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Meet Our Director

Dr. Shay Pilnik

The grandson of Holocaust survivors from Lithuania who immigrated to Israel from the USSR about a decade after the founding of the Jewish State, Dr. Pilnik is the Director of the Emil and Jenny A. Fish Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies. Prior to becoming the Fish Center's founding Director in 2020, he was the Executive Director of the Nathan and Esther Pelz Holocaust Education Resource Center (HERC) in Milwaukee between 2014 and early 2020. Under his leadership, the organization doubled both its outreach and capacity, serving schools and communities across the state of Wisconsin with programming, lectures, teacher workshops, study abroad trips and more.

Dr. Pilnik earned his BA at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, majoring in Comparative Literature and Jewish Thought; his MA in Jewish Studies from McGill University and, in 2013, a Ph.D. from the Jewish Theological Seminary in the field of Modern Jewish Studies. His PhD dissertation dealt with the commemoration of the Babi Yar Massacre in Soviet Russian and Yiddish literature. 

Dr. Shay Pilnik
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