Update on Recent Developments

Wyman Institute Update: September 23, 2004

  1. Welcome to the newest member of the Wyman Institute’s Arts & Letters Council:

    Dr. Phyllis Chesler is an Emerita Professor of Psychology and Women’s Studies, a psychotherapist, and an expert courtroom witness. She has lectured and organized political, legal, religious and human rights campaigns in the United States, Canada, Europe, the Middle East and the Far East. She has lived in Afghanistan and Israel, and is a cofounder of the Association for Women in Psychology (1969) and the National Women’s Health Network (1974).

    The latest of Dr. Chesler’s twelve books is The New Anti-Semitism. The Current Crisis and What We Must Do About It.  Her previous books include Women and Madness; Women, Money and Power; Mothers on Trial: The Battle for Children and Custody; and Letters to a Young Feminist.  She has appeared on The Today Show, CNN, Nightline, The History Channel, The MacNeil-Lehrer Report, Good Morning America, Oprah, Donahue, Geraldo, and many other television programs.

  2. More than one hundred prominent Americans signed a recent letter to Secretary of State Colin Powell, organized by the Wyman Institute and former U.S. Congressman Stephen Solarz (a member of the Institute’s Advisory Committee).  The letter protested the State Department’s opposition to legislation recently introduced by Rep. Tom Lantos (D-Calif.), which would require the Department to prepare an annual report on antisemitism around the world.  (For the text of the letter and the complete list of signatories, visit www.WymanInstitute. org)  The San Francisco Chronicle reported on September 22 that Congressman Lantos has “scored a major breakthrough … Lantos’ bill, opposed by the administration, won the backing of Rep. Chris Smith of New Jersey, a key Republican who had earlier offered a weaker proposal.”  The article stated:  “One key to advancing Lantos’ bill may have been the surprise intervention of the David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies. The Pennsylvania-based organization, named for a historian who has written about the West’s response to the Holocaust, organized an open letter to Powell signed by 104 prominent Americans…”

    The letter received substantial media coverage, including articles in the Washington Times, New York Sun, and Jerusalem Post, as well as by United Press International and the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.  In addition, the Rabbinical Council of America distributed the letter by email to thousands of rabbis just before the Rosh Hashana holiday, with a cover letter from Rabbi Dr. Haskel Lookstein (a member of the Wyman Institute’s Academic Council).  Rabbi Lookstein is author of Were We Our Brothers’ Keepers?  The Public Response of American Jews to the Holocaust, 1938-1944.

  3. The Wyman Institute has created an online exhibit, “The Day the Rabbis Marched,” focusing on the 1943 march by 400 rabbis in Washington to plead for rescue of Jews from the Holocaust.  The exhibit includes rare photographs, documents, and special testimonials by children and grandchildren of the rabbis who participated.  To view the exhibit, go to www.WymanInstitute.org.

  4. Prof. Alvin Rosenfeld (Indiana University), a member of the Wyman Institute’s Academic Council, will deliver the Tenth Joseph and Rebecca Meyerhoff Annual Lecture at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum on October 14, 2004, at 7:00 pm.  His topic:  “Anne Frank and the Future of Holocaust Memory.”

  5. Singer-songwriter Peter Himmelman, a member of the Wyman Institute’s Arts & Letters Council, authored an essay in the latest issue of Kosher Spirit magazine, called “Bubby Maaseh,” about his grandmother and the shaping of his Jewish identity.  The text can be viewed at:

  6. The August 20 edition of the New Jersey Jewish Standard included a feature story about Dr. Alex Grobman (a member of the Wyman Institute’s Academic Council) and his new book, Battling for Souls: The Vaad Hatzala Rescue Committee in Post-War Europe.

  7. Scholar and novelist Thane Rosenbaum, a member of the Wyman Institute’s Arts & Letters Council, will  be a featured panelist at “An Evening with Imre Kertesz,” at the 92nd St. Y in New York City on October 19, 2004.

  8. The Summer 2004 issue of The Arthur Szyk Society Newsletter is now available through the Society, at www.szyk.org   The Society’s founder, Irvin Ungar, is a member of the Wyman Institute’s Arts & Letters Council.

  9. The Baltimore Jewish Times recently published a feature story about Prof. Paul Miller, a member of the Wyman Institute’s Academic Council, who is a Fullbright scholar at the University of Sarajevo this year, where he is leading a weekly seminar for students and faculty on teaching the Holocaust and other genocide studies.

    Prof. Miller is executive producer of the documentary film They Looked Away, concerning the Allies’ refusal to bomb Auschwitz, which will be shown at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, 365 Fifth Avenue, New York City, on October 20, 2004,  at 6:15 pm.  The film was narrated by Mike Wallace.  Its director, Stuart Erdheim, is a member of the Wyman Institute’s Arts & Letters Council.  The screening at CUNY is free to the public, and Stuart Erdheim will answer questions afterwards.  The showing is part of the Fall 2004 Program of CUNY’s Rosenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies, chaired by Prof. Randolph Braham.

  10. You can now register online, at www.WymanInstitute.org, to attend the  Wyman Institute’s conference, “America’s Response to the Holocaust: New Questions, New Perspectives,” which will be held at Boston University, on Sunday, November 14, 2004, from 10 am to 5 pm.  The event will be hosted by the university’s Elie Wiesel Center for Judaic Studies.  Speakers will include Prof. David S. Wyman, on the U.S. response to the Nazi genocide; Prof. Stephen Norwood, on “Harvard and the Nazis: A Troubling Chapter Revealed”; and Prof. Laurel Leff, on the New York Times’s coverage of the Holocaust.  The registration is just $15, which includes a kosher boxed lunch.