The Holocaust placed individuals into some of the most extreme and harsh situations imaginable in life. The process of making sense of the world and of life during the Holocaust, and finding meaning in its aftermath was a complex and difficult path for all individuals that were faced this challenge. Jews of religious faith had a unique aspect in their journey of reestablishing meaning during and after the Holocaust. Intertwining faith and integrating religious practice in a time when life circumstances challenged the very essence of their beliefs was an obstacle that religious Jews faced and handled in many different ways. The Weiss-Livnat International MA Program in Holocaust Studies was proud to welcome Dr. Alan Rosen to speak to our students about the complexities of religious Jewish life and practice during the time of the Holocaust, and after.
Dr. Alan Rosen has held many positions in the field of Holocaust studies and has published many works on Holocaust testimony, memory, and pedagogy. A Professor of Holocaust Literature both in the United States and Israel and a member of Yad Vashem’s International School, Dr. Rosen brought his expertise to discuss the concepts of religious Judaism with our students in a two-part lecture. Dr. Rosen explained that in order to begin to understand Holocaust history, literature, testimony, and memory, one must first understand the mindset of those who lived through it and survived it. Through a dynamic discussion of various religious concepts and the new meaning and manifestation they took on during the times of the Holocaust and its aftermath, Dr. Rosen shed light on the meaning-world systems recreated by religious Jews. The students also explored various narratives taken from “Chasidic Tales of the Holocaust” by Yaffa Eliach, which showed the various ways in which religious practice and belief changed and adapted to the most extreme circumstances of the Holocaust and life in its aftermath. Dr. Alan Rosen’s lecture fostered great conversation and dialogue as our students explored the ambiguous and controversial choices that religious Jews faced in the complicated situations they were placed in during the times of the Holocaust and after. The various opinions of our students toward the subject matter reflected the obscurity of the decisions and belief systems of religious Jews during this murky period of human history.
The Weiss-Livnat International MA Program in Holocaust Studies was honored to host Dr. Alan Rosen who facilitated interesting and meaningful lectures and discussions.
Interested in applying for our MA in Holocaust Studies Program? You can find the application and more information at our website: http://holocaust-studies.haifa.ac.il/