Hadassah-Brandeis Institute

The Holocaust Research Study Group

The Holocaust Research Study Group (HRSG) is a multi-disciplinary group of women scholars actively working on individual Holocaust related projects.  Our members include a journalist, a prose writer, a public artist, a poet, a fine art photographer, a sociologist, a public health professor, and a film-maker.  The HRSG provides constructive, feminist-based critiques of each individual’s work-in-progress, as well as in-depth discussions of overarching themes and questions relating to the Holocaust including how gender affects evolving Holocaust narratives as well as the methodology, process, and product of individual projects.  The group holds annual public events at Brandeis University sponsored by HBI to engage Brandeis University participation and initiate a wider national and international dialogue on the ongoing impact of the Holocaust and its relationship to contemporary issues.

Black and white photos of family members including men, women, children and a baby

Now I know their names: Family members murdered in the Holocaust

Photo Credit: ©Karin Rosenthal 2023

Holocaust Research Study Group Events

An old and knotted olive tree with leaves

Oldest Olive Tree, Mount of Olives, East Jerusalem. Photo 1898

Photo Credit: Penta Springs Limited/ Alamy Stock Photo. Design by Karin Rosenthal

Listening to History: Memory of the Holocaust and Competing Narratives of the Israel/Palestine Crisis

May 6, 2024

HBI’s Holocaust Research Study Group commemorated Holocaust Remembrance Day, Yom HaShoah with a panel focusing on how the memory of the Holocaust exists in complex personal and political conversations surrounding the contested narratives of Israel/Palestine, the Gaza War, and its repercussions. 

Two presentations were offered prior to a panel discussion by members of the Holocaust Research Study Group:

Sarah Silberstein Swartz, “How I Learned to Listen to the Other Side: A Personal Reflection on the Israel/Palestine Conflict”

Laurel Leff, “How Not to Learn from History: The Holocaust in Press Coverage of the Gaza War”

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A collage of black and white photos of family members of Karin Rosenthal

Now I know their names: Family members murdered in the Holocaust.

Photo Credit: ©Karin Rosenthal 2023

Torn Fabric: Loss, Gender and the Holocaust

October 11, 2023

Six members of the HBI Holocaust Research Study Group (HRSG), Ornit Barkai, Debra Kaufman, Laurel Leff, Rachel Rapperport Munn, Karin Rosenthal, and Sarah Silberstein Swartz, discussed aspects of their own work that intersect with the themes of the HBI art exhibition, Lives Eliminated, Dreams Illuminated. 

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Students standing in front of the Austrian Parliament in the rain, several holding umbrellas, reading from papers

Students rally at the Austrian Parliament in 2014 to read archived testimonies of Nazi atrocities written by Austrian victims from 7 different victim groups. From Karen Frostig's "The Vienna Project" (theviennaproject.org).

Photo Credit: Karin Rosenthal

Passing On, Not Passing Over: Intergenerational Memory of Holocaust History

April 18, 2023

An Annual Virtual Public Event for Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day 

How do we engage with the memory of Holocaust history and understand its relevance for succeeding generations?  

Our panel consists of a multidisciplinary group of eight women – two writers, a public artist, a sociologist, a journalist, a fine art photographer, a documentary filmmaker and a professor of public health in Germany. This panel of “second generation” speakers (the generation born after the Holocaust) will engage with multiple themes of intergenerational memory of Holocaust history, including a gendered viewpoint.  A “third generation” panel of undergraduate and graduate student participants has been invited to explore and articulate, in their own words, their thoughts on the importance of sustaining Holocaust memory.

2023 HBI Holocaust Research Study Group: Presenters, Titles, and Presentations

2023 HBI Holocaust Research Study Group: Student Panel Bios

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Women’s Voices and the Holocaust: How Stories are Told

April 28, 2022

A panel discussion with presentations by eight women scholars, artists, and writers in honor of Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Who, from the past and in the present, gets to tell narratives about Holocaust history and its significance? A gender perspective broadens our understanding and awareness of the Holocaust to include women’s lives, actions, and heroics. The focus on women’s voices and how stories are told informs this event and will initiate a dialogue about Jewish history, gender studies, the Holocaust, and our world today.

2022 HBI Holocaust Research Study Group: Presenters, Titles, and Presentations

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