Update on Recent Developments

Wyman Institute Update: February 08, 2004

  1. Nina Solarz has agreed to serve as chair of the Wyman Institute’s new Task Force on Education, which will focus on ensuring that school curricula include appropriate material on America’s response to the Holocaust.

    Born and raised in Brooklyn, Nina received her B.A. from Wellesley College and an M.A. in Public Administration from the City University of New York. After teaching Political Science at Brooklyn College, she served as Assistant to the Administrator of the Human Resources Administration of New York City; Director of Public Affairs for a U.S. Government Commission on Immigration and Refugee Policy; Executive Director of Peace Links, a national organization of women concerned with the threat of nuclear war; and Executive Director of the Fund for Peace, a foundation operating programs in the areas of national security, arms control, international politics, and human rights.

    Nina is married to former Congressman Stephen Solarz–who is a member of the Wyman Institute’s Advisory Committee–and is the mother of two children and grandmother of four grandchildren.

  2. In conjunction with the launching of the Task Force on Education, the Wyman Institute will sponsor a one-day conference, “Teaching and Learning About America’s Response to the Holocaust,” on Sunday, May 16, 2004, at the Ramaz Lower School building, 125 East 85 Street, New York City, from 10 am to 5 pm. Nina Solarz will chair the conference. Livia S. Yanowicz, of LSY Consulting, is the conference organizer. (Livia is also a member of the Wyman Institute Advisory Committee.)

    The sessions will include:

  • “The Abandonment of the Jews: An Overview” – Remarks by Prof. David Wyman.
  • “Americans Who Spoke Out” – a panel featuring sons and daughters of Hiram Bingham IV, Stella Adler, Peter Bergson, and others who spoke out during the Holocaust.
  • “Teaching About the American Media’s Coverage of the Holocaust” – a panel discussion featuring Prof. Laurel Leff, author of a forthcoming book about the New York Times and the Holocaust.
  • “America’s Response to the Holocaust: A Workshop for Teachers” – led by Judi Freeman, the Seevak Chair in History at Boston Latin High School.
  • Films will be shown, and there will be two special exhibits:
    Cartoonists Against the Holocaust: Art in the Service of Humanity
    “We Will Never Die”: The Dramatic Pageant that Alerted America to the Nazi Genocide

To register, go to www.WymanInstitute.org or call 202-434-8994.

  1. “A letter by Wyman Institute director Dr. Rafael Medoff, concerning the Allies’ attempts to downplay the fact that the Jews were Hitler’s primary victims, was published in the Washington Post on February 7, 2004.

    Dr.Medoff’s op-ed essay commemorating Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was published in various newspapers, including:


    His op-ed concerning the inappropriate use of Hitler analogies by public figures can be found at:


  2. Wyman Institute Academic Council member Efraim Zuroff authored a review of Abraham Foxman’s book ‘Never Again? The Threat of the New Anti-Semitism’, in the Jerusalem Post on January 4, 2004.Dr. Zuroff’s op-ed on the failure of the Swedish government to prosecute Nazi war criminals was published in the Jerusalem Post on January 20, 2004:


  3. Wyman Institute Advisory Committee Member Prof. David Golinkin, president of the Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies, recently co-edited (with Rabbi Phil Schein of Toronto ) ‘Megillat Hashoah – The Shoah Scroll’, the first liturgical text ever written to commemorate the Holocaust. Published by the Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies and the Rabbinical Assembly, the text is the result of a four-year project designed to produce a meaningful liturgical work, in Hebrew and English, to be read in synagogues and public gatherings throughout the world on Holocaust Martyrs and Heroes Day, which this year will fall on Sunday night, April 18th and Monday, April 19th, 2004.

    While Holocaust Martyrs and Heroes Day has attracted growing observance in Israel and throughout the world, there have been no standard liturgical practices associated with it. The man responsible for the idea was Polish Holocaust survivor, Alex Eisen, who now lives in Toronto, Canada. Eisen believed that with the aging of survivors and the increase in Holocaust deniers, there was an even greater need to produce a liturgy for the day itself to ensure that the tragedy would not be forgotten.

    The scroll contains six chapters that include a testimony from a survivor whose job in a death camp was to dispose of bodies while removing the victims’ gold teeth, including those of his dead brother; an eyewitness account of life in the Warsaw Ghetto; and a eulogy for those who perished. Its final chapter also commemorates the survivors, including those who went on to build the State of Israel.

    To purchase a copy of ‘Megillat Hashoah’, click on the United Synagogue Book Service link: http://www.uscj.org/booksvc

  4. Wyman Institute Advisory Committee member Dr. Shimon Samuels, who is director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s work in Europe, was the subject of international media attention after he called on Irish President Mary McAleese to suspend the granting of the “Irish Museum of the Year Award” to the Hunt Museum, until an investigation is carried out concerning the wartime activities of John and Gertrude Hunt, including their close personal ties to the head of the Irish branch of the Nazi Party and their intimate business relationships with notorious dealers in art looted by the Nazis.

  5. Wyman Institute Academic Council member Prof. Rochelle Millen (Wittenberg University) has authored ‘Women, Birth, and Death in Jewish Law and Practice’, which has just been published by the University Press of New England as part of the Brandeis Series on Jewish Women.