Gross Center Events, 2023 – 2024
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Rededication of the Ramapo Holocaust Memorial
November 8, 2023
View the Program
Coverage in The Ramapo News
Coverage in The Jewish Standard
In December 2022, the Student Government Association passed a unanimous resolution calling for improved lighting and signage for the campus Holocaust memorial, “One Man in Memory of Six Million” by Judith Peck (1973; retired Ramapo professor), donated to RCJN in 20210 by Yvonne Mannheimer-Lorber, in memory of the Mannheimer family.
Led by Ramapo Students, we rededicated the “One Man in Memory of Six Million” on Wednesday, November 8. We thank Arthur Barchenko, member of the Gross Center’s Advisory Board, for donating and designing the lighting. We thank Yvonne Manheimmer-Lober and Judith Peck for their inspiration. We thank Ramapo’s own CantaNOVA Singers and Ramapo Chabad’s Rabbi Chanoch Kaplan for their meaningful contributions to the ceremony.
The Gross Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies leads students, educators, and the regional public in exploring the histories, legacies, and lessons of the Holocaust and genocide. We implement innovative educational practices in the classroom, through our lecture and events series, and with locally rooted exhibits on and off campus. The Gross Center is committed to promoting interdisciplinary cooperation across the College, to establishing meaningful and lasting partnerships with community organizations, to expanding our international offerings and connections, and to centering Ramapo students in all endeavors. The Gross Center produces and disseminates new and vital scholarly knowledge in the field of Holocaust and genocide studies, including adjacent areas of inquiry such memory studies, legal and international affairs, and the study of racism, antisemitism, and other forms of bigotry.
Founded in 1980 as an independent non-profit organization to educate and interact with the northern New Jersey and Rockland County communities on the tragedy of Hitler’s war against the Jews and other genocides, the Center is now an integral part of Ramapo College. While it receives support from the College, most of the Center’s funding is from private donations. It is a member of the Association of Holocaust Organizations and the Consortium of Higher Education Centers for Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights Studies. The Center is also part of the network of similar organizations under the New Jersey State Commission on Holocaust Education.
Library and Collections
The Gross Center maintains a growing collection of books and other materials pertinent to research and teaching in our fields of Holocaust and genocide studies. A complete listing of our resources may accessed here. Our stacks are located in front of the Special Collections Reading Room, which houses the Gross Center, on the second floor of the George T. Potter Library. (Additional materials of interest, which do not belong to the Gross Center collection, are available in the general stacks and are shelved according to their call numbers.)
Director: Jacob Ari Labendz, PhD
About the Director
Jacob Ari Labendz directs the Gross Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies. He teaches courses in related topics, as well as Jewish studies. He holds a Ph.D. in history from Washington University in St. Louis. Dr. Labendz writes about the history of Jews in and from Central Europe in the twentieth century and contributes to scholarly discussions of nationalism, Cold War governance and politics, contemporary antisemitism, Holocaust memory, and Jewish food cultures. In addition to a number of articles and reviews, he published two edited volumes, Jewish Veganism and Vegetarianism: Studies and New Directions with Shmuly Yanklowitz (SUNY, 2019) and Jewish Property after 1945: Cultures and Economies of Ownership, Loss, Recovery, and Transfer (Routledge, 2017). He is currently collaborating with Rebekah Klein-Pejšová on an edited volume focused on the movement and meetings of Jewish people and artifacts across Cold-War boundaries. Dr. Labendz is passionate about integrating Holocaust and genocide studies into curricula and cocurricular activities across Ramapo College, and to serving the northern New Jersey and southern New York region.
Peter Safirstein, Esq., Chair
Lauren Gross, Vice Chair
Bella Apgar, Student Representative
Arthur Barchenko, Tamara Berman, Christina Connor, Assessment & Instruction Librarian, Roger Gross, Leah Kaufman, Tanya Mayer, Stanley Richmond, Dr. Rebecca Root, Professor of Political Science, Dr. Sharon Rubin, Professor Emerita of Ramapo College, Robert Sek, Linda Sokolski, Colleen Tambuscio, Ani Tchaghlasian, and David Terdiman, Assistant Vice President Institutional Advancement
Ex Officio: Dr. Michael Middleton, Provost; Dr. Susan Hangen, Interim Dean of the School of Humanities and Global Studies
The Clara and Morton Richmond Scholarship offers support to students either minoring in Human Rights and Genocide Studies or majoring in International Studies. The Gross Center supports these programs with its events and courses.
Please join us in congratulating the 2023-2024 scholarship winners.
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