Past Programs & Events

Nov 30, 2016

Zionism, Holocaust Survivors, and the Creation of Israel

Avinoam Patt

Avinoam J. Patt is the Philip D. Feltman Professor of Modern Jewish History at the Maurice Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Hartford, where he is also director of the Museum of Jewish Civilization.  He received his Ph.D. in Modern European History and Hebrew and Judaic Studies from New York University.  His first book, Finding Home and Homeland: Jewish Youth and Zionism in the Aftermath of the Holocaust (published by Wayne State University Press, May 2009) examines the appeal of Zionism for young survivors in Europe in the aftermath of the Holocaust and their role in the creation of the state of Israel.  He is also the co-editor (with Michael Berkowitz) of a collected volume on Jewish Displaced Persons, titled We are Here: New Approaches to the Study of Jewish Displaced Persons in Postwar Germany (Wayne State University Press, February 2010).  He is a contributor to several projects at the USHMM, and is co-author of the recently published source volume, entitled Jewish Responses to Persecution, 1938-1940 (USHMM/Alta Mira Press, September 2011).  He has also published numerous articles, book chapters, and encyclopedia articles on various topics related to Jewish life and culture before, during, and after the Holocaust. He is co-editor of a forthcoming anthology of recent American Jewish fiction entitled The New Diaspora: The Changing Landscape of American Jewish Fiction. In Celebration of the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Edward Lewis Wallant Award for American Jewish Fiction (with Mark Shechner and Victoria Aarons, to be published by Wayne State University Press in November 2014).  Patt teaches courses on Modern Jewish History, American Jewish History, Responses to the Holocaust, the History of Zionism and the State of Israel, Jewish film, and Modern Jewish Literature among others.


Nov 16, 2016

Book Launch for James E. Young, The Stages of Memory: Reflections on Memorial Art, Loss, and the Spaces Between

Published by University of Massachusetts Press

James E. Young is founding director of the Institute andEmeritus Distinguished Professor of English and Judaic and Near Eastern Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He has served on juries that selected designs for the 9/11 Memorial and the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin. In his new book, The Stages of Memory: Reflections on Memorial Art, Loss, and the Spaces Between, published by University of Massachusetts Press, Young reflects on the expectations that countries bring to their painful memorial debates. 

                                    

A reception with refreshments will precede the book talk, which will begin at 5.

A book sale and signing will follow this program. Thank you to Amherst Books for handling book sales.

New York City Book Event, November 10 at 7 at the 9/11 Memorial Museum: https://www.911memorial.org/events/james-e-young-stages-memory


Nov 14, 2016

You are invited to a presentation by Ruth Ravina, a survivor of the Holocaust from Poland

Ruth Ravina speaks frequently to school and community groups in her home state of New Jersey. She was born in 1937 in Kozienice, Poland. After her parents were taken by the Nazis to a slave labor camp, she remained with her grandparents and cousins. When the ghetto was about to be liquidated, three Jewish girls escaped, taking Ravina with them and bringing her to the home of a Christian Polish family, where she was sheltered for some time. After six months, she was smuggled to her mother inside the slave labor camp. Her mother succeeded in hiding her through two different camps. Her father died in the Buchenwald concentration camp. Ruth Ravina was the only Jewish child from her hometown who survived the war.

Institute for Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies
University of Massachusetts Amherst
758 North Pleasant Street
Amherst, MA 01002


Nov 1, 2016

Last Yiddish Heroes: Lost and Found Songs of Soviet Jews during World War II

THIS PROGRAM IS SOLD OUT. TICKETS ARE NO LONGER AVAILABLE.  

 
During and just after World War II, folklorist Moshe Beregovsky and the Kiev Cabinet for Jewish Culture collected original Yiddish songs written by Soviet Jews. But in 1949, the Soviet government confiscated and hid away the songs. In this all-new concert and lecture program, singer-songwriter Psoy Korolenko and historian Anna Shternshis bring these lost Yiddish songs to life and share the incredible stories behind these treasures.
 
PSOY KOROLENKO AND ANNA SHTERNSHIS
 
 

Pavel Lion, a.k.a. Psoy Korolenko, is one of Russia’s most popular – and clever – songwriters, as well as a pre-eminent Yiddish singer. He is a Moscow based singer/songwriter, translator, scholar and journalist. Self-referred to as a ''wandering scholar'' and an ''avant-bard'', he is know for his multilingual one-person cabaret-esque shows, which balance folk and klezmer music, free-style poetry and intellectual comedy. Psoy writes and sings in English, Russian, Yiddish, and French. On stage since 2000, he has published one book of selected essays and song lyrics ''The Hit Of The Century'', and 14 CDs – some of them in collaboration with active Jewish and Klezmer musicians ("Opa!", Daniel Kahn, Igor Krutogolov, "Oy Division").  Psoy is a member of the organizing committee for a Russian American music festival JetLAG, a guest of many klezmer music festivals, and an ex-artist in residence at the Trinity College (Hartford), University of Michigan (Ann Arbor), Dickinson College (Carlisle, PA). An author of insightful and sophisticated Russian sung poetry, Psoy is also known for his keen and explorative vision of the art of translation, “tradaptation” and what he calls Spell-Art (i.e. playing with foreign text, emphasizing linguistic distances, multilingual songs etc).

Anna Shternshis holds the position of Al and Malka Green Associate Professor of Yiddish studies at the University of Toronto. She is also the Director of the Anne Tanenbaum Centre for Jewish Studies at the University of Toronto. She received her doctoral degree (D.Phil) in Modern Languages and Literatures from Oxford University in 2001.  Shternshis is the author of Soviet and Kosher: Jewish Popular Culture in the Soviet Union, 1923 - 1939 (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2006). Her second book entitled When Sonia Met Boris: Jewish Daily Life in Soviet Russia is forthcoming from Oxford University Press in 2017. She is currently working on the book-length study of evacuation and escape of Soviet Jews during World War II. She is the author of twenty articles on topics of Russian Jewish culture and post-Soviet Jewish diaspora. Shternshis is a co-editor-in-chief of East European Jewish Affairs.

 
 

Oct 5, 2016

The Making of the Secular Witness: From David Rousset to the "Survivor"

This talk will explore one chapter in the history of a particular concept of humanity forged in suffering and survival, symbolized by the secular witness.  It discusses the defamation trial of French writer David Rousset (author of "The Concentrationary Universe," or "L'Univers concentrationnaire), which became shorthand for camp life in the decade after the Second World War.  It addresses how he used the trial to generate a victim-centered testimonial practice only fully developed after the Eichmann trial.  The paper will summarize the features and history of the survivor icon conceived as part of the historical development of contemporary moral culture.

ABOUT THE SPEAKER

Carolyn J. Dean is Charles J. Stille Professor of History and French at Yale University and the author of five books, most recently Aversion and Erasure: The Fate of the Victim after the Holocaust (Cornell, 2010).


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