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Summer 2021 Course Offerings

Classes begin on June 21st.

Registration is open from April 19 - June 25 for Summer 2021. Earn credits toward an MA in Holocaust and Genocide Studies.

To inquire more about enrolling in the course, email our Director, Dr. Shay Pilnik at

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Life in the Valley of the Shadow of Death: Jewish Religion, Culture, and Physical Resistance in the Nazi Ghettos of Eastern Europe

Instructor: Dr. Joshua Karlip

In this course, we will explore not the mass murder of East European Jews during the Holocaust, but rather their lives in the “valley of the Shadow of Death,” in such places as the Warsaw, Vilna, and Kovno Ghettos. Regarding religious life, we will examine Rabbi Ephraim Oshry’s responsa in the Kovno Ghetto and Rabbi Kalonymus Kalman Shapira’s hasidic sermons in the Warsaw Ghetto. We also will look at the importance of Yiddish theater, literary clubs, and libraries in the Vilna Ghetto. In addition, we will learn the story of the Vilna Ghetto’s “paper brigade” and will discover Emanuel Ringleblum’s Oyneg Shabes archive in the Warsaw Ghetto. Methodologically, we will address the question of the extent to which pre-war local conditions determined Jewish religious, cultural, and physical responses to ghettoization and to what extent Nazi policies contributed to these responses.

Classes Meet: 12:00 -1:40PM EDT

Monday, Wednesday, Thursday June 21 - July 22 and Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday July 6 - 8

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After The Holocaust: Healing from Historical Trauma

Instructor: Mordecai Katz

The events of 1933-1945 in Europe cast a shadow over its generation and their progeny in untold ways. Regarding this history, our course asks a twofold question: (1)how has the Holocaust impacted social work as a profession and (2) what can the profession learn from the Holocaust which might improve our ability, consistent with our “primary mission” as articulated by the NASW Code of Ethics, to both (a) heal its own victims’ psychological and spiritual injuries as well as those of others who have been victim to historical trauma; and (b)reduce the ongoing occurrence of intersubjective dehumanization and its harms. The course will also explore the notion of moral injury as it relates to both victims and perpetrators of atrocities and as a general hermeneutic through which the Holocaust might be understood within the bio-psycho-social-spiritual model regularly deployed in social work.

Classes Meeting: July 6 – August 12

3.5 weeks will be live followed by 3.5 weeks asynchronous. Live classes take place Mondays and Wednesdays 2:30 - 5PM EDT

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