Jewish Studies Center

Public Programs

Some of the biggest issues and challenges facing Jewish communities today include philanthropy, business ethics, politics, identity and continuity, the changing face of American Jewry, and many others. The JSC address these issues through a series of lectures, panel discussions, symposia, and specials events that are available to the Baruch community and general public. The following events are scheduled for the Spring 2015 semester.


                                                        Spring 2015 Events

                                            Thursday, February 19, 5:30 PM

                                                    Dr. Ingo Zechner Presents:

           “Ephemeral Films: National Socialism in Austria”


Program Description: A joint endeavor between the Austrian Film Museum and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC, “Ephemeral Films” is a unique project which chronicles the rise of National Socialism in Austria from the early 1930s, through the "Anschluss" of Austria in 1938, to the war years. During this presentation, Dr. Ingo Zechner will discuss a series of short, mostly amateur film clips which date from the era. Through his analysis, he will contextualize this extremely volatile and harrowing period of history.

Location: The Skylight Room at 17 Lexington Avenue (Room 306)

About the speaker: Ingo Zechner is a philosopher and historian by training. From 2000 to 2008 he was an academic staff member at the Jewish Community Vienna, serving as Head of the Community’s Holocaust Victims’ Information and Support Center from 2003 to 2008.In 2009 he was the Business Manager of the Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies (VWI). In 2013 he spent six months as the Raab Foundation Fellow at the UnitedStates Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC. Currently he serves as Associate Director of the IFK International Research Center für Cultural Studies in Vienna. Since2010 he has also been a participant and a Project Manager of several independent research projects, including the project »Ephemeral Films: National Socialism in Austria« which has been ongoing since 2011.He has published on philosophical aesthetics (Bild und Ereignis, 1999), post-structuralist philosophy (Deleuze. Der Gesang des Werdens, 2003), film, literature, music, archival theory and practice, and Holocaust Studies.

Dr. Zechner was the Raab Foundation Fellow at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum's Mandel Center during 2013.

This lecture is made possible by the Campus Outreach Lecture Program of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Jack, Joseph and Morton MandelCenter for Advanced Holocaust Studies, supported by the generosity of the Jerome A. Yavitz Charitable Foundation, Inc. and Arlyn S. and Stephen H. Cypen.


                                                  Thursday, March 5, 5:30 PM

   Conversation with Cartoonists: Arnie Levin, Sam Gross and Richard Gehr

    "I Only Read It for the Cartoons: The New Yorker's Most Brilliantly Twisted Artists"

Program Description: Widely considered to be the pantheon of single-panel cartooning, The New Yorker cartoonists’ styles are richly varied, and their personal stories are surprising. For example, did you know that Arnie Levin is a seventy-three-year-old former Beatnik painter with a handlebar mustache and a back decorated by Japan’s foremost tattoo artists?Gehr’s book features fascinating biographical profiles of such artists as Gahan Wilson, Sam Gross, Roz Chast, Lee Lorenz, and Edward Koren. Along with a dozen such profiles, Gehr provides a brief history of The New Yorker cartoon itself, touching on the lives and work of earlier illustrating wits, including Charles Addams, James Thurber, and William Steig.


About the speaker: Richard Gehr has been writing about music, culture, and travel for quite a while. He has been an editor for the Los Angeles Reader, Spin, and Sonicnet/MTV Interactive. He currently writes for Rolling Stone, Spin, The Village Voice, Relix, AARP: The Magazine, and other publications. He was a senior writer for the book Alt.Culture: An A-to-Z Guide to the ’90s and co-authored The Phish Book with the Vermont quartet. Amazon/New Harvest will publish his latest book, I Only Read It for the Cartoons: The New Yorker’s Most Brilliantly Twisted Artists, in October 2014. He resides in the Brooklyn arrondissement.


                                                     Tuesday, April 21, 10:30 AM

                 Filmmaker Dragan Kujundžić presents his documentary:

                                           "Frozen Time, Liquid Memories (1942-2012)"

                                Part one: "The Racija"; the Danube, Novi Sad, January 1942
                                Part two: "They Were Children"; Vel d'Hiv, Paris, July 1942

Program Description: The footage filmed by Dragan Kujundžić commemorates the seventy years since the two round-ups of the Jews, one in Novi Sad (today Serbia) in January 1942, and the other in Paris in July 1942. The archival footage includes the last interview with the foremost historian of the Novi Sad Racija, Pavle Šosberger, filmed in June 2011, as well as footage from the commemoration of the Vel d' Hiv in (Summer 2012) in Hôtel de Ville (City Hall) in Paris, the event introduced by Serge Klarsfeld. The deportation of children is further explored in the footage taken in the Musée Mémorial des Enfants du Vel d'Hiv (Memorial Museum of the Children of Vel d'Hiv) in Orleans, and interviews with one of the only two then child Vel d’ Hiv survivors, Marcel Weltman-Aron. Roughly 85 minutes. Filmed on locations in Novi Sad, Serbia, and Paris, Orleans and Avignon, France. In Serbian and French, with subtitles in English.

About the speaker: Dragan Kujundžić is a Professor of Film and Media Studies, Jewish, Germanic and Slavic Studies, at the University of Florida. He is the author of numerous articles in critical theory, deconstruction and literary criticism. He has edited “Deconstruction,A Merry Science” (1985), “Khoraographies for Jacques Derrida on July 15, 2000”(2000), “Who or What—Jacques Derrida” (2008) and two volumes on J. Hillis Miller,“J” (2005) and “Provocations to Reading” (2005). His other publications include monographs “Critical Exercises” (Belgrade, 1983), “The Returns of History” (NewYork, 1997) and “Tongue in Heat” (Moscow, 2003). He has also edited volumes and journal clusters on Walter Benjamin, Samuel Weber, tRace (Derrida with Balibar),the Holocaust (with a translation of an essay by Levinas), and Mikhail Bakhtin. He is currently working on the new monograph, “Ghost Scriptum,” a book based on hisrecent film (2011) “The First Sail: J. Hillis Miller,” and is finalizing a production copyof his second film, “Frozen Time, Liquid Memories,” on the Holocaust in Novi Sad,Serbia, and Paris, France, in 1942.












                                                                Fall 2014 Events

                               Memorial Lecture for Professor Barbara Gluck

                                            Wednesday, September 17th, 3:00 PM

The Wasserman Jewish Studies Center at Baruch College was proud to honor the memory of Professor Barbara Gluck with a special memorial lecture given by Professor Abby Bender (New York University). The lecture, titled "James Joyce, the Promised Land, and Unsettlement", was attended by over 75 guests in the Skylight Room at 17 Lexington Avenue.

Professor Barbara Gluck served Baruch College as an Associate Professor and Assistant Chair of the English Department. A recipient of the Presidential Excellence Award for Teaching, Professor Gluck was a beloved pedagogue who also served on numerous college committees, including the Weissman School Curriculum Committee, the Committee on Academic Standing, and the Committee on the Library. She received both her M.A. and Ph.D. from Columbia University.

Professor Abby Bender received her Ph.D. from Princeton University and currently serves as an Adjunct Professor of Irish Studies at New York University. Her areas of interest include 19th and 20th Century British and Irish Literature; James Joyce; Modernism and Empire; The Irish Literary Revival.


                                             Gary Shteyngart at Baruch College

                                                Thursday, October 23, 3:00 PM

The Wasserman Jewish Studies center will be hosting an interview with Gary Shteyngart, author of Little Failure, Super Sad True Love Story, Absurdistan, The Russian Debutante's Handbook. The interview will be conducted by Dr. Sasha Senderovich,  Assistant Professor of Russian Studies and Jewish Studies at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Location: 151 East 25, Newman Library, Seventh Floor, Rooms 750 and 760

Gary Shteyngart is an American author and satirist who was born in Leningrad, Russia (now Saint Petersburg). He holds degrees from Oberlin College in Ohio and Hunter College of the City University of New York, and currently teaches writing at Columbia University. His work has garnered him several awards, including the Stephen Crane Award for First Fiction, the Book-of-the-Month Club First Fiction Award, and the National Jewish Book Award for Fiction.


Sasha Senderovich is an Assistant Professor in the department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures, and in the Program in Jewish Studies, at the University of Colorado Boulder. He received his Ph.D. in Slavic Languages and Literatures from Harvard and has taught at Tufts, Lafayette College, and Rutgers University before landing in Boulder.

To reserve your seat, please email:


                                             Professor Dori Katz at Baruch College

                                                 Tuesday, November 4th, 6:00 PM

Dori Katz is a Jewish Holocaust survivor who thought that her lost memories of her childhood years in Belgium were irrecoverable. But after a chance viewing of a documentary about hidden children in German-occupied Belgium, she realized that she might, in fact, be able to unearth those years. Looking for Strangers is the deeply honest record of her attempt to do so, a detective story that unfolds through one of the most horrifying periods in history in an attempt to understand one’s place within it.


Professor Dori Katz is professor emeritus of modern languages and literature at Trinity College, Hartford, CT. She is a translator of several books from the French, and a poet. Her most recent collection of poems is titled Hiding in Other People’s Houses.






                                              Special Film Screening of Red Father                

                                                  Monday, November 17th, 6:00 PM

The Sandra Kahn Wasserman Jewish Studies Center at Baruch College cordially invites you to join us on November 17th, 2014, for a special film screening of Red Father, a documentary by Tova Beck-Friedman. A discussion panel will follow the film.

Thought-provoking and nuanced, Tova Beck-Friedman’s documentary Red Father offers a fascinating look at a politically turbulent era, and offers the viewer a close look at the legacy of a father’s impact on his family. In the documentary, “Red Diaper Baby”, Janet Ades scrutinizes her father’s Communist legacy. She admires the father who confronted legal racism, fought fascism in Spain and was repeatedly blacklisted. Nonetheless, she does not spare her criticism of the Communist Party’s conduct. Guest speakers at this event will include:

Janet Ades – daughter of Bernard Ades, the Baltimore-based civil rights attorney and communist party member whose life and deeds serve as the focal point of the film.

George Rappoport – Wagner College Historian and Professor Emeritus.

Maria Mitchell – Legal expert and Assistant HC Public Defender at Hennepin County Public Defender in Minnesota.

Joseph Moore – Maryland-based Attorney, Prosecutor, and Author.

 Tova Beck-Friedman – Multi-media artist and writer, whose work includes projects in video, photography and sculpture.

To reserve your seat, please email:


                        Laughing with God: Conversations About Jewish Humor

                                              Thursday, December 4th, 6:00 PM

What’s Jewish about Jewish humor? How far back does it go? Humor has had a profound effect on the way the Jewish people see the world, sustaining them through millennia of hardship and suffering.  Believe it or not, there is a great deal of humor and wit in the ancient Jewish texts – the Hebrew Bible, the Talmud, and Midrash.  Inevitably, this oeuvre of Jewish humor has itself influenced generations of comics, as well as genres of humor.  In what is sure to be a lively and entertaining discussion of Jewish humor, the speakers present material from their new book – God Laughed: Sources of Jewish Humor.

Speakers: Professors Linda Weiser-Friedman and Hershey H. Freidman

To reserve your seat, please email:







                                                              JDC Global Symposium  

                            Turmoil, Change & Inspiration in the Jewish World

                                                     Monday, December 8th, 9:00 AM

The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, The Sandra Kahn Wasserman Jewish Studies Center at Baruch College and Beit Hafutsot, and The Museum of the Jewish People are proud to be hosting a special symposium on the subject of "Turmoil, Change and Inspiration in the Jewish World." Featuring an array of speakers, topics addressed will include the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, the American ethic of responsibility, as well as the concept of "Art and Meaning." The symposium will also feature a special art exhibit, entitled "Let My People Go", which will mark the 25th anniversary of the Soviet Jewry Movement.

Exclusive JDC Ambassadors lunch with Alan Gill, JDC CEO, to follow

Location: Baruch College Newman Conference Center151 East 25th Street, New York

To register, please visit:









                              "Are Jews Funny?": Jewish Humor and Its Sources

                                                 Thursday, December 4th, 6:00 PM

Join us for a thought-provoking examination of Jewish humor, featuring Professor Linda Weiser Friedman (Zicklin School of Business) and Hershey Friedman.

Location: 55 Lexington Ave, lower level lounge in BPAC

To reserve your seat, please email:





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