Wyman Institute News & Events: April 6, 2008


(published in the New York Times – April 6, 2008)

To the Editor:

The speedskater Joey Cheek’s mobilization of Olympic athletes to speak out against Chinese support for the genocidal Sudanese regime is reminiscent of the actions of Jack Shea, another speedskater.

Shea announced he would not skate in the 1936 Olympics in Germany as a protest against the persecution of Germany’s Jews. He was the only non-Jewish-American athlete to take such a courageous stance. Sadly, Shea’s action is still not adequately acknowledged on the United States Olympic Committee’s Web site.

Athletes who speak out against injustice are the real Olympic heroes. Protesting against the persecution of the innocent, whether in Nazi Germany, Darfur or Tibet, is a moral obligation incumbent on us all.

Rafael Medoff
The writer is the director of the David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies.



Prof. Thane Rosenbaum –distinguished law professor at Fordham University Law School, best selling novelist, member of the Wyman Institute’s Arts & Letters Council and MC of our national conferences– will speak on “After Auschwitz and the Twin Towers: Trauma and Memory,” on April 7, 2008, at 7:45 p.m., in McKenna Hall at the University of Notre Dame. Part of the Liss Lecture Series, the event is presented by the Department of Theology in cooperation with the Notre Dame Holocaust Project. He will discuss such questions as: How does one properly memorialize a tragic event? What are the moral duties that are owed the dead? What obligations to remember must be undertaken by the living?

“David II: Comfortable Containment,” a painting by Wyman Institute Arts & Letters Council member Dr. Nathan Moskowitz (painting under the name Nahum HaLevi), will be exhibited from May 6 through June 28 at the second-floor entrance to the Aaron & Cecile Goldman Theater of the Washington, D.C., Jewish Community Center, in partnership with Theater J’s production of David in Shadow and Light. The painting may also be viewed at:


Author, journalist and Wyman Institute Arts & Letters Council member Dr. Ruth Gruber spoke recently at Temple Emanuel in Woodcliff Lake, NJ, about the new edition of her book, “Exodus 1947: The Ship That Launched a Nation.”



Thanks again to the speakers and sponsors of our very successful recent event on Columbia University’s relationship with Nazi Germany, held last month at the Center for Jewish History (in conjunction with the Organization of American Historians). Professors Stephen Norwood, Laurel Leff, Melissa Jane Taylor, and Susan Subak were our featured speakers, and Mrs. Nancy Wechsler, Esq., was the respondent.

The Wyman Institute is deeply grateful to Targum Shlishi, a Raquel and Aryeh Rubin Foundation, for its generous sponsorship of the event; and to our additional sponsors, Sigmund Rolat, James D. Blum, Anthony & Nadine Hoffmann, Charles Stein, Adam Boren, Dr. Jay Rothschild, Tova & Jesse Rappaport, and Alexander Birman.

For the Jerusalem Post’s coverage of the event, see this article:

Columbia skips NYC event on university’s Nazi ties in ’30s