Alumni, Current Students, Holocaust Education, Holocaust Internship, Internships

Cohort V Student reflects on her year in the Weiss-Livnat International MA Program in Holocaust Studies

Mallory

Cohort V Student Mallory

It has already been a month since we said goodbye to Cohort V. Our student Mallory reflects on her life changing year, shares her plans for the future, and gives advice for the students of Cohort VI, who we have the pleasure of welcoming to Haifa later this month.

What were some of your highlights from the past year?

Highlights from the past year circled around learning from the wonderful professors who are instrumental in the field of the Holocaust. Every single professor has a unique teaching style and they all have their own niche. I can only wish we had more time with them! Another major highlight was to see classmates grow into colleagues. Meaning, I look forward to the next few years, staying in touch to learn who earned what job position, or doctorate, or where they will be speaking next – or, how I can get an advanced copy of their amazing book or article! I am certain there are some of us who, because of the education we received at Haifa, will contribute greatly to the new generation of Holocaust academics. We have experienced something special and I think that experience will sustain for years to come.

What impact has the Weiss-Livnat International MA Program in Holocaust Studies had on your life?

The impact of this Program will continue to reverberate in my life for years to come but for now, the greatest impact has been the chance to grow as an academic with those interested in this field. The discussions in and out of class were thought provoking and unique. Moreover, the networking and introduction to possibilities that extend beyond the classroom such as internships and fellowships are the start to my academic career, and a strong one at that. It is only through the Program that such a firm foundation could have been built.

What advice do you have for the students of Cohort VI and beyond?

Seek out, and take advantage of, every opportunity beyond the classroom hours. The professors have dedicated office time, are responsive to email, and will help you flourish in your writing and thinking more than you could imagine. Additionally, the internships and fellowships that are granted exclusively to us are incredible – APPLY! More practically, find a study schedule and stick to it, but remember that you’re in a once in a lifetime opportunity both academically – and geographically! Study, but travel, too. That said, don’t forget why you’re here. You wanted to earn a degree – so earn it. Do the homework, contribute to class dialogue, and enjoy your time. (But definitely travel.)

What are your plans for the future?

My only aim is to finish my thesis. I think once I find myself close to completing that goal, more opportunities and ideas will crop up. In the meantime, it’s research, research, and writing!


Interested in applying for our MA in Holocaust Studies Program?  You can find the application and more information at our website

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Holocaust Internship, Internships

Internship Experience at the Jewish Museum in Berlin

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Wei with a pair of women’s shoes found in Auschwitz from Shanghai

One of our students, Wei Zhang, from China has recently completed an internship with the Jewish Museum in Berlin. His research revolved around Jews in Shanghai during the Holocaust. Wei helped the museum translate documents from Chinese to German and English, bringing to life stories that were otherwise lost in archives. He’s written about some of his experiences in the museum’s blog. Here’s the link to the blog post:

http://www.jmberlin.de/blog-en/2017/06/jewish-life-in-shanghai/

 

Wei has also written about his experience through our blog, read more here: https://haifaholocauststudies.wordpress.com/2016/12/08/internship-jewish-museum-berlin/

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Current Students, Holocaust Internship, Volunteer Work

Alexa talks about AMCHA

alexa

Q: What will you be doing at with AMCHA?
A: At AMCHA, I will be working one on one with a Holocaust survivor. Visiting and spending time with them once a week. It’s an opportunity for survivors to develop a new connection with someone and for me it’s a huge privilege to hear their story.

Q: What makes you most excited to be working with AMCHA ?
A: AMCHA is a very special organization that does a huge service to Holocaust survivors and their children, the opportunity to develop a working relationship with them is a rare opportunity.

Q: What brought you working with AMCHA?
A: I was attracted to working with AMCHA for personal reasons. My grandmother was a Holocaust survivor and I was lucky to have had the chance to spend time with her in her later years after I moved to Israel. She passed away two years ago, but I will always treasure our time together. To meet and spend time with another survivor, someone else’s grandmother, is not only an amazing learning opportunity but also an opportunity to do something good for my soul.

Q: Who will you be working with? or who would you like to volunteer with?
A: The volunteer coordinator at AMCHA has been very helpful in pairing me with a survivor who can help with my thesis research. My area of study within Holocaust research is on the psychological impact of the Holocaust for women on motherhood and family life post Holocaust. I have been set up with a female survivor who is open to discussing this topic with me. This is a primary resource that I could never have found elsewhere.

Q: Anything else you would like to add?
A: AMCHA is a wonderful organization dedicated to providing counseling and trauma services for Holocaust survivors and their children. I am honored to have the opportunity to work with them.


Interested in applying for our MA in Holocaust Studies Program?  You can find the application and more information at our website

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Holocaust Internship, Internships

Eugenia talks about her Internship at Yad Vashem

eugenia

Eugenia | Romania | BA in Journalism from Hyperion University and BA in Jewish Studies in from University of Bucharest | MA in Hebrew Culture and Civilization from the University of Bucharest | Cohort V

Q: What will you be doing at Yad Vashem?
A: The project I am working with is called Deportations of Jews – a Yad Vashem project that started in 2007. The International Institute for Holocaust Research at Yad Vashem has been studying the organized deportations of Jews as an extensive phenomenon. The resulting database will reconstruct all the transports that took place during the Holocaust from territories of the Third Reich, from countries under German occupation, from the Axis states and from the satellite states.
I am working on documents in Romanian, identifying all the relevant material about the transports from Romania during the Holocaust.

Q: What makes you most excited to be working at Yad Vashem?
A: As an MA student at the Weiss-Livnat International MA Program in Holocaust Studies at the University of Haifa I had the opportunity to meet Professors and Researchers from Yad Vashem. They lectured about different topics on the Holocaust and WWII, how to read articles from an analytical point of view, how to write and much more. At Yad Vashem, I’m learning how to research on a new level.
Last but not least, the project Deportations is interesting and challenging. We have a blank map and an enormous database that helps us fill it with content. The database has been constructed from a wide variety of: documents, research, legal material, survivors’ testimonies and memoirs. And we connect them creating the journey of Jews from the moment they were thrown out from their home in a tiny village or town till the moment they ended up in a camp.

Q: What brought you working with Yad Vashem?
A: MA students at the Weiss-Livnat International MA Program in Holocaust Studies have this amazing internship opportunity and many others. For an MA student who wants to do research in the future this is the normal path to follow.  

Q: Who will you be working with?
A: Dr. Joel Zisenwine is the Project Director. He and Ms. Aviv Shashar, the Project Coordinator and Researcher, are the ones who guide me as an intern.  

Q: What is your area of specialty within Holocaust Studies?
A: I am interested in Memory Studies, working mainly on testimonies of Holocaust survivors from Transnistria. I started my research at the “Elie Wiesel” National Institute for the Study of Holocaust in Romania as an intern.  


Interested in applying for our MA in Holocaust Studies Program?  You can find the application and more information at our website

 

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Holocaust Internship, Internships

Internship: Jewish Museum Berlin

This article was written by Wei (Aaron) Zhang: 

I had the honor to participate in a 4-week internship at Jewish Museum Berlin, one of the largest and best Jewish museums in the world, working with the team for the new permanent exhibition. It has been a wonderful enrichment for my Holocaust Studies in the University of Haifa.

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Wei working with artifacts from the Jewish Museum Berlin.

Because my internship was very short I consulted with my tutor and other colleagues in the museum and we decided to make the internship two major parts: learning and contributing. My first project was to get a general picture how a large museum like this works, especially when it comes to teamwork for the permanent exhibition, and gain a better understanding of the Jewish culture and history through all the resources in Berlin and nearby; second, I worked in the archives related to Shanghai and contributed to it.

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Artifacts relating to Shanghai in the Jewish Museum.

Last year while I was attending a curating lecture during a four-day study with my classmates at Yad Vashem I was attracted to an artifact which was not yet shown to the public – a red scarf from Ravensbrück concentration camp with a Chinese signature at the bottom.

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The Red Scarf from the Ravenbrück Concentration Camp, the Chinese signature is found at the bottom center left.

After this, I always wanted to know more about the fate of this lady. While working at the Museum archives, I was able to arrange a private meeting with Peter Plieninger, Chairman of the Friends of the Ravensbrück Memorial, at a local café. It was a wonderful experience, it helped me understand the background of this camp so that I could explore more about the mysterious Chinese lady in the Ravensbrück concentration camp.

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Wei meeting Peter Plieninger, Chairman of the Friends of the Ravensbrück Memorial.

The story of this special Chinese lady began to unfold itself: she was accused of being agent and was imprisoned by the Nazis. She was born as daughter of a Chinese diplomat, and spent her childhood in Spain, Cuba and China, so could speak Spanish, Chinese, French, English, German fluently. She was stationed as an honorary colonel in the Chinese army in 1920s in Manchuria. She was trained lawyer and pilot. She was the mistress of the feminist American playwright Natalie Clifford Barney in Paris in 1930s, and spied against Germany in 1940s. The keywords of her life like cross-dressing, female pilot and colonel, lesbian lifestyle, resistance against Nazis as a Chinese agent, etc are just so unusual and legendary for a woman in her time. However, for the most part, her life remains mysterious. Until now she was unknown in Chinese historical documents and literature.

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The Jewish Museum Berlin

In my internship I also handled artifacts concerning the life of Jewish refugees in Shanghai. Through the online archives of the museum I was able to browse most of the related artifacts. With my knowledge of the Chinese language and background, I found and corrected some inaccuracies in the description or dating of these objects. At Jewish Museum Berlin I was assigned the task of translating some Chinese texts formerly owned by the Jewish residents of Shanghai Ghetto into English. It was so exciting to have hands on experience with these objects, which have survived more than 70 years, and to imagine how these things once were related to the daily life of their owners.


Interested in applying for our MA in Holocaust Studies Program?  You can find the application and more information on our website.

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Current Students, Holocaust Internship, Internships, Special Projects

Angel Noel: Internship at the Hungarian Jewish Museum and Archives in Budapest

Angel Noel (Cohort III, Philippines) recently completed one of our international internship opportunities in Budapest.  We are excited to share her experience with you!

IMG_9794After having a rewarding and enriching experience of doing an education-track internship in Israel, I decided to explore the possibility of learning more through taking an internship in the museum world of Holocaust Studies. When the opportunity in the Hungarian Jewish Museum and Archives in Budapest opened, I knew it was one that I should not forego. With the prospect of creating or collaborating to work on exhibits about the Holocaust, I was very excited to be given this opportunity.

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I decided to focus on two projects for my 4-week internship at the Hungarian Jewish Museum and Archives, comprising a project each for the museum and archives sector of the institution. I was tasked to conduct a visitor survey at the museum and I also worked on an online archive of artifacts from the Holocaust collection.

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The visitor survey aimed to look into the visitors’ museum experience and interests and gather quality-oriented data which would be applied in the museum’s current phase of reconstruction. Over 90 respondents participated in the survey and the demographics were fairly diverse according to age, religion and nationality. Since the survey aimed to gather a comprehensive visitor feedback, the questions ranged from logistical concerns to content-wise assessments. And with much success, the survey reflected the visitors’ positive interest in learning more about the Hungarian Jews’ history, cultural and religious practices, and the Hungarian narrative of the Holocaust. Moreover, it has equally yielded constructive criticisms on enabling a better understanding of these topics. Visitors were surveyed about how the Hungarian Jewish Museums compare to other Jewish museums the visitors have been to (those in the USA, Israel, Berlin, and Warsaw to name a few). Overall, the survey mirrored a good amount of feedback and suggestions aimed to improve and enrich the visitors’ experience. I am honored and privileged to be able to contribute in this process of revising and improving the Hungarian Jewish Museum and Archives.

Milev Holocaust Collection Online

Additionally, it was also very interesting for me to dig in their archives and work with artifacts. I was given the opportunity to take photographs and learn about the different and remarkable items from their Holocaust collection. To name a few are a Hanukkah Menorah made of bread, an underskirt made from a Tallit, an aluminum bracelet with a heart-shaped pendant, a Mezuza which was encased and made into a necklace, and an intricately made Seviszi board in a labor camp. I worked on several artifacts to add to the online archive of the Holocaust collection which was set-up and initiated by my colleague Annette Covrigaru, who was also an intern there early this year. These objects reflect the remotely known traces of humanity among those who were victims of the Hungarian Holocaust. It perfectly fused my interest in photography, history, archival research and museums together in a single project. Now, the artifacts are available to view online (http://milevblog.tumblr.com/archive), each with brief descriptions that had been translated to English.

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On my last day, I presented the outcome of both projects to the team I had the pleasure of working with at the museum and archives and with them was also the museum’s director, Zsuzsanna Toronyi. The internship allowed me to gain understanding on the history of Hungary, Hungarian Jewry and their narrative of the WWII and the Holocaust. I found it fascinating that the Hungarian Jewish Museum and Archives has the synagogue, the garden and the new 100! exhibit to collectively present various events in the history of the Hungarian Jewish community. I think the institution, although currently limited, has a lot of potential in creating exhibits according to significant historical events in the Jewish communities in Hungary because of its unique and rich history over different periods under different regimes.

Interested in interning at the Jewish Museum in Budapist, or 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/

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