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When Rose Zoltek-Jick set out to write her keynote address for Monday’s Holo­caust com­mem­o­ra­tion, she pur­pose­fully left her­self out.

The North­eastern law pro­fessor soon found, how­ever, that the address—titled “The Search for Meaning: Sur­vivors’ Chil­dren and Their Choice of a Life in the Law”—was inex­tri­cably tied to her own life. A child of Holo­caust sur­vivors and a lawyer her­self, Zoltek-Jick reflected on her ini­tial choice, drawing com­par­ison to her par­ents’ sur­vival in Warsaw, “living as Chris­tians with false papers.”

Did I really think that I could give this talk and not reveal my iden­tity?” Zoltek-Jick puz­zled out during her lec­ture to a full crowd at the Cabral Center. “Appar­ently so, but in the days leading up to this talk, I real­ized what I had reproduced—my title was a title of false papers; I was afraid that the per­sonal would muddy the academic.”

The event kicked off Northeastern’s annual com­mem­o­ra­tion of Holo­caust Aware­ness Week. Pres­i­dent Joseph E. Aoun opened the com­mem­o­ra­tion with a call to open Northeastern’s long­standing Holo­caust Aware­ness Week events to the larger Boston community.