Professor Clifford Lester, head of the Photography department at Cypress College, along with Cypress College, hosted the 3rd Annual Yom HaShoah remembrance on Tuesday, April 17th. The evening was filled with powerful stories of survival, heroism, and hope.

Lester, 62, has been a photography instructor at Cypress College for 18 years. This is his last semester, as he is retiring from teaching, yet he will continue to use his camera to capture more Holocaust survivors’ portraits.

For more then a decade, Lester has photographed almost 100 survivors, and as he enters into his retirement he as already eight more survivors lined up to photograph. Cypress College has honored his work by installing a permanent gallery in the student center of his holocaust survivor’s portraits along with a special tribute to the US Army Veterans who helped liberate the concentration camps.

Lester’s parents are both Holocaust survivors. While his mother Ursula Lowenbach Foster passed away, his father Harry Lester was at the event.

Before the Yom HaShaoh event began, a local homeschool group, headed by teacher Nancy Kaser, had the honor and privilege to meet the holocaust survivors and for the first time a US Army Veteran who was a liberator of the Nazi Camps. The students had a unique opportunity to shake the survivors hands, ask questions, get their autographs and hear first hand accounts about how they survived the holocaust.