Manhattan College was founded by the De La Salle Christian Brothers in 1853. The College moved from Manhattan to the Riverdale/Kingsbridge area of the Bronx in 1923.  In the 1960s, after the Vatican II document “Nostra Aetate,” the New York Diocese and the Anti Defamation League planned to work together to improve Catholic-Jewish relations. The Archbishop requested that Manhattan College prepare for him a 60 page summary about Judaism. A young history professor, Frederick M. Schweitzer, was assigned the task. The 60 pages became a 300 page book, and a professor found his life’s work. Dr. Schweitzer’s study of Judaism, Anti-Semitism, and the Holocaust led to 4 books, numerous articles and lectures, and in 1996 the founding of the Manhattan College Holocaust Resource Center.   The Manhattan College Holocaust Resource Center grew out of discussions between concerned faculty and administrators at the College led by Rose Santos-Cunningham, Brother Peter Drake, F. S. C., and Frederick Schweitzer and members of the Riverdale community, most notably Martin Spett, Lou Falkenstein, and the late Martin Richman during the 1995-1996 academic year. The Center's Charter was approved by the President of the College, Brother Thomas Scanlan, F. S. C. in 1996.

      Dr. Schweitzer, the first Director of the Holocaust Resource Center, engaged in outreach to the Jewish community, scheduled lectures by Holocaust scholars, and conducted workshops for area teachers.  He was later assisted by Dr. Jeff, a history professor, who became Director in 2007 after Dr. Schweitzer retired and became Director Emeritus.  Dr. Horn was assisted by two Assistant Directors, Barbara Reynolds, a retired teacher from Fordham Prep, and Martha Frazer, a former interviewer for Stephen Spielberg's Survivors of the Shoah Visual Project.  

     Dr. Jeff Horn continued the Center's lecture series, brining in world renowned scholars such as Samantha Powers, and Christopher Browning  He also created a DVD project in which Manhattan College students, trained by him and by Ms. Frazer, interviewed Holocaust survivors, and then edited the tapes for viewing by high school and middle school students.  These DVDs were distributed all over the country.  Ms. Reynolds acted as a teacher liaison. She continued workshops to introduce teachers to methods, such as the use of oral history or the use of picture books, for bringing state mandated Holocaust education into local classrooms, and she also arranged exhibits of Holocaust art.  Ms. Frazer acted as a liaison to the local community.  She also created the Second Generation Project at the Center.

     Dr. Mehnaz M. Afridi, assistant professor of Religious Studies, was appointed Director of the Center in 2011.  As a Muslim woman she specializes in Islam and the Holocaust.  The Center, its mission expanded, is now known as the Holocaust, Genocide and Interfaith Education Center.  In addition to events for the campus community, the Center schedules two to three lectures a year, one on the Holocaust, one on Genocide and an interfaith one.  Its community outreach includes a speakers bureau, led since 1996 by Martin Spett, and interfaith activities in which College students, local community and New York City members work together.

 

 

 

 

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Calendar of Events

Film Screening of “Who Will Write Our History” in conversation with Dr. Stephenie Young

Stephenie Young is  a professor in the English Department and  research associate for the SSU Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Salem State  University in Massachusetts. She completed her M.A. and Ph.D. in Comparative Literature at the State University of New York, Binghamton and her B.A. in Art History from California State University, Long Beach. She has published widely in both national and international journals. Her forthcoming book, The Forensics of Memorialization, is  about the "forensic imagination," and how  traumatic material culture normally considered scientific evidence is used instead to create visual narratives that shape memory politics in post-conflict former Yugoslavia. With Paul Lowe (University of the Arts, London), she co-organizes the annual conference, Why Remember? Memory and Forgetting in Times of War and Its Aftermath, in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. With Dr. Liliana Gomez-Popescu she co-leads the Network for Aesthetic Ecologies comprised of architects, artists, curators and theorists based in Zurich and Lebanon. She has received numerous fellowships and grants to conduct her research on comparative genocide and aesthetics. In fall 2019 she was in Warsaw, Poland as a Senior Research Fellow at the Jewish Historical Institute to conduct research about the Ringelblum archive as part of a larger study about contemporary border politics, evidence and memory.

Please watch the documentary before October 22nd's conversation. The documentary can be accessed here anytime before then: www.tinyurl.com/hgidoc

The talk back will take place via google meets on Oct. 22nd at 7pm: www.tinyurl.com/hgitalkback

Support the Uyghurs and Stop The Genocide

An informational session on the Uyghurs. Please support the call for Uyghur abuses to be considered genocide. The Featured speaker will be Salih Hudayer, Founder and President of East Turkistan National Awakening Movement. The talk will be hosted and moderated by dr. Mehnaz M. Afridi, Director of HGI.

Please join us via live stream on our youtube channel at: https://tinyurl.com/uyghurhgi

Peter Hayes: “November 1938 as Turning Point”?

Please join us on November 12th, time TBD with Peter Hayes for our annual Kristallnacht Lecture and Frederick Schweitzer lecture. Peter Hayes is a professor of History and German at Northwestern University. He specializes in the histories of Nazi Germany and the Holocaust and, in particular, in the conduct of the nation’s largest corporations during the Third Reich.

Please register for the event via zoom webinar: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Af329oR_QfS8obrUUbtSrA

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