I. Recent & Forthcoming Wyman Institute Activities
1. Wyman Institute’s next national conference to be held in Philadelphia on June 11
“Blowing the Whistle on Genocide: Josiah E. DuBois, Jr. and the Struggle for an American Response to the Holocaust” is the theme of the Wyman Institute’s upcoming fourth national conference, which will take place in Philadelphia on Sunday, June 11, 2006.
The conference will be held at the University of Pennsylvania School of Law, Levy Conference Center, 3400 Chestnut St., Philadelphia, from 10 am to 5 pm.
DuBois, a Penn Law School alumnus, was the Treasury Department official who played the central role in exposing the State Department’s obstruction of rescue from the Holocaust. He was also the main author of the famous “Report to the Secretary on the Acquiescence of This Government in the Murder of the Jews,” which Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau, Jr., used to convince President Roosevelt to establish the War Refugee Board.
The opening session of the conference will feature remarks by those who knew DuBois personally –his son, Robert DuBois; Morgenthau’s son, Henry Morgenthau III; and our conference chair, Richard C. Goodwin. The first afternoon session will feature brief readings by students who won the Josiah E. DuBois, Jr. Memorial Essay Contest; and remarks by Mark Harris, head of the Genocide Intervention Network, concerning the ongoing genocide in Sudan.
The second afternoon session will showcase new scholarship concerning DuBois, as well as video excerpts from an interview with DuBois in the film “Who Shall Live, Who Shall Die.”
The third session will mark the debut of a new feature of Wyman Institute conferences, the Yitshaq Ben-Ami Memorial Colloquium on Rescue from the Holocaust. This panel will be chaired by Jeremy Ben-Ami, chairman of the Wyman Institute’s executive committee; speakers will include Dr. Rebecca Kook, a lecturer in political science at Ben-Gurion University and daughter of Hillel Kook (Peter Bergson), speaking about the relationship between the Bergson Group and the Treasury Department officials in promoting rescue; and Deborah Benami-Rahm, a leader of the Wyman Institute’s “They Spoke Out” Network, speaking about her father’s work with the Bergson Group.
Penn Law School Professor Harry Reicher will serve as master of ceremonies.
Registration: $25 for the entire day ($15 for students); includes a kosher box lunch. To register, call 202-434-8994 or visit www.WymanInstitute.org
2. The Wyman Institute, together with former New York Times reporter Laurence Zuckerman, recently organized a letter, signed by more than eighty prominent journalists and journalism professors, to the Newspaper Association of America (NAA) concerning the refusal of America’s journalism schools and newspaper publishers to aid Jewish refugee journalists fleeing Hitler. The letter was based on the new research by Prof. Laurel Leff (a member of the Wyman Institute’s Academic Council) revealing that no journalism schools took in Jewish refugee journalists, and the American Newspaper Publishers Association (forerunner of the NAA) would not even permit a refugee advocate ten minutes to speak about the issue at its 1939 convention. The Wyman Institute’s letter asks the NAA to acknowledge its predecessor’s failure and invite Prof. Leff to speak at the NAA convention in April.
The signatories included Marvin Kalb and Alex Jones of Harvard University’s Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics, and Public Policy; Martin Peretz, editor in chief, and Leon Wieseltier, literary editor, of The New Republic; Victor Navasky, Publisher Emeritus of The Nation; and Nicholas Lemann, dean of the Columbia University School of Journalism.
The letter has received widespread media attention, including major articles in the New York Times, Editor & Publisher, and the Chronicle of Higher Education, and interviews with Prof. Leff on CNN’s “Reliable Sources” and National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered.”
To view the text of the letter and the list of signatories, please visit www.WymanInstitute.org
II. The Wyman Institute in the News
An essay by former New York City mayor Ed Koch and Wyman Institute director Dr. Rafael Medoff, concerning the Danish cartoon controversy, was published in The Forward on February 17 … An op-ed by Medoff and veteran DC Comics artist/editor Joe Kubert (a member of the Wyman Institute’s Arts & Letters Council), regarding the cartoon controversy, was published in a number of newspapers in February, and Kubert was interviewed about it on WKPSI radio, in California … Medoff was interviewed on Austrian National Radio on February 20, concerning the trial, in Vienna, of Holocaust-denier David Irving … An essay by Medoff about the Anglican Church and the Holocaust appeared in the Jerusalem Post on February 27 … His article about Betty Friedan’s support for German Jewish refugee immigration in the 1930s was published in the Washington Times and Connecticut Jewish Ledger … A letter by Medoff and Wyman Institute associate director Benyamin Korn, concerning Holocaust denial, appeared recently in the Detroit Jewish News.
III. News About Wyman Institute Council and Committee Members
Advisory Committee member Dr. Rebecca Kook (Ben-Gurion University) spoke about her father, the Holocaust rescue activist Hillel Kook (Peter Bergson), at International Rescuer Day 2006, at Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
Academic Council member Prof. Paul Miller (McDaniel College) recently gave talks at Boston University and Arizona State University on memory of the Bosnian genocide, and will present a paper on the topic at the Association for the Study of Nationalities convention at Columbia University, in March.
An essay by Academic Council member Dr. Efraim Zuroff (Simon Wiesenthal Center), published in the Jerusalem Post on February 20, criticized Latvia’s failure to prosecute Nazi collaborators and attempts by some Latvian leaders to relativize the Holocaust by comparing it to Soviet mistreatment of Latvians.
Arts & Letters Council member Melvin Bukiet spoke on Jewish mourning rituals, at Purchase College (SUNY), delivering the second annual Roberta Barkan Memorial Lecture of the Jewish Studies Program.
Academic Council Member Zev Garber (Los Angeles Valley College) contributed and edited Mel Gibson’s Passion: The Film, the Controversy, and Its Implications, published in February by Purdue University Press. The volume, now in its second printing, is the inaugural volume of a new series, Shofar Supplements in Jewish Studies, founded by Garber. He also recently addressed Purdue University faculty, student body, and community on “Is There a Redeeming Voice? Theological Reflections on Job 38-41 and Matthew 27.”
Arts & Letters Council member Mark Podwal spoke at the February 26 opening of the new exhibition, “Framed in Words: The Art of Mark Podwal,” at the Yeshiva University Museum in New York City.
Advisory Committee member Dr. Ruth Gruber spoke at the Harold Washington Library Center, in Chicago, on “From Holocaust to Haven,” as part of the NextBook Public Programs series.
IV. Upcoming Events:
March 7: Academic Council member Myrna Goldenberg, the Ida E. King Distinguished Visiting Scholar of Holocaust Studies at Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, will speak at the City College Center for Worker Education, 99 Hudson St., 6th floor, New York City, at 6:30 pm. Her topic: “Sex and
Survival: Women and the Holocaust.” The lecture is free and open to the public.
March 15: Douglas Century will speak about his new book Barney Ross: Not Without a Fight, about the famed Jewish boxing champion of the 1930s, at the Jewish Community Center of Washington, D.C., as part of the NextBook Public Programs series. (The Wyman Institute provided Mr. Century with information about Barney Ross’s involvement with the Bersgon group’s campaigns for Holocaust rescue and Jewish statehood.) Tickets may be purchased at www.NextBook.org or by calling 888-621-2230.
March 19: Academic Council member Prof. Laurel Leff (Northeastern U.) will speak about her book, Buried by The Times: The Holocaust and America’s Most Important Newspaper, at Temple Beth Shalom, in Manchester, CT, at 6:00 pm.
Three important exhibits will be continuing in March:
The Jews of Czestochowa: Coexistence – Holocaust – Memory, sponsored by Wyman Institute board member Sigmund A. Rolat and his cousin Alan Silberstein, will be on display throughout March at Seton Hall University’s Walsh Library Gallery, 430 South Orange Ave., South Orange, NJ, from 10:30 am to 4:30 pm daily. (For more information, call 937-275-2033.) It features a selection of materials from a larger exhibit of documents, photographs, and works of art that, together, tell the story of the vibrant Jewish community of the Polish city of Czestochowa, Mr. Rolat’s home town. The Polish Ministry of Culture recently adopted a project based on the exhibit, for inclusion in the curricula of Polish schools. The Seton Hall exhibit is sponsored by The Sister Rose Thering Endowment of the Graduate Department of Jewish Christian Studies. (Sister Rose is also a member of the Wyman Institute’s Advisory Committee.)
“Justice Illuminated: The Art of Arthur Szyk,” sponsored by the Arthur Szyk Society and Hebrew Union College -Jewish Institute of Religion Museum, featuring the work of the famous illustrator and Holocaust rescue activist. The JIR Museum is located One West 4th Street (Broadway & Mercer), in New York City. Dr. Irvin Ungar, curator of the exhibit and director of the Szyk Society (and a member of the Wyman Institute’s Arts & Letters Council) will be featured at a special reception and lecture at the museum on Wednesday, March 22, 2006 (Reception: 5:00 – 6:00 PM; lecture: 6:00 – 7:00 PM) RSVP: firstname.lastname@example.org or (212) 824-2205 by March 16, 2006
“Framed in Words: The Art of Mark Podwal,” at the Yeshiva University Museum in New York City, featuring
more than eighty drawings and paintings highlighting the artist’s diverse and extensive career of over thirty years. Dr. Podwal is a member of the Arts & Letters Council of the Wyman Institute, and several of his illustrations have graced the Institute’s literature. The museum is at the Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16 St., New York City; RSVP by calling 212-294-8330 or writing to info@email@example.com
April 3: Academic Council member Prof. Laurel Leff (Northeastern U.) will speak about her book, Buried by The Times: The Holocaust and America’s Most Important Newspaper, at the Worcester (MA) Jewish Book Festival.
April 24: Wyman Institute director Dr. Rafael Medoff will speak at the Yom HaShoah commemoration of Congregation Kehilat Jeshurun in New York City at 7:30 pm, and show excerpts from the Wyman Institute’s interview with former U.S. Senator George McGovern about his World War II bombing missions near Auschwitz. Kehilat Jeshurun’s spiritual leader, Rabbi Dr. Haskel Lookstein (who is also a member of the Wyman Institute’s Academic Council) will moderate the event.
April 24-26: Academic Council member Prof. Laurel Leff (Northeastern U.) will speak about her book, Buried by The Times: The Holocaust and America’s Most Important Newspaper, at the Holocaust Memorial Program of Oregon State University.
May 9: Cynthia Ozick, chair of the Wyman Institute’s Arts & Letters Council, will speak at the Jewish Community Council of Washington, D.C., at 7:30 pm, about Heir to the Glimmering World, her acclaimed new novel about a family of German Jewish refugees. Tickets may be purchased at www.NextBook.org or by calling 888-621-2230.
May 16: Academic Council member Prof. Laurel Leff (Northeastern U.) will speak about her book, Buried by The Times: The Holocaust and America’s Most Important Newspaper, at Congregation Rodeph Shalom in New York City, at 12:30 pm. Wyman Institute board member Robert Weintraub will moderate the event.
May 23: “An Evening with Cynthia Ozick” will be held at the Harold Washington Library Center, in Chicago, as part of the NextBook Public Programs series. Tickets may be purchased at www.NextBook.org or by calling 888-621-2230.
June 11: The fourth national conference of the David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, will be held at the University of Pennsylvania School of Law, Levy Conference Center, 3400 Chestnut St., Philadelphia, from 10 am to 5 pm. Theme: “Blowing the Whistle on Genocide: Josiah E. DuBois, Jr. and the Struggle for an American Response to the Holocaust.” Featuring new scholarship, personal recollections, and rare film clips of DuBois, an unknown American hero of the Holocaust. Keynote speakers: Henry Morgenthau III, Robert DuBois, and Dr. Rebecca Kook; Penn law professor Harry Reicher is m.c.; Richard C. Goodwin is chair. Registration: $25 for the entire day ($15 for students); includes a kosher box lunch. To register, call 202-434-8994 or visit www.WymanInstitute.org