Upcoming Special Programming
Webinar, "The Mitzvah Project" by Roger Grunwald
DATES: To be determined
Actor Roger Grunwald has put together this compelling performance that tells the story of two individuals - one Jewish and one half-Jewish - and their fate during the Holocaust. This webinar is specifically designed to teach students at all levels about the Holocaust and education them about the Rise of Nazism and the tragic fate of Jews caught in the Nazi web. However, "The Mitzvah Project" goes beyond traditional narratives and interrogates the life of a "half-Jew" (what the Nazis would call Mischlinge) who served as an officer in Hitler's Army.
Grunwald brought "The Mitzvah Project" to Mobile before and we are grateful to incorporate his unique and memorable commemoration to our community. In this era of increased authoritarianism and the rise of antisemitism, the lessons that Grunwald imparts on students are imperative NOW, so that we may avoid any tragic similarities to the past.
This program is sponsored by the Gulf Coast Center for Holocaust and Human Rights Education, the USA Department of History, and the USA Jewish & Holocaust Studies program.
Each spring, the Gulf Coast Center for Holocaust and Human Rights Education receives contributions from members of the community and the Mobile Area Jewish Federation. With these funds, the GCCHHRE provides a generous donation to the Marx Library at the University of South Alabama for books specifically to be part of the Agnes Tennenbaum Holocaust collection, named for Agnes Tennenbaum (z”l, 1922-2016), a Holocaust survivor from Hungary, and an important part of the Jewish community of Mobile. Agnes’ work in the community to educate the public about the Holocaust endeared her to many, and her legacy lives on with this collection.
For more on Agnes’ life, see: http://www.al.com/living/index.ssf/2016/06/agnes_tennenbaum_holocaust_sur.html
Click here for the Agnes Tennenbaum Holocaust Library Collection.
Each year the University of South Alabama is honored to support the Jewish Film Festival. We host one week of films in Laidlaw Auditorium and actively encourage students to attend these diverse, informative, and entertaining films. Most films have invited speakers, and occasionally, a sweet treat or surprise is in store for those in attendance.
This year selection of films: http://www.mobilejewishfederation.org/mobile-jewish-film-festival-2018/
Each year, the Mobile community comes together to honor the victims of Nazi atrocities by hosting a ceremony that includes the work of students at both public and private schools in Mobile. The celebration alternates location each year, being celebrated at either Ahavas Chesed Synagogue (on Regents Dr. in West Mobile) or at the Springhill Avenue Temple.
Each year, the Jewish community of Mobile celebrates the birthday of the State of Israel with festivities, food, and fun for all ages. The celebration alternates location each year, being celebrated at either Ahavas Chesed Synagogue (on Regents Dr. in West Mobile) or at the Springhill Avenue Temple.
Dr. Frankel (Associate Professor of History, University of Louisiana-Lafayette) spoke about his new book, States of Exclusion: A New Wave of Fascism, and the relationship of neo-fascism in the US and Europe to the rise of antisemitism.
The Southern Jewish Historical Society will host its 43rd annual conference from October 26–28, 2018, in Mobile, Alabama. The theme will be, “Southern Jews, American Citizens.” The conference will focus on how Jews living in the American South negotiated their intersecting regional, national, and ethnic identities AND how they responded to the demands and expectations imposed by regional, national, and ethnic institutions, movements, values, and goals.
While the conference’s theme is inspired by the Mobile area’s long and deep connections with the military, as well as by commemorations of the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, we invite presentations based on primary research that will explore the intersections of region, nation, and ethnicity in a variety of settings, especially as understood through the lenses of citizenship, public identity, or social consciousness. Possible topics, broadly conceived, include: southern Jewish participation in and interactions with the military or other regional or national institutions; expressions of citizenship and public service reflecting how individuals and communities negotiated being Jewish, southern, and American; the impact of circumstances such as migration, immigration, naturalization, or citizenship-by-birth on the intertwined identities of southern American Jews; southern Jewish philanthropy; and southern Jews as patriots or subversives.
The conference will be held throughout Mobile, being hosting jointly by the University of South Alabama and Spring Hill College. The conference is generous sponsored by USA, SHC, the Gulf Coast Center for Holocaust and Human Rights Education, the Mobile Christian-Jewish Dialogue, and the Mobile Area Jewish Federation.
For more on the conference, download a copy of The Rambler, the official publication of the Southern Jewish Historical Society: https://www.jewishsouth.org/sites/default/files/rambler_v22i2_web_version.pdf
For those interested in attending the conference, please go to the SJHS Website.
This year, Allan Hall (Miami, Florida), who survived the Holocaust as a young boy in Poland, spoke to over 3,000 people in audiences throughout the Gulf Coast Region, including talks in Mobile and in Pensacola.
Additionally, the community is partnering with the Mobile Museum of Art to provide additional programming to commemorate the Holocaust. Currently, the museum is hosting the exhibit “No Child’s Play”—on loan from the American Society for Yad Vashem—which highlights the experiences of children under Nazi domination, and includes artifacts from their lives. The Museum hosted Dr. Marlene Yahalom, Director of the American Society, who spoke about the exhibit and the Holocaust on April 22, 2018. See the following site for more information: http://www.mobilemuseumofart.com/exhibitions/no-childs-play-children-holocaust/
On November 9-10, 2018, we will mark the 80th year since the infamous “Night of Broken Glass,” in which non-Jewish Germans across both Germany and Austria took to the streets and perpetrated heinous crimes against Jews and Jewish communities, including, but not limited to physical violence against individuals, looting of synagogues, and the burning of synagogues and of Jewish sacred texts and items.
This year, in conjunction with the Mobile Museum of Art, we will be putting together a program that will include a recently recovered and restored film from 1924, a silent film that portrays German-Jewish author Hugo Bettauer’s novel, Die Stadt ohne Juden (The City without Jews). For more about the film and its restoration, see the following sites: https://www.filmarchiv.at/program/special/die-stadt-ohne-juden/ (in German) and https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/dec/09/lost-austrian-film-predicting-rise-of-nazism-restored-and-relaunched (in English).
More details forthcoming as they are available.
David Sorkin (Yale University) – “The Religious Origins of Toleration in Enlightenment Europe”
The University of South Alabama hosted Sorkin as the speaker for the 2016 Howard F. Mahan Lecture Series. A reception and book signing followed the lecture. The event was presented by the department of history in the College of Arts and Sciences. The 15th annual lecture was co-sponsored by the USA Foundation.
Earlier in the day, Sorkin spoke in Marx Library, Room 181, about the “Interminable Emancipation: Jews and Citizenship in the Modern World.” This event was presented by USA’s College of Arts and Sciences Humanities and Social Sciences Colloquium and co-sponsored by the department of history.
Sorkin is the author of numerous books and co-editor of several other publications. He is currently writing a history of Jewish emancipation in Europe, “Interminable Emancipation: European Jews and the Search for Equality, 1550-2000.”
NAZI GERMANY AND THE JIM CROW SOUTH
Although different in many ways, the history of racism in Nazi Germany and the Jim Crow South during the 1930s illuminates some universal phenomena that manifested during these distinct historical periods. Both periods can trace part of their roots to the rise of a new “science” of eugenics, which became an international movement that was used to give legitimacy to racial policies. Racism, including racial antisemitism, was the core element of Nazi ideology and driving force behind the Holocaust. Racism also legitimized the continued subjugation and persecution of African Americans long after the end of slavery. This Mandel Center campus outreach program engages college and university students, scholars, and community members in responsible, informed, and meaningful dialogue on the involvement of governments and citizens in two distinct systems of targeted oppression and racial violence within their different historical contexts.
“Racial Discrimination & Institutionalized Violence in Nazi Germany and the Jim Crow South” – October 10, 2017