THE JEWISH ROLE IN AMERICAN LIFE: An Annual Review // Volume 6


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ISBN 978-1-55753-534-4
ISSN 1934-7529

In past volumes of the Casden Annual Review, the annual publication of the Casden Institute for the Study of the Jewish Role in American Life, the editors have always tried to cast as wide a net as possible. With this volume (Volume 6) we have decided to take a different editorial track: to focus instead on a single topic and to present articles that largely consider aspects of this topic alone. The topic we have chosen is one that, on the one hand, may seem highly familiar, since is a well-traveled and well-considered area of interest in Jewish studies; indeed arguably the topic in modern jewish thought: the Holocaust or Shoah. On the other hand, our aim in this volume is to consider the Shoah from a perspective that has been largely unexplored in the literature and, not only that, is particularly appropriate to the Caden Institute's area of interest: namely, the impact of the Holocaust in America.

The articles herein consider topics such as the immigrant experience in coming to America after the trauma of the Holocaust; how the Shoah has shaped more recent interpretation of the Hebrew Bible; the role that survivors have fulfilled in educating American youth not only about the Holocaust itself, but also about how values - especially in regard to tolerance - can and must be shaped by eye-witness testimony on the Shoah; the impact of Holocaust in film, especially in "third-generation" cinema; the issues and difficulties of presenting the Shoah in children's literature; the dialogue between Christians and Jews, especially in America, and how that dialogue has been constructively influenced and shaped by the holocaust; the way in which Jewish business activities have altered in the post-World War II environment and in the aftermath of the Holocaust and how the lessons of the Shoah have facilitated the change from nationalist to global economy; how the image and awareness of the holocaust developed in the American media. Yet for all the range that these articles encompass, throughout them all runs a common theme: that the Holocaust has indelibly marked almost every aspect of American culture. Indeed, we cannot think of America, American ideals and values, America's role in the world today and the future of America in an increasingly dangerous world, without recognizing that the Shoah casts a long shadow across all these concerns and serves as one of the primary points of horrific historical reference by which we, as Americans, must measure ourselves.



Beth Cohen
From Case File to Testimony: Reconstructing Survivors' First Years in America

Michael Berenbaum
in collaboration with Martin Goldman, Linda Hurwitz, Rositta Kenignsberg, Dale Daniels, Barbara Appelbaum, Noreen Brand and Miriam Kassenoff
Survivors as Teachers

Steven Windmueller
A Jewish Perspective on the Global Economic Revolutions in a Post-Holocaust World

Richard Libowitz
Bringing the Holocaust to America

Lawrence Baron
Imagining the Shoah in American Third Generation Cinema

Peter J. Haas and Lee W. Haas
Thou Shalt Teach It to Thy Children: What American Jewish Children's Literature Teaches about the Holocaust

Steven Leonard Jacobs
The Impact of the Shoah on Jewish-Christian Relations

Marvin A. Sweeny
Post-Shoah Theology and Jewish Biblical Interpretation in America

Zev Garber
A Citadel Fitly Constructed: Philo-Semitism and the Making of an American Holocaust Conference

Marc A. Krell
Association for Jewish Studies COnference, 2006: A Response



About the Contributors

Lisa Ansell is Associate Director of the Casden Institute for the Study of the Jewish Role in American Life at the University of Southern California. She received her BA in French and Near East Studies from UCLA and her MA in Middle East Studies from Harvard University. She was the Chair of the World Language Department of New Community Jewish High School for five years before coming to USC in August, 2007.

Lawrence Baron has held the Abraham Nasatir Chair in Modern Jewish History at San Diego State University since 1988. He received his PhD in Modern European History from the University of Wisconsin/Madison in 1974 and taught at St. Lawrence University from 1975 until 1988. He is the advisor to the MA Program in History at San Diego State University and directed the university's Jewish Studies program from 1988 until 2006. He authored Projecting the Holocaust into the Present: The Changing Focus of Contemporary Holocaust Cinema, and acted as the historian for Sam and Pearl Oliner's The Altruistic Personality: Rescuers of Jews in Nazi Europe (1988). He has over sixty articles published in various journals like Film and History, Holocaust and Genocide Studies, The Journal of Contemporary History, The Lion and the Unicorn, Judaism, and Shofar. He delivered the keynote address at Yad Vashem's first symposium on Holocaust cinema. He is the founder and president of the Western Jewish Studies Association. He currently is writing a book entitled The Wandering View: Modern Jewish History in World Cinema.

Michael Berenbaum is a Professor of Jewish Studies at the American Jewish University and the Executive Editor of the Encyclopadia Judaica, Second Edition. He was formerly President and CEO of the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation and Project Director of the creation of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and then Director of its Research Institute.

Beth Cohen received her PhD in Holocaust History from Clark University's Strassler Family Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies in 2003. After completing her graduate work, she was a "Life Reborn" post-doctoral fellow at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, which culminated in her first book, Case Closed: Holocaust Survivors in Postwar America. In 2005, she relocated to Los Angeles where she teaches at local universities including UCLA, Chapman University, and California State University, Northridge. Currently she is studying child survivors' experiences in the early postwar years.

Zev Garber is Emeritus Professor and Chair of Jewish Studies and Philosophy at Los Angeles Valley College and has served as Visiting Professor of Religious Studies at University of California at Riverside, Visiting Rosenthal Professor of Judaic Studies at Case Western Reserve University, and as President of the National Association of Professors of Hebrew. He is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of two academic series, Studies in Shoah (UPA) and Shofar Supplements in Jewish Studies (Purdue University Press), and serves as Co-Editor of Shofar. His publications include Methodology in the Academic Teaching of Judaism, Methodology in the Academic Teaching of the Holocaust, Teaching Hebrew Language and Literature at the College Level, Shoah: the Paradigmatic Genocide, Perspectives on Zionism, Peace, In Deed: Essays in Honor of Harry James Cargas (with Richard Libowitz), Academic Approaches to Teaching Jewish Studies, Post-Shoah Dialogues: Rethinking Our Texts Together (with Steven Jacobs, Henry Knight, and James Moore), Double Takes: Thinking and Rethinking Issues of Modern Judaism in Ancient Contexts (with Bruce Zuckerman), and Mel Gibson's Passion: The Film, the Controversy, and Its Implications. Finally, Maven in Blue Jeans: A Festschrift in Honor of Zev Garber is forthcoming from Purdue University Press in 2009.

Lee W. Haas is a librarian who has worked in Jewish libraries for fifteen years. Currently she is the librarian at Temple Emanu El in Cleveland, Ohio. Previously, Lee was the librarian for the Jewish Federation of Nashville where she directed libraries at four synagogues and the Jewish Community Center. Lee earned a BA in anthropology from the University of Michigan, a master's degree in library science from the University of Pittsburgh, and an MA in anthropology from the University of Cincinnati.

Peter J. Haas received his BA in Ancient Near East History from the University of Michigan in 1970 and then attended Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, where he was ordained as a Reform rabbi in 1974. After ordination, he served as an active United States Army chaplain for three years. Upon completion of active duty, Rabbi Haas enrolled in the graduate program in religion at Brown University, earning a PhD in Jewish Studies in 1980. Joining the faculty at Vanderbilt University in 1980, he taught courses in Judaism, Jewish ethics, the Holocaust, Western religion, and the Middle East Conflict. He joined the faculty of the Department of Religious Studies at Case Western Reserve University in January, 2000, and was appointed chair of the department in 2003. He is also a visiting professor at the Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies in Chicago, Illinois. Prof. Haas has published several books and articles dealing with moral discourse and with Jewish and Christian thought after the Holocaust. He has lectured in the United States, Germany, Italy, Belgium and Israel. His most recent work is on human rights in Judaism.

Steven Leonard Jacobs holds the Aaron Aronov Endowed Chair in Judaic Studies at the University of Alabama where he is also an Associate Professor of
Religious Studies. He received his BA from Penn State, his BHL, MAHL, DHL, and rabbinic ordination from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. He
is the author, editor, and/translator of more than sixteen books and fifty-plus articles
in his primary fields of research: biblical studies (Hebrew Bible and New Testament),
the Holocaust/Shoah, and historical and contemporary genocides. He is a member of
numerous academic and professional organizations and currently serves as the 1st Vice
President of the International Association of Genocide Scholars.

Marc A. Krell teaches Judaic Studies at The Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson Educational Campus in Las Vegas, Nevada. He received his PhD in The Cultural and Historical Studies of Religions at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California in 1998 after receiving an MA in Judaic Studies at the American Jewish University (formerly University of Judaism) in Los Angeles in 1991. Previously he held academic positions at the University of Arizona Center for Judaic Studies and the University of California, Riverside Department of Religious Studies. He is the author of Intersecting Pathways: Modern Jewish Theologians in Conversation with Christianity. His articles have appeared in such journals as Cross Currents, Journal of Ecumenical Studies, Shofar, The Journal of Jewish Thought and Philosophy, Modern Judaism and Zeitschrift für Religionsund Geistesgeschichte. He is currently preparing a new manuscript for publication entitled, "Building on the Past: Toward a Postmodern Jewish-Christian Theology after the Holocaust." His research interests include Jewish-Christian Relations, Modern Jewish Thought, Post-Holocaust Theology, and Postmodern constructions of Jewish identity.

Richard Libowitz teaches in the Intellectual Heritage Program at Temple University and the Theology Department of Saint Joseph's University. The author/editor of nine books, including Faith and Freedom: A Tribute to Franklin H. Littell and Mordecai M. Kaplan and the Development of Reconstructionism, he has also contributed chapters and essays to many other volumes and has lectured on Holocaust-related topics throughout the United States, Israel, Germany and England. His current project is a study of Holocaust story telling in print and film.

Jeremy Schoenberg, when co-editing this volume, was Assistant Director of the USC Casden Institute, where he managed lectures and conferences, public relations, and campus-wide and community partnerships. He continues to work at USC, now as Executive Assistant in the Office of the Provost, where he helps manage several initiatives and projects. Holder of a Bachelor of Music degree from USC and a Master of Music degree from California State University, Northridge, both in voice performance, Mr. Schoenberg has performed throughout the Los Angeles area and toured much of the United States. For almost ten years, he has served as tenor soloist at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles, and he is currently pursuing an MBA at the USC Marshall School of Business.

Marvin A. Sweeney is Professor of Hebrew Bible at the Claremont School of Theology and Professor of Religion at the Claremont Graduate University. He also serves as Professor of Bible and Faculty Co-Chair at the Academy for Jewish Religion, California, and as Chief Executive Officer of the Ancient Biblical Manuscript Center for Preservation and Research. He has previously taught at the University of Miami, and has held research or visiting appointments at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the W. F. Albright Institute for Archaeological Research, the Lilly Theological Research Fund, the Institute for Antiquity and Christianity, and the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Los Angeles. He is the author of some ten volumes, most recently, Reading the Hebrew Bible after the Shoah: Engaging Holocaust Theology. He is currently writing a study focused on Jewish biblical theology.

Steven Windmueller serves as Dean of the Los Angeles campus of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. A specialist on political issues and American Jewish affairs, Dr. Windmueller holds a doctorate in International Relations from the University of Pennsylvania. Over the years his more than thirty articles and monographs have appeared in such publications as the Los Angeles Times, Sh'ma and Moment Magazines, the Jerusalem Letter, and the Journal of Jewish Communal Service. His Pewfunded research on the major national Jewish community relations agencies appeared in a recent publication, Jewish Polity and American Civil Society: Communal Agencies and Religious Movements in the American Public Square. In 2004, he produced a textbook on the practice of Jewish community relations, entitled You Shall Not Stand Idly By, published by the American Jewish Committee. In early 2005, Dr. Windmueller collaborated with Professor Gerald Bubis in producing the first study on the formation of the UJC (United Jewish Communities), entitled Predictability to Chaos?? How American Jewish Leaders Reinvented their National Jewish Communal System.

Bruce Zuckerman is the Myron and Marian Casden Director of the Casden Institute and a Professor of Religion at USC, where he teaches courses in the Hebrew Bible, the Bible in western literature, the ancient Near East, and archaeology. A specialist in photographing and reconstructing ancient texts, he is involved in numerous projects related to the Dead Sea Scrolls. On ancient topics, his major publications are Job the Silent: A Study in Biblical Counterpoint and The Leningrad Codex: A Facsimile Edition, for which he and his brother Kenneth did the principal photography. Zuckerman also has a continuing interest in modern Jewish thought, often looking at modern issues
from an ancient perspective. He most recently co-authored Double Takes: Thinking and
Rethinking Issues of Modern Judaism in Ancient Contexts with Zev Garber and contributed a chapter to Garber's book, Mel Gibson's Passion: The Film, the Controversy, and Its Implications.