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Bernice Lerner, author of All the Horrors of War: A Jewish Girl, a British Doctor, and the Liberation of Bergen-Belsen 

Wednesday, May 4, 2022  7-8 p.m. on Zoom

Join Bernice Lerner for a discussion of her recent publication, the first book to pair the story of a Holocaust victim with that of a liberator. Lerner has unearthed and interwoven the fascinating stories of Rachel Genuth, a poor Jewish teenager from the Hungarian provinces, and Hugh Llewelyn Glyn Hughes, a high-ranking military doctor in the British Second Army, who converge in Bergen-Belsen, where the girl fights for her life and the doctor struggles to save thousands on the brink of death. Lerner, Rachel's daughter, writes with special insight about the torment her mother suffered.

Watch the Lecture

A special talk by Rebecca Davis

'I’ve Always Been a Jew': Religion, Race, and the Problem of Sammy Davis Jr.

Thursday, April 28, 2022 • 12:30 p.m. Live on Zoom

A special talk by Dr. Rebecca Davis, Miller Family Early Career Professor of History, touching on her new book Public Confessions: The Religious Conversions That Changed American Politics (University of North Carolina Press) and the conversion of Sammy Davis Jr. to Judaism. Sammy Davis Jr. was one of the greatest entertainers of the twentieth century, famous for his high-energy one-man shows and his routines as the only Black member of the Rat Pack. 

His conversion to Judaism in 1960 made him the butt of jokes about his multiple and seemingly incongruous identities. Those punchlines revealed deep-seated biases about religious and racial credibility, biases that reverberated in American politics and throughout the rest of Davis's life.

This event is free and open to the public. Sponsored by the Jewish Studies Program.

Read more about this event 

Jewish Studies Guest Lecture: Ukrainian Yuri Radchenko

Thursday, April 14, 2022, 12:30 p.m.

"Jewish Studies and Holocaust Scholarship in Ukraine: Past, Present, and Uncertain Future" A Conversation with Scholar and War Refugee Dr. Yuri Radchenko

​On April 14, 2022, Yuri Radchenko Joined us virtually from Chernivtsi, Ukraine, for a special conversation. Born in Kharkiv in 1986, Dr. Radchenko holds a Ph.D in History from Kharkiv National University. The author of over 30 articles on the history of the Holocaust in Kharkiv and the Ukrainian-Russian borderlands, Dr. Radchenko has held research fellowships in Vienna, Warsaw, Toronto, Jerusalem and elsewhere. When the Russian invasion began he fled Kharkiv and is currently displaced internally in Chernivtsi, in western Ukraine. Dr. Radchenko will discuss his path in Jewish Studies and Holocaust research in Ukraine; how Ukraine's scholars, universities, libraries, and archives have been impacted by the war; and how the future remains uncertain.

This event was free and open to the public on Zoom. Sponsored by the Jewish Studies Program.

View the recording.

Memorial Books: Comparative and Global Perspectives: A One-Day International Workshop

blue image with hebrew text

​Sunday, February 27, 2022, via zoom

Co-sponsored by the Humanities Institute, the Jewish Studies Program, and the Department of History at Penn State and the Jewish Studies Program at the University of Delaware.

WELCOME AND FIRST PANEL
8:30–9:30 a.m. EST
Memorial Books as Objects

Chair: Margalit Schindler, University of Delaware

Jennifer Rich, Rowan University, “Salvaged: Yizker Bikher as Sacred Objects”

Amy L. Hubbell, The University of Queensland, “Crowding Out the Algerian War in French Memorial Books”

Kinga Frojimovics, Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies, “A Second Generation (Hungarian) Yizkor Book from 2018”

SECOND PANEL
9:40–11:10 a.m. EST
Historiography, Genre, Writing Traditions, and Narrative in Memorial Books

Chair: Ran Zwigenberg, Penn State

Marianne Windsperger, Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies, “The Afterlife of Yizker Bikher in Contemporary Jewish Writing”

Polly Zavadivker, University of Delaware, “Through a Lens Darkly: World War I as Depicted in Jewish Memorial Books”

Gail Drucker Bar-Am, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, "Narrating Bygone Places: Memorial Books and the Post-WWII Jewish Quest for Collective Identity"

THIRD PANEL
11:30 a.m.–1 p.m. EST
Memory as an Act of Reconstruction

Chair: Börries Kuzmany, Universität Wien

Vahé Tachjian, Houshamdyan Website, Berlin, “To Remember and Write, to Remember and Draw: When Restoring the Past Becomes the Meaning of Life”

Susan Slyomovics, UCLA, “ In the wake of Memorializing French Algeria’s Agricultural Schools”

Aviad Moreno and Haim Bitton, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, “The Moroccan Yizkor Book: Reconstructing Jewish Community Space in a Post–Colonial Context”

FOURTH PANEL
1:10–3:00 p.m. EST
Memorial ‘Books’ in the Digital Age

Chair: András Riedlmayer, Harvard University

Alexandra Zaremba, American University, “Our Yugoslavias: Ethics, Outcomes, and Opportunities in Reconstructing Everyday Yugoslav Life in the Nationalist and Digital Present”

Rochelle Davis, Georgetown University, “Palestinian Village Books from Print to Internet”

Eliyana R. Adler, Penn State, “The Ethics of Representation in Crowdsourced Translations of Yizker-Bikher”

The First Woman to Scribe a Torah: Jen Taylor Friedman, Soferet

Watch the Recorded Discussion

Special Event - November 16, 9:45 a.m.

Please join us for a virtual guest lecture in Dr. Zavadivker's HIST/JWST/WOMS303: Women in Judaism course:

The First Woman to Scribe a Torah: Jen Taylor Friedman, Soferet

In 2007, Jen Taylor Friedman made history by becoming the first woman ever to complete the writing of a sefer Torah (Torah scroll). Join her virtual visit to Dr. Zavadivker's course Women in Judaism. As a scribe of religious texts, she will give a historical overview of women in this specific aspect of Jewish law and ritual, walk us through her workspace and process, and share her experiences about opening up a field hitherto exclusively limited to men.

A Torah scribe, scholar, and educator, Jen Taylor Friedman obtained her MA from McGill University where she wrote a history of the material culture of tefillin. She is currently studying Medieval Torah scrolls as she pursues her doctorate. She gained widespread recognition both as the first woman to scribe a Torah and as the creator behind Tefillin Barbie. 

The Objects that Remain: The Ethics of Tending to Sacred Objects

book cover for "The Objects that Remain"

Watch the Recorded Discussion

An October 27, 2021, panel discussion and Q&A featuring Jane Klinger (she/her/hers), United States Holocaust Memorial Museum; Laura Levitt (she/her/hers), Temple University Department of Religion; and Margalit Schindler (they/them/theirs), Winterthur/UD Program in Art Conservation.

What makes an object sacred, and what does it mean to care for sacred objects? Three interdisciplinary presentations will bridge scholarship on Museum Studies, Jewish Studies, criminal justice and feminist theory with reflections on the practice and ethics of conservation. The presenters will explore: how do institutions and academic disciplines differ in their understanding of sacred objects and how to care for them? Who actually does the work of conservation and how is it often invisible and thus gendered work? How do disparate stakeholders—national museums, private collections, police holdings, and others—preserve objects and for what purpose?

This event was co-sponsored by the University of Delaware Jewish Studies Program, Department of Women and Gender Studies, Department of History – Museum Studies Program, Department of Art Conservation, Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice, and Center for Material Culture Studies.

The Shtetl Kitchen: Ashkenazi Foodways Past and Present

book cover of The Gefilte Manifest

Watch the Recorded Discussion

UD's Jewish Studies program on Wednesday, March 10, 2021, from 5-6:15pm  The Shtetl Kitchen: Ashkenazi Foodways Past and Present, a free and open-to-the-public Zoom event.  Pre-registration is required.

Jeffrey Yoshkowitz and Liz Alpern (co-owners of The Gefilteria and co-authors of The Gefilte Manifesto) will host a dynamic discussion on Eastern European Jewish foodways, past and present.  We'll discuss exciting discoveries about seasonal Jewish eating, holiday cooking and culinary wisdom which will transform everything you thought about Ashkenazi gastronomy.  We will dive into goose, gefilte fish, cabbage, kugel and more.

Nancy Sinkoff and her recent publication "From Left to Right"

Watch the Recorded Discussion

​Special Event - March 8, 2021 - 7:00pm.

Join the University of Delaware's Jewish Studies program along with the Department of History, the Department of Women and Gender Studies, the Department of Philosophy, and CGAS's European Studies program as they present the special event Gender and the (Dis)Continuities of the European Jewish Enlightenment: Hannah Arendt, Lucy S. Dawidowicz, and the New York Intellectuals.  This online event will take place on March 8 at 7pm and is free and open to the public via Zoom.

Guest speaker Nancy Sinkoff, professor of Jewish Studies and History, as well as the Academic Director of the Allen and Joan Bildner Center for the Study of Jewish Life at Rutgers University, will discuss her recent book From Left to Right: Lucy S. Dawidowicz, the New York Intellectuals, and the Politics of Jewish History.

The image of the New York intellectuals, the Jewish public intellectuals who from their 1930s-nurtured anti-Stalinism became Cold Warriors in the 1950s and neoconservatives in 1970s, is decidedly male.  Yet one woman, the German-Jewish philosopher Hann Arendt (1906-1975) is regularly invoked as a member of the group in its prewar heyday.  Years later, another woman, Lucy S. Dawidowicz (1915-1990), the historian of the Eastern European Jewry and of the Holocaust, became part of the group as it shifted politically towards the right and articulated a commitment to Jewish identity and survival.  

The lecture will juxtapose the lives of Arendt and Dawidowicz as two sides of a deep fissure that characterized the encounter of Ashkenazic Jewry with the modern world, giving voice to the female experience within that narrative.

From Generation to Generation: Remembering the Holocaust through Story and Song

two men standing in front of a sign

Concert Performance by Holocaust Survivor David Wisnia and his grandson, Avi Wisnia
Wednesday, April 11, 2018, 7 p.m.
Q&A + Reception to Follow
Free & Open to the Public
Gore Recital Hall, Roselle Center for the Arts, University of Delaware

David S. Wisnia has a remarkable voice, and he uses it to tell his remarkable story. Cantor Wisnia is a survivor of the notorious Auschwitz Annihilation Camp where he was incarcerated for close to 3 years, saving his life by singing to entertain the Nazi SS officers and cell block leaders. Upon his escape, he joined the U.S. Army as a liberator. After coming to America, Wisnia was an illustrious cantor for more than forty years and continues to share his gift of music still today. Avi Wisnia is an award-winning composer, singer, performer and educator. In 2008, he created The No Brainer Benefit Concert with his family, which continues to raise funds and awareness for The National Brain Tumor Society.

This event is co-sponsored by the University of Delaware Jewish Studies Program, UD Hillel, the Halina Wind Preston Holocaust Education Committee, and the Jewish Federation of Delaware.

Read the UDaily article about event.

 

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  • Center for Global and Area Studies
  • 77 East Main Street - Room 217
  • University of Delaware
  • Newark, DE 19711, USA
  • Phone: 302-831-3202
  • E-mail: cgas-info@udel.edu