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Mount Zion Temple is hosting a presentation by Victoria Barnett, PhD, Director of Programs on Ethics, Religion, and the Holocaust at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. The talk is sponsored by the Jay Phillips Center for Interfaith Learning at St. Thomas University, and will take place at Mount Zion, 1300 Summit Avenue, Saint Paul, MN 55105.

The following description comes from the St.Thomas website,

As the event of the Holocaust recedes further into human history, popular and academic understandings of its implications have grown broader. Today, the history of the Holocaust is often taught comparatively in courses on human rights, ethics, and contemporary genocide. And as we become increasingly aware of the multireligious nature of our world, interfaith conversations focus on the commonalities and tensions between and among people of various religions, not just Judaism and Christianity. How can recent scholarship about the Holocaust inform these newer conversations, and how in turn have these developments shaped the field of Holocaust studies? How can the Holocaust be understood in its historical particularities as well as in terms of more universal questions? Victoria Barnett will discuss these developments and how they are being addressed in the field of Holocaust studies and in interreligious circles.

Jewish Refugees in Shanghai (1933-1941) is a traveling exhibit created by the Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum. Located in the former Ohel Moshe Synagogue in the Tilanqiao Historical Area, the museum has taken a significant role in educating local and international visitors about the unique story of Jewish refugees in Shanghai. From 1933-1941 Shanghai opened its doors to over 18,000 Jewish refugees fleeing persecution and war in Europe, transforming the city into an "open city for Jews" at a time when much of the rest of the world was closed.

The traveling exhibit has given communities around the world an opportunity to learn about this significant but little-known story about Jewish immigration and settlement in world history. The 40 panel exhibit highlights historical content and biographies of many "Shanghailanders" who escaped Europe and made Shanghai their temporary home. In Minnesota we have enhanced the exhibit with additional stories of four Shanghailanders with deep Minnesota connections. Their personal stories, family photographs, and surviving artifacts have been added to the existing traveling display.

This exhibit is organized by the Confucius Institute at the University of Minnesota, the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas, and Sabes Jewish Community Center. Additional partners include the University of Minnesota Center for Jewish Studies, the University of Minnesota Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, and the Jewish Community Center of the Greater St. Paul Area.

The exhibit is on display at the Sabes JCC, Sabes Jewish Community Center
4330 S. Cedar Lake Road
Minneapolis, MN 55416

For more information, see the Confucius Center website

"Can One Laugh at Everything?" Audio Available

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In January, several organizations on campus sponsored a symposium "Can One Laugh at Everything? Satire and Free Speech After Charlie." The effects of this symposium are still reverberating on and off campus. For important reportage on the event, including informative power point slides from several of the presentations, go to The Center for Jewish Studies is proud to have been associated with this event.

Erica Lehrer.jpg

A lecture by Erica Lehrer, Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair in the departments of History and Sociology-Anthropology at Concordia University, Montreal.

Sunday, April 19, 2015 @ 7:30 P.M.
Beth Jacob Congregation
1179 Victoria Curve
Saint Paul, MN 55118

Jewish heritage revival in Poland is a phenomenon that has attracted a great deal of attention and provoked many controversies. Described as the world's largest Jewish cemetery and the realm of "virtual Jewishness," Poland is a space where the non-Jewish interest in things Jewish has been looked upon with particular skepticism. American cultural anthropologist Erica Lehrer ventures into this territory, both fascinating and fraught with tension, giving a fresh glimpse into the backstage of the Jewish heritage industry.

Erica Lehrer is Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair in the departments of History and Sociology-Anthropology at Concordia University, Montreal. She is the author of Jewish Poland Revisited: Heritage Tourism in Unquiet Places (Indiana University Press 2013), and co-editor of Jewish Space in Contemporary Poland (Indiana University Press, 2014), and Curating Difficult Knowledge: Violent Pasts in Public Places (Palgrave 2010). As a curator, she produced the 2013 exhibit Souvenir, Talisman, Toy: Poland's Jewish Figurines in Kraków's Seweryn Udziela Ethnographic Museum, and published the accompanying catalog Lucky Jews (Ha!Art 2014).

This series is made possible by a generous gift in memory of Julia K. & Harold Segall.

Co-sponsored by Department of Anthropology, Institute for Advanced Study, the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Beth Jacob Congregation

"Curating Memories in Conflict: New Ethnography in an Old Museum"

Lehrer will also speak on campus at the Weisman Art Museum on Monday, April 20th at noon. "Curating Memories in Conflict: New Ethnography in an Old Museum" focuses on a participatory exhibition of Polish-made figurines depicting Jews curated by Lehrer in summer 2013. The exhibition took up the question of how to deal with painfully disputed subject matter: How can one productively exhibit objects whose existence or the meanings one community promotes are deeply objectionable to another community? Lehrer will discuss Poland's Jewish figurines as "intersectional objects" that both bind and divide communities, and suggests their potential as catalysts for critical memory work that transcends the terms of today's defensive public debate about Poland's Jewish past.

The event is free and open to the public. Lunch catered by Kafe 421.

Co-sponsored by the Institute for Advanced Study and the Department of Anthropology.


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