice toward my family. Mrs. Jackie rationalized to me that our off-stage, pre-performance prayers were tainted by my faith and that she wanted her daughter to walk with followers of Christ instead of ride on the Devil’s coattails with non-believers. Stunned, I blinked through tears. “But we don’t worship the Devil…and I am only half Jewish,” I stammered. “My mom is Catholic.” The lump in my throat had gotten so large, I could barely get the words out without choking. She sighed. “It’s in your blood, sweetie. I’ll pray for you.”

The venom in her voice sharply left her lips and pierced my heart. My nine-year-old self did not understand what she meant, but I knew her words were not sincere. I put my hand over the phone’s mouthpiece and whispered to my mom, “Why did Mrs. Jackie say that? Does this mean I can’t be in the dance?” My mom took the phone and told me to go upstairs. I peered over the banister, trying to hear the conversation between my parents and my friend’s mom. “Do we need to find a new dance studio for her?” my dad asked my mom after she hung up the phone. “All of her friends are there,” my mom replied. “We can’t do that to her.” For the next eight years I danced with the same teammates I had had since childhood, but I cautiously calculated how each of my actions could be perceived as moral failures and excuses for exclusion. For my own safety I spend much of my life hiding in plain sight.

For many years, I lived as somewhat undercover Jew. Laying low has always been easier than explaining my heritage or sitting in others’ discomfort with me, making the balancing act of being myself and being accepted a difficult one. My family, being interfaith, did not attend regular religious services at churches or synagogues, but occasionally celebrated Jewish holidays with the other interfaith families in the community. Many people in my hometown did not recognize Hurwitz as a Jewish surname and when people discovered my Jewish identity, one of the more common reactions was shock that I have “such a pretty nose for a Jewish girl”. Once at SMU, folks were confused to learn that a Jew would choose to attend a Methodist university. In many ways, others’ ignorance and my appearance have kept me safe in a world so eager to find fault with Jews.

Antisemitism, especially in the form of seemingly innocent comments about my nose or my choice in academic institution, largely goes unnoticed by those who do not experience it firsthand. We are often conditioned to laugh off or brush aside distasteful jokes about Ann Frank or controlling Jewish mothers-in-law, because, after all, it’s not a call to action for another Holocaust. It’s not that serious. And yet, it is. It is that serious. The Holocaust did not happen overnight. Sophisticated antisemitic Nazi propaganda infiltrated German media, fostering a climate of hate, fear, and indifference toward Jewish people. The more desensitized we are to hateful messaging, the more justified hateful actions become. In school I learned how the Holocaust was a uniquely European atrocity and that the Jews were saved by Americans. In the United States, Jews had religious freedom and were not oppressed or target. Yet, as I learned about the Holocaust, I understood how deeply antisemitic tropes and propaganda are embedded in our American culture. Anti-Jewish rhetoric is not uniquely European, but a worldwide plague with disastrous consequences.

Today’s American political climate has once again fueled dangerous conspiracy theories about lizard people and world domination, topes rooted in anti-Jewish rhetoric, and given antisemitic figures, like Kanye West and Marjorie Taylor Greene, a platform to spread hatred. Where do we draw the line between ignorant teasing and life-threatening propaganda? At what point do individual’s opinions become movements for the masses? Increased violence against Jewish people is not a coincidence and must be taken seriously. In the last six months, I have feared for my life on two separate occasions because of anti-Jewish violence. In both instances I was dining on restaurant patios when total strangers publicly expressed their hatred for Jews and called for an army to congregate and pick up where Hitler left off. I felt like I was in a movie instead of in my own body. I panicked, looking around to see if anybody would do anything. Say anything. Nobody did. All of us froze in disbelief. Both times. Once again, my ability to hide in plain sight saved me, not just in protecting my identity, but my life.

I do not want to hide anymore. I want my Jewish brothers and sisters to wear their Star of David necklaces freely, instead of tucking them into their collars. I want to celebrate my heritage with my people proudly without fear of being targeted in a violent attack. I want to feel safe, supported, and respected in my community. And most of all, I want others to understand how important it is for both Jews and gentiles to stand united against antisemitism. Through resolution, forgiveness, and education we can overcome manufactured distrust, fear, and inequality that separates us and strive for unification. We must loudly lean on each other to build resilient communities that foster belonging, acceptance, and cooperation. Collective action and collaboration amplify our calls for social justice and can pave the way for more than just strengthening Jewish-Christian relationships. Reconciliation can lead to freedom for all to live peacefully among diverse groups, creating a more just world for everyone.

Jared Barron at TKU – Your poem entitled “Numbers’ was astute and very thought provoking. Your thoughts came from a very deep cavern within you, no doubt a place of great pain. We encourage you to continue to express yourself in poetry. It can truly be a relief valve for the aching soul

Ariana Brown who is majoring in History with a Human Rights Minor gives a harrowing account in her essay entitled “Unearthing the Haunting Legacy of Auschwitz: A Journey through the Echoes of Sorrow”

The title accurately prepares the reader for shockwaves. Ariana states more than a million people were murdered in Auschwitz II—Birkenau, She describes the barracks as crumbling and in disrepair, but you can still see the scratch marks where the inmates tried to claw their way out on the walls. Ariana this story was compelling and sobering – Thank you for sharing this profound life changing experience with us. Congratulations!

Gabrielle Kaplinsky who’s major is Marketing with a concentration in Entrepreneurship

Your poem “From Darkness to Light” captures the reader from the first stanza.

In the wake of darkness, After horrors we must never forget, Emerges a new dawn of reconciliation, A chance for hope to finally be met.

Gabrielle – you had us at Hello! Your poem truly encapsulated the effort of the March of Remembrance and the many other bridgebuilding projects happening all over the world between sincere Zionist Christians and the open-hearted Jewish community. Good job!

Fernando Berwig Silva majoring in sacred music and will be graduating this year.

What an impressive and astonishing requiem you composed and produced honoring yet another human being one who died a senseless death due to religious persecution. It was absolutely ethereal! Bravo Fernando. You are very talented! Remember his name friends – We believe one day he will be quite famous! Congratulations!

Rachel Rodgers who majoring in advertising.

Your creative photography depicted the solidarity and cohesion that our two faiths have in common.

In the background of a beautiful glowing candle the Tanach was opened to Psalm 33.

Psalms 33:15 teaches us that God is the one who forms every human heart and takes note of all their actions.

May we suggest — Even our actions here today?

May the Creator of all things take note of each and every one of you and render it as righteousness on your Heavenly accounts.

Rachel Brachman – who is working on her law degree and will be graduating next year!

Your essay was entitled Honoring the Lives Lost Through Post-Holocaust Reconciliation.

You stated you had 3 conclusions to Honor the lives of those who perished in the Holocaust. We have summarized them as:

Numerous forms of Documentation, Honest Awareness, Candid Communication.

All of which was very inciteful but what stood out to me most was your comment at the end of your essay which you subtitled.

A Moment of gratitude:

Last year I attended this event for the first time. I was shocked and truly moved by the fact that the majority of people in attendance were not Jewish. As I reflect on the ways in which I feel that we can look back and act forward, I am truly humbled by and grateful to those that have been doing this hard work even when they were not directly affected. As a Jew, seeing how much people care about stopping antisemitism and all forms of hatred gives me hope for the future that this type of atrocity can be prevented.

I asked this question last year and now I will ask it again – How many here are not Jewish please raise your hands?  – You see Rachel – Like I said before you’ve have a lot of love and support surrounding you! Congratulations!

Dean Sandler a biology pre med student wrote an essay entitled The Journey of How Fear Overpowered Love and Hate

Dean proclaimed that after visiting Mydonek in Poland He realized the importance of using his voice and learning about his Judaism and his ancestors. What a profound and imperative revelation Dean.  May that experience continue to propel you to stand firm in your treasured heritage. Congratulations!

Saul Malek who is working on his masters in Mental Health Counseling – You wrote a short story – When I Grow Up: 

There is a line you wrote at the end of your fictional story that states:

“I had been asked so many times about– “when I grow up” that I had never considered that the “when” was really an “if.” No day is guaranteed, each one is a gift.

We encourage all who read Saul’s message begin to treat each day as a gift. Great job!

Keilah Eletu, who is working on a CCPA degree

In your Essay “We must take sides” you wrote I wish to become a voice for the voiceless; especially for my people, the Jewish people.
I am a representation of my ancestors and hope to make them proud in every step I take

Absolutely glorious! We applaud you and encourage you to continue to be courageous and unwavering. You are no doubt a strong woman and you have the whole world before you to make a big difference. Congratulations.

Maya Coneh who’s major is biology – predental

Anyone who has ever been to the Western Wall in Jerusalem has felt the intensity of an intangible Presence there. Your art piece was dramatic and inspiring and perhaps a prayer in and of itself. Thank you for sharing your talent and congratulations.




Executive Director, MORD
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Director of Hillel at SMU,
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Cynthia Heaton

On-Site Director, MORD
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Milena Smock

University Liaison, MORD
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Promoter & Videographer, MORD
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Administrator, MORD
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Alumnus Representative, MORD
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David Depew

Sound Tech, MORD


Liran Yael Siegal

Photographer, MORD