Update on Recent Developments

Wyman Institute Update: October 26, 2004
  1. Welcome to the newest member of the Wyman Institute’s Academic Council:Stephen H. Norwood is Professor of History and Judaic Studies at the University of Oklahoma.  He received his Ph.D. in History from Columbia University in 1984.  Professor Norwood is the coeditor (with Professor Eunice G. Pollack) of the Encyclopedia of American Jewish History, scheduled for publication by ABC-CLIO in 2006.  His books include Strikebreaking and Intimidation: Mercenaries and Masculinity in 20th Century America (2002), and Labor’s Flaming Youth: Telephone Operators and Worker Militancy, 1878-1923 (1990), which won the Herbert G. Gutman Award in American Social History.

    His articles have appeared in numerous scholarly journals, including the Journal of Social History, Labor History, New England Quarterly, and the Journal of Southern History.  His most recent essay, “Marauding Youth and the Christian Front: Antisemitic Violence in Boston and New York During World II,” was published in American Jewish History.  His essay, “Going to Bat for Jackie Robinson: The Jewish Role in Breaking Baseball’s Color Line,” written with Dr. Harold Brackman (a member of the Wyman Institute’s Academic Council) for the Journal of Sport History, won the Macmillan/SABR Award in Baseball History.Professor Norwood is currently writing a study of how American universities responded to the rise of fascism in the 1930s.  He will be a featured speaker at the Wyman Institute’s conference at Boston University on November 14, where he will speak on “Harvard and the Nazis: A Troubling Chapter Revealed” (see below).

  2. There’s still time to 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.Ken Schoen of Schoen Books of South Deerfield, MA, specializing in out of print and new books concerning the Shoah, will be displaying and selling books at the conference.  He issues monthly catalogues and welcomes inquiries and want lists:  schoen@schoenbooks.com

  3. President Bush has signed the Global Anti-Semitism Review Act, initiated by Congressman Tom Lantos, which requires the State Department to compile an annual report on anti-Semitism around the world, and establishes an office within the department to focus on the issue.  The Wyman Institute and former Congressman Stephen Solarz organized a letter, signed by 108 prominent Americans, supporting the legislation.  Rep. Lantos said the Institute’s letter provided “a substantial boost” to his efforts to bring about passage of the legislation.  (The text, and complete list of signatories, can be viewed at www. WymanInstitute.org)

    The Wyman Institute received widespread media coverage in connection with the bill, including articles in the New York Sun, San Francisco Chronicle, Washington Times, Agence France Presse, Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Jerusalem Post, Ha’aretz, World Net Daily and elsewhere.  Former Congressman Stephen Solarz, a member of the Wyman Institute’s Advisory Committee and one of the organizers of the letter, was interviewed about the bill on USA Radio News. Prof. David Wyman and Wyman Institute associate director Benyamin Korn were interviewed on Israeli radio.  Dr. Phyllis Chesler, a member of the Wyman Institute’s Academic Council, was interviewed about the legislation on the Family Radio Network.  For a sample of the coverage, see:

  4. To commemorate the 66th anniversary of the Kristallnacht pogrom in Germany,
    the Wyman Institute will be sponsoring a program at the Hebrew Academy in Rockville, Maryland on November 9, 2004.  It will include a display of “Cartoonists Against the Holocaust: Art in the Service of Humanity,”our exhibit of 1940s editorial cartoons that challenged America’s response to news of the Holocaust.  Wyman Institute director Dr. Rafael Medoff will speak to four hundred middle-school and high-school students about Kristallnacht, the U.S. response to the Holocaust, and the cartoonists who used their art to raise public awareness of what was happening to the Jews in Europe.

    After the November 9 program, the Hebrew Academy students will take part in  a contest in which they will design their own cartoons,  as if they were editorial cartoonists in the 1940s who were trying to alert the public about the Nazi genocide or press for U.S. intervention to rescue refugees. The Wyman Institute’s panel of judges for the contest includes Will Eisner, elder statesman of cartoon illustration; Joe Kubert, legendary comic book artist and editor;  internationally known artist Mark Podwal, whose illustrations appear frequently on the op-ed page of the New York Times; “Dry Bones” cartoonist Ya’akov Kirschen; and Adam Kubert, one of the top artists at Marvel Comics.  (All five are also members of the Wyman Institute’s Arts & Letters Council.)

  5. On the eve of the Holocaust, Yitshaq Ben-Ami and Rabbi Louis I. Newman were leaders of a small group of activists who waged a lonely struggle in America in support of the campaign to smuggle Jews from Europe to Palestine.  Now their live-saving efforts will receive public recognition at a special Wyman Institute dinner in New York City.  The dinner will take place on Thursday, January 13, 2005, with a reception at 6:00pm and dinner at 7:00 pm.  Appropriately, it will be held at Temple Rodeph Sholom, 7 West 83 Street, New York City, where Rabbi Newman was spiritual leader for more than forty years, and Ben-Ami was an active congregant for more than twenty years. All proceeds from the dinner will go to benefit the Wyman Institute’s educational programs focusing on Americans who sought to promote the rescue of Jews from the Holocaust.  Please join the Ben-Ami and Newman families for this very special evening of tribute to those who had the courage to speak out.  Tickets may be purchased through our web site, www.WymanInstitute.org

  6. The Holocaust, Israel and Canadian Protestant Churches (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2002), by Prof. Haim Genizi of Bar Ilan University, has been named  the winner of the prestigious 2004 Segal Award for Canadian Jewish Studies.  The prize will be awarded at a public ceremony on November 17, 2004, at the Gelber Conference Centre, in Montreal.  Prof. Genizi is a member of the Wyman Institute’s Academic Council.