February 28, 2007

37th Annual Scholars' Conference to offer interfaith perspectives on the Holocaust


The 37th Annual Scholars' Conference on the Holocaust and the Churches will take place March 11-13 at the Marriott Hotel in downtown Cleveland under the direction of Peter Haas, director of the Samuel Rosenthal for Judaic Studies at Case Western Reserve University. A number of conference events are free and open to the public.

"We hope to continue the discussion of the theological meaning of the Holocaust for the churches," said Haas, who is also professor and chair of Case's department of religious studies. "This means not only an examination and evaluation of the role of the churches in the past, but also of how the church's relation to Jews and Judaism continues to develop in contemporary times."

New discussions will center on Iran's denial of the Holocaust, the Israeli and Palestinian conflict and new information about how the Holocaust developed in Eastern Europe and Russia.

Since 1970, leaders from the Jewish and Christian faiths have come together to discuss the theological meaning of the Holocaust in its past, present and future contexts. The interfaith, interdisciplinary and international conference, founded by Franklin Littell and Hubert Locke, is the oldest continuing meeting of its kind in the world that brings some 200 scholars from different religions together to discuss the Holocaust, said Haas.

A few conference highlights are an opening address at Sunday, March 11, at 10:30 a.m. by Jan Gross, the Norman B. Tomlinson '16 and '48 Professor of War and Society at Princeton University and author of Neighbors, with a response at noon by Joanna Michlic, assistant professor of Holocaust and genocide studies from the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.

The conference will feature David Silberklang. The study of the Holocaust is at the center of Silberklang's research as editor-in-chief of Yad Vashem Studies, a flagship journal on the Holocaust published in English and Hebrew; editor of the Holocaust Survivors' Memoir Project; and lecturer in Jewish history at Hebrew University's Rothberg International School where he teaches such courses as "Issues in the Study of the Holocaust" and "Contemporary Perspectives on the Holocaust." He is also the author of Gates of Tears about the Holocaust ghetto in the Lubin District of Poland.

Public events include:
  • "New Approaches in Teaching the Holocaust" by David Silberklang on Sunday, March 11 at 7:15 p.m.
  • "The Underlying Flame: Ballads and Songs of the Holocaust"—a performance and discussion by Jerry Silverman on March 12 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Individual sessions on "What We Do When the Last Survivor Is Gone?," "Children in the Camps," "Health Care and Health Care Providers" on March 12 at 7:30 p.m.
  • "Hanging by a Thread: Reflections on Being a Jew in the Holocaust," a dinner talk by David Silberklang, Case's visiting Rosenthal Fellow on March 11 at 5:30 p.m. (Reservations of $55 are required)

The Samuel Rosenthal Center for Judaic Studies, which is hosting the conference, was founding in 1996 through a generous grant from the Samuel Rosenthal Foundation to broaden the scope of Jewish Studies on the Case campus and through the local, national and international communities. Support for the conference is provided by the Baker-Nord for the Humanities at Case and the Jewish Community Federation.

For more information call 216-368-8961 or contact Susan Griffith, 216.368.1004.

Posted by: Heidi Cool, February 28, 2007 12:39 PM | News Topics: College of Arts and Sciences, Events, Lectures/Speakers, Provost Initiatives, Public Policy/Politics

Case Western Reserve University is committed to the free exchange of ideas, reasoned debate and intellectual dialogue. Speakers and scholars with a diversity of opinions and perspectives are invited to the campus to provide the community with important points of view, some of which may be deemed controversial. The views and opinions of those invited to speak on the campus do not necessarily reflect the views of the university administration or any other segment of the university community.