Does the Holocaust Play an Outsized Role in Contemporary Jewish Identity?

Does the Holocaust Play an Outsized Role in Contemporary Jewish Identity?

May 2, 2019 By Edna Friedberg | Commentary | Yom Hashoah

I am a Jewish historian—and that is a deliberately ambiguous label. In one reading of that phrase, I am a historian of Jewish people and their experiences. But I am also proudly Jewish myself and as such not neutral about my subjects. Jewish history is personal for me, as is my daily work at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. When I began to work at the Holocaust Museum in 1999, I was wary that I would contribute to what some see as an unhealthy obsession with Jewish victimization.

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Yom Hasho’ah: Documents From the JTS Library and Songs by Johanna Spector

Yom Hasho’ah: Documents From the JTS Library and Songs by Johanna Spector

Apr 28, 2014 By The Library of the Jewish Theological Seminary | Public Event audio | Yom Hashoah

Dr. Johanna Spector (1915–2008), who taught Ethnomusicology at JTS, was a Holocaust survivor who documented Jewish music from around the world. This special Holocaust Memorial Day commemoration will highlight her life and work, as well as The JTS Library’s Johanna Spector Archives and Holocaust-related materials.

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Slivers of Memory (Yom Ha-sho’ah V’-ha-gevurah)

Slivers of Memory (Yom Ha-sho’ah V’-ha-gevurah)

May 2, 2014 By Samuel Barth | Commentary | Yom Hashoah

Several decades ago, many ceremonies commemorating the Shoah attempted to tell the entirety of the story, with numbers that defied comprehension and broad-sweeping trends of history that submerged the experience of individuals in the story of a world run amok. In more recent years, I have observed that the experience and testimonies of individuals have become more prominent, perhaps serving as holographic slivers that represent the wider context. As survivors of the Holocaust are fewer in number each year, we turn to the writings, art, songs, and recordings born out of those years.

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When Theology Fails

When Theology Fails

Mar 17, 2009 By Arnold M. Eisen | Commentary | Shemini | Yom Hashoah

There is a fearful symmetry to the three chapters that make up this week’s parashah; symmetry made all the more fearful because the harmonies of theme and structure in Sh’mini contrast so mightily with the awful events it describes. 

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