Senior Emily Lofgren, president of Christians United for Israel, said she has always felt strongly about standing up for the Jewish state, which is why she attended the CUFI student summit in Washington, D.C., last July.
“I’ve always had a heart for Israel and saw it as an amazing opportunity to stand for my religious beliefs in a way that affects foreign policy,” Lofgren said.
It was there that she first heard Holocaust survivor Irving Roth speak about his experience at the Poland death camps, and she knew it was something she wanted to share with Drake University—alas, she was successful.
Tonight at 7:30 p.m. in Bulldog Theater, Roth will speak about those horrific experiences and how he survived the Holocaust. The event is sponsored by CUFI, and it is the organization’s kickoff event, as it was just recently approved as an official Drake organization last December, thanks to the efforts of Lofgren and junior Rachel Cutler.
“I feel like it’s extremely important for students at Drake to understand how tragic the Holocaust actually was,” Lofgren said. “I believe it’s important to respect and treat everyone kindly regardless of their religious affiliation. In the Holocaust, Jews were not treated with respect and were treated horrendously. It’s important that it never happens again.”
According to the CUFI website, the ultimate goal of CUFI is “to provide a national association through which every pro-Israel church, parachurch organization, ministry or individual in America can speak and act with one voice in support of Israel in matters related to Biblical issues.”
Lofgren said she wants to focus on educating students about this cause.
“From my perspective, our goal is to educate the campus about standing for the Jewish state and its right to exist,” she said.
Roth is the director of the Holocaust Resource Center at the Temple Judea in Manhasset, N.Y.
According to his biography on www.AnneFrank.com, Roth “has worked to ensure that an atrocity like the Holocaust never happens again,” and his life’s goal is “to make the world a better place.” For his efforts in promoting world acceptance and diversity, he received the Spirit of Anne Frank Award.
Lofgren said she hopes that students will be able to learn valuable lessons from Roth’s presentation.
“I hope that they’ll understand that we should love people and respect people regardless of their religious views,” Lofgren said.