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App State’s Center for Judaic, Holocaust and Peace Studies holds 22nd Annual Rosen Symposium July 11–17; Free and Open to Public

App State’s Center for Judaic, Holocaust and Peace Studies will hold its 22nd annual Martin and Doris Rosen Symposium from July 11–17 on App State’s Boone campus. 

Appalachian State University’s Center for Judaic, Holocaust and Peace Studies will hold its 22nd annual Martin and Doris Rosen Symposium from July 11–17 on App State’s Boone campus.

For over two decades, the symposium has brought educators from across the country together to learn about the Holocaust and how to teach it. Participants will learn from renowned scholars of the Holocaust through workshops, lectures and discussions. 

The theme of this year’s symposium is “The Holocaust and America,” with programming exploring the relationships among the United States, Germany and European Jews leading up to, during and after the Holocaust. Using experiential learning practices, attendees will consider Holocaust questions such as antisemitism in America and Germany, eugenics and pseudo-science, the Nuremberg Laws and their relationship to Jim Crow Laws, Jews as American refugees and much more.

In addition to the teaching workshops, the symposium features a variety of hybrid events that are free and open to the public:

Documentary Screening and Talkback: ‘She Wouldn’t Take Off Her Boots’

Thursday, July 11, 5 p.m.

The documentary follows artist Victoria Milstein as she sculpts the first Holocaust memorial monument in North Carolina commemorating the women and children of the Holocaust. Following the screening, Milstein and Adam Carlin, executive director of Women of the Shoah, will host a talkback with attendees. The event will take place on Thursday, July 11, at 5 p.m. in room 205 of App State’s Living Learning Academic Center and via Zoom. 

Author Talk: Kathy Kacer on ‘To Hope and Back: The Journey of the St. Louis’

Sunday, July 14, 9 a.m.

In line with the theme of “The Holocaust and America,” images of the St. Louis ship are featured prominently throughout symposium materials. The St. Louis was a German liner that gained attention in 1939 when Cuba, the U.S. and Canada denied entry to its 937 Jewish passengers fleeing from Nazi Germany. Author Kathy Kacer will discuss how to teach her children’s book about the St. Louis, titled “To Hope and Back: The Journey of the St. Louis.” The presentation will take place on Sunday, July 14, at 9 a.m. in room 124 of App State’s Reich College of Education and via Zoom.

Keynote Lecture: Dr. Rafael Medoff on ‘America’s Response to the Holocaust: A Moral Challenge for Every Generation’

Sunday, July 14, 7 p.m.

Dr. Rafael Medoff, author and founding director of The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies in Washington, D.C., will deliver a keynote lecture called “America’s Response to the Holocaust: A Moral Challenge for Every Generation.” Should America intervene in modern genocides across the world? Medoff will consider the historical, political and moral aspects of this question within the context of the history of U.S. responses to genocide. The lecture will take place on Sunday, July 14, at 7 p.m. in room 124 of App State’s Reich College of Education and via Zoom.

Keynote Lecture: Rabbi Dr. Michael Berenbaum on ‘The Critical Rise of Antisemitism Today’

Tuesday, July 16, 7 p.m.

Rabbi Dr. Michael Berenbaum, director of the Sigi Ziering Institute and professor at American Jewish University in Los Angeles, will speak on “The Critical Rise of Antisemitism Today.” Berenbaum will draw on his extensive knowledge of Jewish and Holocaust studies to discuss antisemitism across historical and contemporary contexts. The event will take place on Tuesday, July 16, at 7 p.m. in room 124 of App State’s Reich College of Education and via Zoom. 

Conversations: ‘Survivors of WWII & the Holocaust’ with Zohara Boyd and Peter Petschauer

Tuesday, July 16, 2 p.m.

Another highlight of the symposium is an opportunity for the public to meet and learn from two survivors of World War II and the Holocaust. Dr. Zohara Boyd will share how she learned to live beyond the terror of the Holocaust and Dr. Peter Petschauer will tell the story of how he came to grips with his father’s role as an SS officer in World War II. These conversations will take place on Tuesday, July 16, at 2 p.m. in room 124 of App State’s Reich College of Education and via Zoom.

These are only a few of the lectures open to the public. To view the full schedule of events and to learn more about this year’s speakers and sponsors, visit holocaust.appstate.edu and click the tab for “Events.” For a disability accommodation, visit odr.appstate.edu

The symposium is supported by the Claims Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, the Martin and Doris Rosen Symposium Endowment and the local Jewish community. Questions about the Rosen Symposium can be directed to Amy Hudnall, interim director of App State’s Center for Judaic, Holocaust and Peace Studies, at hudnallac@appstate.edu.