Update on Recent Developments

Wyman Institute Update: September 5, 2004

  1. Welcome to the newest member of the Wyman Institute’s Advisory Committee:

    Shimon Shetreet is Greenblatt Professor of Public and International Law in the Faculty of Law at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.  He has also served as a Visiting Professor of Law at numerous prominent universities around the world, including Tulane, New York University, and the University London.

    Prof. Shetreet served in the Knesset, as a Labor Party representative, from 1988 to 1996, during which time he served in the cabinet of Yitzhak Rabin as Minister of Science and Technology (1992-1993), Minister of Economy and Planning (1992-1995), and Minister of Religious Affairs (1995-1996).  He has also been a member of the Jerusalem City Council since 1998, and was Senior Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem from 1999 to 2003.

    In 1990, Prof. Shetreet served as the judge in a public “mock trial” of the Allied leadership for its refusal to bomb Auschwitz.  The event was sponsored by Lapid, an Israeli educational organization that focuses on the lessons of the Holocaust.  The Wyman Institute is preparing an edited transcript of the proceedings for publication in the near future.

  2. 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 Prof. Steven T. Katz, director of the university’s Elie Wiesel Center for Judaic Studies and a member of the Wyman Institute’s Academic Council.

    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”; Prof. Laurel Leff, on the New York Times’s coverage of the Holocaust; and a “They Spoke Out” panel featuring William Bingham, Esq., who will discuss the heroic efforts by his father, Hiram Bingham IV, to rescue Jewish refugees from Vichy France, and Dr. Rebecca Kook, who will speak about the efforts undertaken by her father, Hillel Kook (Peter Bergson), on behalf of rescue.

    The registration fee is $15, which includes a kosher box lunch (the fee for students is $10, including lunch.)

  3. Houghton Mifflin has just published Heir to the Glimmering World, the new novel by Cynthia Ozick, chair of the Wyman Institute’s Arts & Letters Council.  It concerns German Jewish refugees who flee Berlin and arrive in America in 1933.  Newsday writes:  “[A] novel as scintillating as this one makes the world infinitely new, and it’s the reader –every writer’s ultimate heir– who walks away with the biggest fortune of all.”  Complete Review  calls it “an impressive achievement, a very different sort of coming of age novel and exile-story.”

    The August issue of the Westchester Jewish Chronicle included a feature story about Cynthia and her daughter, Prof. Rachel Hallote, who is a scholar of biblical archaeology and director of Jewish Studies at Purchase College (SUNY).

  4. The same edition of the Westchester Jewish Chronicle also included a feature about artist Mark Podwal, who is a member of the Wyman Institute’s Arts & Letters Council and generously provided illustrations for materials used for the Institute’s inaugural conference in New York City earlier this year, as well as its recent celebration of Prof. David Wyman’s 75th birthday.  Mark’s stunning new poster for the National Museum of American Jewish History, designed in conjunction with the events commemorating the 350th anniversary of the American Jewish community, was reproduced in full color in the New York Times on September 3.

  5. The documentary film They Looked Away, concerning the Allies’ refusal to bomb Auschwitz, 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; executive producer Prof. Paul Miller is a member of our Academic 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.

  6. Dr. Murray Friedman, a member of the Wyman Institute’s Academic Council, has authored two books that will be published in 2005:  The Neo Conservative Revolution: Jewish Intellectuals and Public Policy, to be published by Cambridge University Press, and a collection of essays, Commentary and Its Times, forthcoming from Temple University Press.

  7. Arts & Letters Council member Mark Jay Mirsky is leading the five-week Graduate Workshop in the Writing of Fiction, at Bar Ilan University in Israel.  It concludes on September 30.   Mark writes from Israel:  “It’s interesting to see in the material submitted, how World War Two and the Holocaust haunts these students, all of whom are English speakers, and most of whom have made aliyah to Israel …  The level of enthusiasm among the students who range from 23 to 60 is really fantastic. Some of them are young students, but the majority hold important professional positions in Israeli society.”

  8. The film “Imaginary Witness: Hollywood and the Holocaust” will be shown  at Makor, 35 West 67 St., New York City, on Tuesday, September 7, at 7:30 pm.  Admission is $15, which includes a post-show discussion with the film’s director, Daniel Anker, and novelist and scholar Thane Rosenbaum, a member of the Wyman Institute’s Arts & Letters Council.

  9. Dr. Efraim Zuroff, director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Jerusalem office and a member of the Wyman Institute’s Academic Council, authored a review in the August 19 Jerusalem Post of the book In Our Hearts We Were Giants, about a dwarf family’s struggle to survive Auschwitz.