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Cummings/Hillel Programming

The Cummings/Hillel Program for Holocaust & Genocide Education is the result of the vision and generosity of Bill (A58) and Joyce Cummings. Their support enables us to offer a range of programs during the year, an annual lecture and a student volunteer trip to Rwanda.

The Tufts community is empowered by the opportunity to hear from Holocaust survivors and other prominent speakers and to learn more about the Rwandan genocide and mass atrocities in other parts of the world today.

Annual Lecture
Each year, Tufts Hillel invites witnesses of genocide to the Medford campus to share their stories with the community. The inaugural speaker was Eliezer Ayalon, z"l, the Holocaust survivor who inspired the Cummings/Hillel Program for Holocaust & Genocide Education.

In 2010, Ayalon spoke about his harrowing experiences as a prisoner of five different Nazi concentration camps before he was liberated, near death, in May 1945. Ayalon passed away in May 2012 after sharing his journey with audiences around the world. The annual lecture honors his legacy and raises awareness about injustice and atrocities happening in the world today.

Student Trip to the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village, Rwanda
Each summer since 2009, Tufts Hillel has sponsored interfaith groups of students on a visit to Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village outside Kigali in eastern Rwanda. Inspired by Israeli youth villages that took in Holocaust orphans, Agahozo-Shalom houses more than 500 students, many of whom are orphans or have been impacted by the Rwandan genocide. Agahozo means "a place where tears are dried."

During their visit, Tufts students volunteer at the village and study the impact of contemporary genocide on society. They tour memorial sites and spend time living in the village, working on community service projects, and meeting with genocide survivors.

Upon returning to campus, students are actively engaged in designing educational programs on the Rwandan genocide, raising funds for the village, and promoting awareness about educational and reconciliation initiatives in Rwanda.

To find out more about the student trip to Rwanda, contact Assistant Director Lauren Bloom at

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