Category Archives: Jewish Studies

Day of Remembrance 75th Anniversary Events: #NeverAgainIsNow

The annual Day of Remembrance commemorates the day in 1942 when President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, the authorization leading to the mass incarceration of around 120,000 Japanese American citizens in concentration camps during World War II, without due process of law. For this 75th anniversary year, our authors, publishing partners, and our campus, regional, and national communities are remembering and teaching about this important history and discussing the connections between Japanese American incarceration, the Holocaust, and civil rights and racism today.

The Day of Remembrance 75th Anniversary event tomorrow presented by the Nisei Veterans Committee, the Holocaust Center for Humanity, the UW Department of American Ethnic Studies, and the Consulate-General of Japan in Seattle features Lorraine K. Bannai (author of Enduring Conviction: Fred Korematsu and His Quest for Justice), Tetsuden Kashima (author of Judgment without Trial: Japanese American Imprisonment During World War II), and Dee Simon, Baral Family Executive Director of the Holocaust Center for Humanity. It is the first of three planned events in a Holocaust and Japanese American Connections series. For Sunday’s Day of Remembrance event, Never Again, Densho, CAIR-WA, and ACLU of Washington examine how this vital history relates to the struggle for civil rights today and explores how to prevent harassment and discrimination of American Muslims.

We hope you will join for these and other important events and discussions around the 75th anniversary of Executive Order 9066 and the Day of Remembrance. Remembering is resistance!

Events

FEBRUARY

February 18 at 1 p.m., Day of Remembrance 75th Anniversary, “How Could Concentration Camps Happen?” with Lorraine K. Bannai, Enduring Conviction, Tetsuden Kashima, Judgment without Trial, and Dee Simon, University of Washington, Kane Hall 120, Seattle, WA (Reception follows at 3:30 p.m. in the Walker-Ames Room of Kane Hall)

February 19 at 2 p.m., Never Again: 75th Anniversary of EO 9066, Presented by Densho in partnership with CAIR-Washington State and ACLU of Washington, hosted by The Seattle Public Library at Fisher Pavilion at Seattle Center with Elliott Bay Book Company, Seattle, WA (Livestream available; #NeverAgainIsNow)

February 27 at 6 p.m., Linda Tamura, Nisei Soldiers Break Their Silence, High Desert Museum, Bend, OR

MARCH

March 3 at 5 p.m., Lorraine K. Bannai, Enduring Conviction, Words, Writers, and West Seattle, Westwood Village Barnes & Noble, Seattle, WA

March 7 at 6 p.m., Noriko Kawamura, Emperor Hirohito and the Pacific War, Pritzker Military Museum & Library lecture and livestream (Turbulence in the Pacific: Japanese-U.S. Relations During World War I), Chicago, IL ($10; Free for members)

March 15 at 7 p.m., Linda Tamura, Nisei Soldiers Break Their Silence, with Sydney Blaine, Jack Sheppard, Joan & Dorothy Laurance, Sense of Place lecture series, Columbia Center for the Arts, Hood River, OR

March 27 at 7 p.m., Linda Tamura, Nisei Soldiers Break Their Silence, McMenamins History, Oregon Historical Society, and Holy Names Heritage Center, History Pub, Kennedy School, Portland, OR

2017 International Holocaust Remembrance Day

In November 2005 the United Nations General Assembly officially designated January 27 as International Holocaust Remembrance Day to honor the victims of the Holocaust and learn from the past in order to prevent future acts of genocide.

We remember the millions of Jews and countless other minorities that were killed during the Holocaust under the Nazi regime—and recognize that genocide and crimes against humanity start with words. There has never been a more important time to remember what happens if we stay silent in the face of hate speech and propaganda.

Below we feature a few of our most recent titles in Holocaust studies:

Losing Trust in the World: Holocaust Scholars Confront Torture
Edited by Leonard Grob and John K. Roth

The contributors to this volume use their expertise in Holocaust studies to reflect on ethical, religious, and legal aspects of torture then and now. Their inquiry grapples with the euphemistic language often used to disguise torture and with the question of whether torture ever constitutes a “necessary evil.” Differences of opinion reverberate, raising deeper questions: Can trust be restored? What steps can we as individuals and as a society take to move closer to a world in which torture is unthinkable?

Facing Death: Confronting Mortality in the Holocaust and Ourselves
Edited by Sarah K. Pinnock

What do we learn about death from the Holocaust and how does it impact our responses to mortality today?This volume brings together the work of eleven Holocaust and genocide scholars who address these difficult questions, convinced of the urgency of further reflection on the Holocaust as the last survivors pass away.

 

Also of interest:

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Three Voices: Talking about Interfaith Trialogue in the Wake of Paris and San Bernardino

In this guest post, John K. Roth, coeditor of Encountering the Stranger: A Jewish–Christian–Muslim Trialogue, discusses the importance of including Muslim voices in ongoing interfaith discussions, especially following the mass shootings in Paris and San Bernardino.

French philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy wrote in Vanity Fair last month that our troubled world needs “a Nostra Aetate for three voices.” That remarkable 1965 Catholic document, he rightly says, “marked the beginning of the end of Catholic anti-Semitism.” Fifty years on, relations between Christians and Jews are immensely better than they have been for centuries. As Lévy underscores, however, a third voice—Muslim—needs to be added more than it has been, and indeed more than ever, to the Christian–Jewish dialogue that continues to make valuable progress.

In the wake of murder committed in Paris and San Bernardino in the late autumn of 2015 by ISIS-instigated terrorists, widespread anti-Muslim campaigns inflame xenophobic fear and hateful acts of revenge. In the two weeks after the December 2 mass shooting in San Bernardino, at least three dozen threats and attacks against Muslim Americans and mosques in the United States have been documented by Oren Segal, director of the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism. How large that number will grow remains to be seen, but there can be no doubt that the imperative for Jews, Christians, and Muslims to stand together in solidarity that resists radicalization and its pervasive violence is ignored at humanity’s peril.

Good models for that solidarity exist. Some of them can be found in Encountering the Stranger. Convinced that the Holocaust, Nazi Germany’s genocide against the Jewish people, profoundly showed what can happen when individuals and religious traditions fail to regard the other as inviolable, the contributors to this book—six from each of the Abrahamic traditions—began their face-to-face work at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) in Washington, DC, where they explored how the Holocaust’s implications for interreligious engagement could advance understanding, cooperation, and mutual support among Jews, Christians, and Muslims. Obviously, this work took place before the mass killing in Paris and San Bernardino in late 2015, but the writers well knew that events of that kind could happen even as we tried to raise voices to prevent such atrocities.

At USHMM, minefields tested even the mettle of a group committed to Jewish–Christian–Muslim trialogue. Primarily provoked by interfaith disagreements about conflict in the Middle East and by intrafaith controversies concerning how a tradition’s scripture and teachings should be interpreted, unruly passions arose from time to time in our deliberations. But we were able to tame them, and our engagement encouraged friendship that has lasted far beyond our joint effort in producing a book. The reader will be the judge, but Encountering the Stranger offers reflection and insight that can encourage the steps that need to be taken to increase not only the safety and security but also the generosity and hospitality that mending of the world presently and urgently requires.

The Jewish philosopher Martin Buber wisely observed that “when a man is singing and cannot lift his voice, and another comes and sings with him, another who can lift his voice, the first will be able to lift his voice too.” As we head into 2016, the need is for three voices—Jewish, Christian, Muslim—to find ways to sing together in ways that lift each other and all of humankind.

John K. Roth is the Edward J. Sexton Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at Claremont McKenna College and coeditor with Leonard Grob of Encountering the Stranger: A Jewish–Christian–Muslim Trialogue (Stephen S. Weinstein Series in Post-Holocaust Studies). Roth’s latest books include The Failures of Ethics: Confronting the Holocaust, Genocide, and Other Mass Atrocities (Oxford University Press, 2015).