Sunday, October 28, 1-5 P.M.
Jewish Resistance Reconsidered
With Yehuda Bauer, professor emeritus, Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Judy Baumel-Schwartz, associate professor, Bar-Ilan University; David Engel, professor, New York University, Yitzchak Mais, exhibition curator; and Robert Shapiro, assistant professor, Brooklyn College, CUNY.

Our panel of leading Jewish scholars from Israel and North America will discuss the Museum’s groundbreaking new exhibit, which shatters the myth that Jews went passively to their deaths during the Holocaust. Speakers will consider the context in which Jews found themselves struggling against the overwhelming strength and ruthlessness of their enemy. The panel will expand the definition of defiance to include the range of activities that Jews engaged in, and will explore underlying aspects of Jewish identity that left Jews both prepared and unprepared to confront the atrocities that they faced.

Yehuda Bauer was born in Prague and emigrated to Palestine in 1939 with his family. He has taught at the Institute for Contemporary Jewry at the Hebrew University, Brandeis University, Richard Stockton College, and Clark University. He was the founding editor of the Journal for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, and served on the editorial board of the Encyclopedia of the Holocaust. Currently, he serves as academic adviser to Yad Vashem, academic advisor to the International Task Force for Holocaust Education, Remembrance, and Research, and senior adviser to the Swedish government on the International Forum on Genocide Prevention.

Judith Baumel-Schwartz is the chair of the Graduate Program in Contemporary Jewry and Associate Professor of Jewish History at Bar-Ilan University in Ramat-Gan, Israel. She is the author or numerous books and articles including the books Double Jeopardy: Gender and the Holocaust and Perfect Heroes: The World War II Parachutists and Collective Israeli Memory.

David Engel is professor of Hebrew and Judaic studies and professor of history in the Skirball Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies, New York University. He holds the Maurice R. and Corinne P. Greenberg Chair of Holocaust Studies at NYU, established in 1999 in cooperation with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Yitzchak Mais, curator of Daring To Resist and editor of the companion volume of the exhibition, was director of the Yad Vashem Historical Museum in Jerusalem and founding Curator of the Museum of Jewish Heritage- A Living Memorial to the Holocaust’s Core Exhibition. A distinguished public historian, he has written for various scholarly and educational publications, and developed museum projects on Jewish history and the Holocaust in Jerusalem, Kiev, Montreal, and Moscow. He is currently the co-curator of the planned Illinois Holocaust Museum in Skokie.

Robert Shapiro was born in Germany to Polish Jewish Holocaust survivors. He completed his doctorate in Jewish history at Columbia University while holding fellowships at the Max Weinreich Center of the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research and at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He has taught at Baltimore Hebrew University, Yeshiva University, the University of Maryland, the National Yiddish Book Center, the Ramaz School, and Brooklyn College. He is the author of Holocaust Chronicles: Individualizing the Holocaust Through Diaries and Other Contemporaneous Personal Accounts.

This symposium will honor the achievements of professor Yisrael Gutman, a resistance fighter in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and leading Israeli Holocaust historian.

Additional support provided by the Conference for Material Claims Against Germany: Rabbi Israel Miller Fund for Shoah Research, Documentation and Education.

This program is in conjunction with the exhibition: Daring to Resist: Jewish Defiance in the Holocaust.

$12 adults, $10 students/seniors, free for members
Free admission to Daring to Resist: Jewish Defiance in the Holocaust with ticket purchase.


Wednesday, November 14, 7 P.M.
The Quarrel
A play by David Brandes and Joseph Telushkin
Featuring Reuven Russell and Sam Guncler; with Avi Billet
A discussion with playwright/screenwriter Rabbi Joseph Telushkin will follow the performance

Adapted from the Yiddish short story (1951) and the award-winning film (1991), this provocative play follows a chance encounter between two estranged friends, each believing that the other had perished in the concentration camps. One man an Orthodox rabbi, the other a secular writer, their experiences and losses during the Holocaust have reinforced the rabbi’s trust in God and the writer’s trust in himself. Capturing the bittersweet memories of two men revisiting their past, the play confronts the spiritual questions raised by these survivors’ opposing lifestyles.

David Brandes began his career as a television news reporter and documentary film maker at CBC TV in Ottawa, Canada. He produced and directed over thirty documentaries. Brandes moved to Los Angeles where he earned an MFA in Film Production from UCLA. He subsequently line produced and wrote many political TV campaigns in the Midwest. Brandes was a writer on the highly successful television series Fraggle Rock and has written and co-written many screenplays including The Dirt Bike Kid starring Peter Billingsley. Brandes is currently creator and executive producer of a TV series airing on Showtime, based on the acclaimed Swedish film, My Life as a Dog. He is also finishing up an action adventure film called American Hero which he wrote and produced. Mr. Brandes wrote and produced the film version of The Quarrel.

Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, was named by Talk Magazine as one of the 50 best speakers in the U.S. He is the author of Jewish Literacy: The Most Important Things to Know about the Jewish Religion, Its People and Its History, among other well received books including Why the Jews: The Reason for Antisemitism, which he co-authored with Dennis Prager. Rabbi Telushkin co-wrote the film version of The Quarrel as well as the play.

Avi Billet majored in Speech and Drama in Yeshiva University, where he was president of the Dramatics Society. He was a Spielberg Fellow for two of the four summers he served as director of the drama program in Camp Moshava. Last year he appeared in the Center for Jewish History’s reading of Salvaged Pages. Avi holds a MS and Rabbinic Ordination from Yeshiva University and is a writer, drama coach, and mohel. On stage, he has performed in Broadway Bound, The Quarrel, Mister Roberts, God’s Favorite, The Shawshank Redemption, Primal Fear, and Dead Poets Society.
Sam Guncler recently appeared in the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival’s Comedy of Errors, and led the cast of Winning at Theater Off Park in New York City. He has also appeared at Soho Rep, John Houseman Theatre, Theatre for the New City, Jewish Rep, and as a resident actor with the Phoenix Ensemble. His credits include Lenny, Sight Unseen, Prelude to a Kiss, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, The Normal Heart, I HATE HAMLET, and others.
Reuven Russell was trained at Carnegie Mellon and went on to receive his MFA at the prestigious Yale School of Drama. Highlights of his career include performances alongside Mickey Rooney and Donald O’Connor in Neil Simon’s The Sunshine Boys.

$20 adults, $15 students/seniors, $12 members


Sunday, November 18, 2:30 P.M.
Ulica Granicza (Border Street)
(Poland, 1948, 122 minutes, Beta SP)
Introduction and post-screening discussion with Professor Stuart Liebman, CUNY Graduate Center

Recreating the final days of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, director Aleksander Ford explores war and resistance from the perspective of children: young Jewish boys plotting for their own survival, and non-Jewish Poles rejecting the Nazi occupation as an insult to their Polish heritage. This film follows their fight against a common enemy, striving toward the same goal, with very different stakes at hand.

Stuart Liebman is a professor of the history of cinema at the CUNY Graduate Center and Media Studies at Queens College. His awards include a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship and the Association of American Publishers prize for the best single issue of a scholarly journal in 1995. He is a member of the advisory board for the critical journal October and a former member of the board of trustees of Anthology Film Archives in New York City.

Screened in conjunction with the exhibition: Daring to Resist: Jewish Defiance in the Holocaust.

$10 adults, $7 students/seniors, $5 members


Wednesday, November 28, 7 P.M.
Holocaust Odysseys: The Jews of Saint-Martin-Vésubie and Their Flight through France and Italy
(Yale University Press, 2007)
With author Susan Zuccotti

In her newest book, which Publishers Weekly says “helps turn painful memories into valuable history,” Susan Zuccotti uncovers the chilling stories of nine central and eastern European Jewish families displaced to France, and later to Italy, during the war. Faced with escalating danger, these Jewish refugees endured intense persecution, were deported to Auschwitz, or forced to disperse in flight. Zuccotti describes their agonizing struggles, and the evolution of France’s policies toward Jews.

Susan Zuccotti is an independent historian living in New York City and author of the award-winning Under His Very Windows: The Vatican and the Holocaust in Italy.

This program is part of the Museum’s book club, Looking Back, Facing Forward, co-sponsored by the Forward and moderated by its associate editor, Gabriel Sanders.

$5 all tickets, free for members