Update on Recent Developments

Wyman Institute Update: October 12, 2004

  1. Welcome to the newest member of the Wyman Institute’s Academic Council:

    Rabbi Dr. Haskel Lookstein has been spiritual leader of Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun in New York City since 1958, and principal of the Ramaz School, one of America’s premier Jewish day schools, since 1966.  He has also been a professor of homiletics at Yeshiva University since 1979, and is past president of the Synagogue Council of America and the New York Board of Rabbis.  A leader of the struggle to save Soviet Jewry, Rabbi Lookstein is a past chairman of the Greater New York Coalition for Soviet Jews, and made numerous trips to the USSR to personally meet with Soviet Jewish refuseniks.  He is the author of the 1985 book, Were We Our Brothers’ Keepers?  The Public Response of American Jewry to the Holocaust, 1938-1944.

  2. Congress has passed the Global Anti-Semitism Awareness Act (H.R. 4230), 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.  It was introduced by Rep. Tom Lantos (D-Calif.), in response to the rising tide of anti-Semitism in Europe and the Middle East. The Wyman Institute and former Congressman Stephen Solarz organized a letter, signed by 108 prominent Americans, supporting the legislation.  Both Lantos and the media characterized the letter as playing a key role in bringing about passage of the legislation.  (The text, and complete list of signatories, can be viewed at www.WymanInstitute.org)

  3. Scholar and novelist Thane Rosenbaum, a member of the Wyman Institute’s Arts & Letters Council, will  be a featured participant in a “Jewish Values” panel at the 92nd St. Y in New York City on November 8, 2004.  For tickets, call 212-415-5500.

  4. The documentary film “Finding Family,” about the reunion of a Holocaust survivor and the family that saved him, has been nominated for an Emmy award.  The film was produced by the Center for Holocaust and Humanity Education of Hebrew Union College,  in Cincinnati.  The Center’s director is Dr. Racelle Weiman, a member of the Wyman Institute’s Academic Council.

  5. The Hebrew Union College Museum, in New York City, will host a reception for Archie Rand, artist and member of the Wyman’s Institute’s Arts & Letters Council, on Thursday, October 14, at 6:00 pm, to mark the opening of his exhibition, “Archie Rand: The Nineteen Diaspora Paintings.”  The Galleries are located at One West 4th Street, between Broadway and Mercer. The paintings are painted in a contemporary representational style and deal with biblical texts and are structured on the Amidah prayers. At 7 pm there will be a panel on “Being Jewish and American: Expressions of Identity in Contemporary Art,” with Rand, critic Matthew Baigell, Rabbi Shirley Idelson, and Nancy Schwartzman of the National Foundation for Jewish Culture. Information:  www.huc.edu/museum/ny or call Laura Kruger, curator: 212-824-2218.

  6. Filmmaker Pierre Sauvage, president of the Chambon Foundation and member of the Wyman Institute’s Arts & Letters Council, authored an op-ed, “Among the Villagers of Le Chambon,” in the national Jewish weekly Forward on October 8, 2004.  He described his recent visit to the French village of Le Chambon, in connection with his efforts to establish a museum there to commemorate the villagers’ sheltering of 5,000 Jews during the Holocaust.

  7. You can 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.

  8. Dr. Efraim Zuroff, director of the Israel office of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and member of the Wyman Institute’s Academic Council,was featured in a recent Jewish Telegraphic agency report about  his project, “Operation Last Chance,” which offers monetary rewards for information leading to the capture of suspected Nazi war criminals.