Groups receive pro-Israel activism award; holocaust survivor speaks
Irving Roth shares holocaust experience
Liberty’s Stand With Israel Club is sponsoring holocaust survivor Irving Roth at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Supreme Courtroom at Liberty University School of Law.
Roth was a guest at Wednesday’s convocation and spoke briefly about his experience.
Born Sept. 2, 1929, in Kosice, Czechoslovakia, Roth found himself at the age of 14 being loaded into a cattle car on a train, along with thousands of other Jews in his city. They were dispersed to concentration camps throughout Europe.
On Wednesday, Roth recalled his arrival in Auschwitz, “the largest death camp ever created by humans.” He remembers jumping off the train along with 4,000 others only to be met by “façade and propaganda” as some were led to the shower rooms. His aunt, his 10-year-old cousin and his grandmother were murdered. Roth survived the atrocities of both Auschwitz and Buchenwald concentration camps.
He will share more of these experiences Thursday night and will also share the joy of liberation for the Jewish people and the rebirth in their nation.
He said it is a privilege to speak at Liberty.
“There are still those who want to destroy the people of Israel on their own land,” he said. “ … And some just stand by. … Here at this university there’s an organization that says, ‘No, you will not do that,’ and will stand with you.”
Three Liberty University students were presented the Activist of the Year award by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) during its annual Policy Conference in Washington, D.C. last month.
On behalf of their respective student groups, Matthew Mihelic, Student Government Association president; Taylor Webb, SGA’s vice president of Student Affairs; and James Kimmey, chair of the Stand With Israel Club, accepted the award for their steadfast commitment to pro-Israel politics and widespread education of students on the pro-Israel cause.
“It was an honor representing Liberty University by showing America that we, as the next generation of evangelical Christians in America, support the Jewish people and the right to a free state of Israel,” Mihelic said.
Their work included outreach efforts to leaders of College Democrats, College Republicans and the SGA, and educating student groups on the Iranian nuclear threat. As a result, leaders from College Democrats and College Republicans proclaimed that Israel needs to remain a top priority for both parties and all students at Liberty.
“In the past year, these activists have transformed their campus into a political force for pro-Israel politics. The students from Liberty University serve to inspire activism throughout the country,” said AIPAC president Lee Rosenberg.
The event brought together more than 7,500 pro-Israel advocates, including more than 1,300 pro-Israel campus advocates and 213 Student Government Association presidents. Students represented 370 campuses, from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Speakers at the event included Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Alan Dershowitz, professor of law at Harvard Law School.