Lost Voices: Greek Jews and The Holocaust
Sunday, March 25, 2012
A Response To The Holocaust:
Bernard Otterman, Ph.D.
Sunday, February 13, 2011 at 1:00 PM
Goose Stepping on Long Island: Camp Siegfried
Opening Reception: Tuesday, October 5, 2010 at 7:00 PM
Upcoming Film Series
Lecturer: Lorraine Barbara Wind
Sunday, May 6, 2012 at 1:00 PM
Since France's Revolution of 1789, which took as its motto, "Liberté, Fraternité, Egalité," conservative elements of French society sought a return to its old regime. Although victorious against Germany in WWI, France found itself threatened by its former foe in 1940. Rather than fight, Marshall Henri Phillipe Pétain, a celebrated hero of that war, viewed this threat as an opportunity to create a new France, one that embraced the values of facism rather than democracy. Under his leadership, the Vichy Regime went beyond Nazi demands to ultimately leave an indelible stain on France's honor. This talk will examine the myths and paradoxes surrounding these shameful historical events that have recently received much attention through films such La Rafle and Sarah's Key.
Barbara Wind has served as the Director of the Holocaust Council of MetroWest for more than a decade. She earned a B.A. in English and an M.A. in Jewish-Christian Studies, served on the Executive Board of the New Jersey Council on the Humanities, the Sister Rose Thering Endowment, and is a Leadership NJ Fellow.
She is a poet, playwright, journalist, teacher and lecturer. Her poems have been published in numerous literary journals: The New Jersey State Commission on Holocaust Education Curriculum and also in JAMA, The Journal of the American Medical Association. She was a featured poet at the 2000 Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival.
Lecturer: Rita Scher Dytell
Sunday, June 3, 2012 at 1:00 PM
A couple trying to flee from what would be called the Holocaust arrives in New York in July, 1939. With them is the single suitcase that they were allowed to take.
What story does it tell? What is found within this suitcase and how do the many articles create a story? Who are these individuals? What is revealed of their education, backgrounds and interests? How do these articles serve to project the future of the newcomers in America?
Join with us as we examine the many articles within the suitcase as they each tell a story and develop a biographical and emotional picture of these escapees. Why do they act in a unique manner? What have they lost and what are they seeking?
Rita Scher Dytell earned her Ph.D. in Social Psychology from the City University of New York. She is a Professor of Psychology at the College of Mount Saint Vincent and was Founder and Director of the Allied Health Studies graduate and undergraduate programs. Dr. Dytell participated in the 2006 New Perspectives on the Holocaust Summer Seminar sponsored by the Memorial Library. She has developed and teaches a senior level integrated course on Genocide 2007. She is currently developing and presenting her generic model of genocide.
Lecturer: Lorraine Lotzoff Abramson
Sunday, September 25, 2011 at 1:00 PM
At the 1973 Maccabi Games, Lorraine Lotzoff Abramson won a silver and a bronze medal as a runner with the United State's team. That was nowhere near her spectacular success the previous time she'd competed—in 1965—but the event carried a new pleasure: It was her first time representing her new country, a place with a relatively even playing field.
In 1965, she had been a member of the South African team. The wide-eyed 19 year old won gold medals in three racing events—100, 200, and 400 meters. But like so much in her life, the joy was tainted by her return to South Africa's tangled racial politics.
Ms. Abramson's story is a family story. Beginning in the shtetl of Ludza in Latvia, it expands to South Africa and then to the United States. In it she spells out the particular bind that faced Jews in South Africa. They came from the same countries as those in the United States and in the same waves of emigration, driven by pogroms and poverty. Like Americans in the South, they found themselves on the oppressors' side, safely sheltered from the exploitation and misery black people faced.
Some Jews reveled in it. Some were appalled and fought the system. A few went to jail or were deported for that opposition. But most complied with the law afraid of suffering or harming their families.
Her's is a powerful story of searching for one's destiny against a background of anti-Semitism, racism and the desire to excel in a free society.
Lecturer: Neal Scher, Former Director of
the Justice Department's Nazi Prosecution Office
Sunday, October 16, 2011 at 1:00 PM
More than ever before, those of us who deal within the area of Holocaust education have detected a growing confluence of factors illustrating a rise in anti-Semitism on campuses, directed against cultural organizations and incorporating an effort that does not deny the Holocaust but strives to delegitimize Israel and it's supporters.
As a long–time Director of the Justice Department's Nazi Prosecution Office (OSI), National Executive Director of AI-PAC, President of the American branch of the International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists and an attorney in private practice in Washington, D.C. and New York for over three decades, Neal Sher has been at the forefront of activism on Jewish and Israeli causes.
Most recently, he has filed a federal civil rights case against the University of California at Berkeley on behalf of a Jewish student who was assaulted by a leader of a student Muslim organization, and a complaint with the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal alleging that York University in Toronto has legitimized an environment of anti-Semitism.
These cases and others like them are extremely important as the worldwide campaign to delegitimize and denigrate Israel has targeted campuses in North America as major battlegrounds.
Lecturer: Bernhard Storch, Soldier,
Liberator, Voice of Conscience
Sunday, December 11, 2011 at 1:00 PM
In 1940, as a teenager living in Poland, Bernhard Storch soon found himself torn from his family and sent to a Siberian labor camp by the invading Russian army. After two years, Storch enlisted in the First Infantry Division of the Polish Army and began a battle ordeal that would take him through the battlefields of Europe and into Berlin.
In his diary, he writes… "I helped to liberate the extermination camps in Poland of Sibibor and, Majdanek. I had no knowledge or warning of the unforgettable, shocking, devastating sights I would see. Thousands of victims were barely alive. After seeing what I had to at this point, my hope of seeing my family again had dwindled away."
Brernhard Storch saw what no human should have seen, the full brunt of the Holocaust. In his military service, he received seven major awards from the Polish army. He was discharged in 1945, married, left Poland in 1946 and arrived in New York City in 1947. Bernhard Storch vividly presents the soldier's view of the horrors committed against both Christians and Jews. He spoke before a special session of the United Nations on the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camps.
He has lectured to such unique groups as the United States Military Academy at West Point, the United States Coast Guard and to groups of Polish teachers in a program sponsored by the United States State Department.
The presence of Jews in Greece traces their roots back to ancient times. These Greek Jews known as Romaniotes, spoke Greek (Judeo – Greek) and developed their own culture and customs within the confines of the Byzantine Empire. They lived and flourished on the main land of Greece as well as the islands of Rhodes, Chios, Samos and Zakynthos.
Sadly, World War II took a devastating toll on the Jews of Greece. Eighty seven percent of Greek Jews perished. As in all countries there were righteous gentiles who risked their lives and the lives of their families to protect their Jewish countrymen from the horrors of the Nazi invaders.
Song of Life tells the story of two of these heroes, Greek Bishop Chrysostomos and the mayor of Zakynthos, Loukas Karrer, who stood up to the Nazis who demanded the names and whereabouts of the Jews of this island.
Formerly presented as part of the exhibit Defying the Devil: Christian clergy Who Helped Jews Escape from the Holocaust, this Film will explore their heroic acts.
The film is in Greek with English subtitles.
Discussion to be led by Former President of the Northeast Queens Jewish Community Council, Joseph Veron.
The MOTÝL Chamber Ensemble, formed in 2003, performs music by composers whose lives were cut short or radically transformed by the Holocaust. Some of the composers were fortunate enough to only be forced into exile while the majority lost their lives in the Holocaust. The ensemble's name, Czech for 'butterfly,' is derived from the poem "The Butterfly" written by Pavel Friedman at the Terezín concentration camp.