Fall Newsletter 2018


Welcome Cohort VII

We are excited to welcome our new students of Cohort VII! They’ve come from countries all over the world – Spain, Germany, US, Australia, and Ireland – to name a few. We pride ourselves on our multidisciplinary approach to Holocaust Studies, which is highlighted by the diversity of our student’s academic backgrounds – whether it’s playwriting or linguistics, history or communications – our students bring a fresh take on how Holocaust Studies are defined today. Continue reading


The Rogatchi Foundation honors Wiess-Livnat faculty member with Humanist of the Year Award.

Rogatchi-FoundationWe are thrilled to announce that Dr. Rachel Perry has been honored as one of four laureates to receive The Ina and Michael Rogatchi Foundation’s Award for 2018 Humanist of the Year. Dr. Perry,  the Weiss-Livnat’s resident art-historian expert and lecturer received the award for her work as the chief curator of the University of Haifa’s exhibition, Arrivals, Departures: The Oscar Ghez Collection.

Founded in 2004 by writer, scholar, and film-maker Inna Rogatchi and her husband renowned artist Michael Rogatchi, The Rogatchi Foundation has several aims including a focus on education, preservation of cultural, historical and spiritual heritage, and providing help and support to cancer patients, the elderly, and children in need. It also promotes the arts and special cultural and educational ‘Outreach to Humanity’ projects globally. The Rogatchi Family have been founders of the internationally acclaimed Arts Against Cancer (AAC) culture charity whose Honorary Chairman was Mstislav Rostropovich.

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Replicating Atonement – National Models of Apology

cf2271cd-7af4-4240-9a39-7a30dc5b4180_1.673184668ad3f1b39257a1efb5487416Students at the Weiss-Livnat program started their first week of classes with a guest lecture from historian and sociologist, Dr. Mischa Gabowitsch, of the Einstien Forum in Potsdam, Germany. Dr. Gabowitsch spoke of the 2017 book that he edited titled, Replicating Atonement: Foreign Models in the Commemoration of Atrocities, which examines what happens when one country’s experience of dealing with its traumatic past is held up as a model for others to follow. Germany is singled out as the primary example of a country whose atonement efforts are considered successful, and as such, the state has become a model for other nations dealing with their own difficult histories. 

In his lecture, Dr. Gabowitsch presented the question that most influenced his work on the book, what does it mean when we use a country’s experience as a model to apologize? What are the effects, implications, pitfalls, and promises of trying to replicate atonement? 

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Welcome, Cohort VII!

The academic year has begun, and we were so excited to meet our new students of Cohort 7! They’ve come from countries all over the world – Spain, Germany, US, Australia, and Ireland – to name a few. We pride ourselves on our multidisciplinary approach to Holocaust Studies, which is highlighted by the diversity of our student’s academic backgrounds – whether its playwriting or linguistics, history or communications – our students bring their own fresh take on how Holocaust Studies are defined today.


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New Spring Semester Course: The History of Anti-Semitism

The Weiss-Livnat MA Program is excited to announce a new course for the upcoming Spring semester – History of Anti-Semitism. This poignant course will be instructed by Dr. Shmulik Lederman, our resident expert on genocide studies and one of the academic advisors. We asked Dr. Lederman to give us an overview of the course and detail what students can expect to learn. Read what he had to say, below.


Weiss-Livnat Haifa: What is the importance of the program offering this course? Are students not always aware of the historical significance that religious-based anti-Semitism played in the development of the Holocaust? Is there a gap in knowledge between religious-based anti-Semitism and modern (political, race, eugenic-based) anti-Semitism?


Dr. Shmulik Lederman

Dr. Lederman: Your question actually contains the answer: What is the relationship between the old, religious-based Jew-hatred and modern anti-Semitism? And what is the relationship between modern anti-Semitism and the “eliminationist” anti-Semitism of the Nazis? At first sight, it seems obvious that there is a strong, direct connection between these phenomena. But in fact, these remain open questions for historians of anti-Semitism and the Holocaust. To put it as succinctly as I can, it is hard to believe that the Jews could play such a role in modern anti-Semitism and particularly in the Nazi worldview without the long tradition of Jew-hatred in Europe. At the same time, however, only the Nazis tried to exterminate the entire Jewish people, and they distanced themselves—particularly Hitler—from traditional religious hatred of the Jews. As your question hints, the ideological basis of modern anti-Semitism was significantly different from the traditional one, and one of the questions is whether we should take this difference as a thin cover (or changing superficial justifications) for the essential, continuing, irrational hatred of the Jews throughout European history, or should this fact make us distinguish very sharply between modern anti-Semitism and traditional Jew-hatred or Judo-phobia. These are the kinds of questions we will ask in the course, and I think they are crucial for any understanding of the history of the Holocaust.

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New Course! Entrepreneurship in Holocaust Commemoration and Education

The Weiss-Livnat International MA in Holocaust Studies is excited to announce a new and original course starting in Fall 2018; Entrepreneurship in Holocaust Commemoration and Education.


As the world approaches a time without Holocaust survivors and when cultural, social and technological changes take place at a rapid pace, it has become imperative to consider inventive approaches to commemorate the Holocaust.

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Danny and Rivka of Cohort VI – Reflections on the past year and focus on the future

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


Danny Melkonovitzky

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.”

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