Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission Awareness - Education - Inspiration

Commission Letters

The Commissioners of the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission are a diverse group.  Professional backgrounds for the commissioners include education, business, engineering, social services, religion, and public policy.  Several of the commissioners are also genocide survivors.

While the group is varied, the commissioners are united in supporting the mission, activities, and goals of the THGC.

December 2015

Last month, the THGC sent a letter to President Obama asking that he take action to address the atrocities being committed by ISIS. The full letter is copied below, followed by signatures of support current as of December 1st, 2015.

Dear Mr. President,

The Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission, along with various distinguished co-signees throughout our state, wish to bring to your attention our strongest condemnation of the pattern of atrocities committed by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) against members of the Yazidi, Christian, and Muslim communities. It is our hope and urgent request that the leadership of the United States will take meaningful steps to help bring an end to the cruel and illegal targeting of these men, women, and children solely due to their ethnicity and religion.

The Islamic State’s crimes comprise a list of horrors that are already well documented. These include torture, abduction, rape, enslavement, starvation, mass murder, and racial or ethnic elimination.

As the media have reported, many Yazidis, Christians, and Muslims have been forced to flee their homes. Some have found refuge here in Texas, and in recent weeks, our agency’s leadership has met with and learned their plight from several of them. You will see their names among the signatories to this letter, and they are joined by Texans of a wide range of religions, races, ethnicities, academic backgrounds, and professions. We stand united to raise awareness of the ongoing persecution of these people, lest the free world fail to halt it. We have watched this terrible mistake too often in our lifetimes, and cannot in good conscience choose to stand by.

We respectfully appeal to you, Mr. President, to use your podium to help give voice to these victims and refugees, and to take action to protect those that remain in direct danger. 

P. N. Berkowitz, Chair
Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission

Rabbi Jeffrey Abraham
Congregation Agudas Achim, San Antonio, TX

Dr. Robert Abzug, Professor of History and American Studies
University of Texas, Austin, TX

Rev. Andy Blair
First Presbyterian Church, Canyon, TX

Rabbi Neil Blumofe
Congregation Agudas Achim, Austin, TX

Rabbi Ariel Boxman
Temple Shalom, Dallas, TX

Rabbi Kimberly Herzog Cohen
Temple Emanu-El, Dallas, TX

Rev. Mike Cole, General Presbyter
Presbytery of New Covenant, Houston, TX

Dr. Gary Cook, Chancellor
Dallas Baptist University, Dallas, TX

Rabbi Heidi Coretz
Congregation Shir Tikvah, Frisco, TX

Dallas Holocaust Museum / Center for Education and Tolerance

Rev. Kathleen Kendall Davies
A Community of the Servant-Savior Presbyterian Church, Houston, TX

El Paso Holocaust Museum and Study Center

Rabbi Rebecca Epstein
Congregation Beth Israel, Austin, TX

Dr. Edward V. George and Ms. Cecelia George
Covenant Presbyterian Church, Lubbock, TX

Rabbi Dan Gordon
Congregation Beth Torah, Humble, TX

Rabbi Steve Gross
Houston Congregation for Reform Judaism, Houston, TX

Rev. John C. Hagee
Cornerstone Church, San Antonio, TX
Christians United for Israel

Holocaust Museum Houston

Rabbi Daniel Horwitz
Congregation Beth Yeshurun, Houston, TX

Islamic Center of South Plains, Lubbock, TX

Rabbi Gavriel Jacknin
Bellaire Jewish Center, Bellaire, TX

Rev. Sam Jun
Pines Presbyterian Church, Houston, TX

Dr. William L. Kibler, President
Sul Ross State University, Alpine, TX

The Kurdish American Foundation of Houston

Rev. Tim Marquez
First Presbyterian Church of Sealy, TX

Rev. Dana Mayfield
First Presbyterian Church, Colorado City and Snyder, TX

Rev. Dr. Robert G. Moore
Christ the King Lutheran Church, Houston, TX

Rabbi Mara Nathan
Temple Beth-El, San Antonio, TX

Rabbi Andrew Marc Paley
Temple Shalom, Dallas, TX

Allan E. Parker, President
The Justice Foundation, San Antonio, TX

Rabbi Aryeh Scheinberg
Congregation Rodfei Sholom, San Antonio, TX

Rev. Richard Schempp, Executive Presbyter
Palo Duro Presbytery, Lubbock, TX

Rabbi Deborah Schloss
Congregation Beth Tikvah, Clear Lake, TX

Rabbi Benjamin D. Sternman
Congregation Adat Chaverim, Plano, TX

Rabbi Brian Strauss
Congregation Beth Yeshurun, Houston, TX

Rabbi Joshua S. Taub
Temple Emanuel, Beaumont, TX

Rabbi Stefan J. Weinberg
Congregation Anshai Torah, Plano, TX

Rabbi Kenny Weiss
Executive Director, Houston Hillel

Dr. Hobson Wildenthal, President ad interim, Executive Vice President, Provost
University of Texas at Dallas, Richardson, TX

Rabbi Marina Yergin
Temple Beth-El, San Antonio, TX

Rabbi Ben Zeidman
Temple Mount Sinai, El Paso, TX

Rabbi Elana Zelony
Congregation Beth Torah, Richardson, TX

Read past letters from our Commissioners and staff.