“Approaching the entrance gates and visitor’s center of Yad Vashem from the ascending road down Mt.Herzl, with its vast vegetation and spectacular views over the Jerusalem hills has become a weekly occurrence for me. I am fortunate to be interning here one day a week at the Visual Center of Yad Vashem as part of my studies in the Weiss-Livnat MA program. Our Cohort’s recent, intensive 4-day Seminar at Yad Vashem has, however, been a very different and new experience for me, one that opened up many more facets of both the institution specifically and Holocaust research, generally.
Still a little tired from the long bus ride from Haifa, which included the obligatory traffic jam on Road One, our group was warmly welcomed by the Head of the Academic Affairs Section of the International Institute of Holocaust Research, Eliot Nidam-Orvieto, who throughout our stay remained our dedicated contact person. From the very beginning and over the entire course of the seminar, he and the other staff and affiliates of the Institute fostered an open exchange between themselves and us students, treating us as recognized and respected young colleagues. After every lecture, students who were particularly interested in the specific field or methodological approach were able to discuss the topics in more detail and ask the lecturers’ questions one-on-one. Eliot Nidam also helped find available resources at Yad Vashem that could assist us with our current projects, and even provided networking contacts of experts and prominent scholars from our fields of interests.
The summer semester is coming to an end and with it, another group of students is saying goodbye to the University of Haifa and Israel. Over the next few weeks, we will be highlighting some students of Cohort VI as they share their best experiences from the Weiss-Livnat program and the exciting new adventures they are starting next!
Danny Melkonovitzky is from Holon, Israel. He received his BA in Media and Communications Studies from The College of Management Academic Studies, Israel
What was your favorite course in the Weiss-Livnat Program?
“My favorite course was Visual Culture and the Holocaust: Art and Visual Culture in Response to Fascism with Dr. Rachel Perry. My background is in media and communications studies, and analyzing visual cultural products – especially film – is my bread and butter. I felt like the course was tailored exactly to my interests.”
As an Israeli, what was the experience of studying with an international group like?
“At first I was asking myself, ‘why do so many foreign students have an interest in Holocaust studies?’ After a while, I found that it is very cool to study in a non-Israeli environment – engaging in discourse with a strong diversity of views and ideas, which are not always present within the Israeli discourse. It made the subject matter even more interesting.”
The Spring semester is always a special time at the Weiss-Livnat International Program. We begin to see the fruits of our current student’s hard work and dedication and are excited by their success. But it is also a bittersweet time as we begin to bid our current cohort goodbye and prepare for the new cohort’s arrival in October. Please enjoy this newsletter sharing accounts from the past semester, upcoming events and introductions to some of our new students.
Thank-you for following the Weiss-Livnat International MA Program at the University of Haifa. Your continued support and interest is vital to our program’s success.
In 1978 Dr. Oscar Ghez, a Swiss art collector, donated his collection of works of art by artists who perished in the Holocaust to the University of Haifa. Consisting of paintings, watercolors, drawings and sculptures, the collection includes over 130 works by 18 artists who lived and worked in Paris before the Holocaust.
Each year students of our program are encouraged to apply for our prestigious international internships. They are an amazing opportunity for our students to gain professional, hands-on experience while networking, paving the way for their future careers in the field of Holocaust Studies. Students are given $1,500 from the Weiss-Livnat International MA Program in Holocaust Studies to help cover their accommodation and airfares. We are proud to announce the students who will be undertaking our internships this academic year!
Jasmine Munn-McDonnell, Cohort V
The Wiener Library for the Study of the Holocaust & Genocide, London
What inspired you to apply for our international internships and what makes you most excited about interning at the Wiener Library in London?
I would have been crazy to not apply for this round of international internships. One of the things that most attracted me to this program before applying was the partnerships with world-class museums and institutions. To gain professional experience abroad on top of the MA was an opportunity that was not to be missed! I am excited to intern at the Wiener Library specifically because it has such a rich and fascinating history. The library was founded in 1933 and was in operation during the Holocaust. The library’s mission today of supporting research, learning, teaching and advocacy about the Holocaust and genocide is important and something that I am passionate about. And, needless to say, I am excited to spend five weeks living in London!
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.