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(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)September 8, 2011

(MAHWAH, NJ) – Elissa Bemporad, the Jerry and William Ungar assistant professor of History at Queens College of the City University of New York, will speak at Ramapo College of New Jersey in October under the auspices of the Gross Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies and History Club of Ramapo College.

Bemporad will discuss “The Blood Libel and Soviet Anti-Semitism.”

The blood libel dates from medieval times and deals with the blatantly untrue and defamatory accusation that the Jewish religion calls for the periodic ritual consumption of the blood of Christians.  The accusation is intimately intertwined with the history of anti-Semitism.

Although we are well informed about the reappearance of the blood libel canard since the fall of Communism, we know little about how it manifested itself in Soviet times.
At least until the late 1930s, anti-Semitism was actively combated, although the war, Nazi occupation, the last years of Stalinism, and support for the Arab side in the Middle East conflict eventually led to its resurrection.

Bemporad, who last spoke at the College in February 2010 on “Nazi Germany and Anti-Semitic Poland Through the Eyes of Soviet Jews,” holds a MA in Slavic studies from the Faculty of Humanities at Bologna University, a MA in Modern Jewish Studies from the Graduate School of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, and a Ph.D. from the Department of History at Stanford University. Her book Becoming “Soviet Jews: The Bolshevik Experiment in a Jewish Metropolis, Minsk 1917-1939,” will soon be published by Indiana University.

Bemporad will speak on Thursday, October 6 at 1 p.m. in the Robert A. Scott Student Center, Alumni Lounge (SC-138). The presentation is free and open to the public.  For more information or to reserve a seat, please call 201.684.7409.

For media inquiries, contact Anna Farneski, assistant vice president, Marketing and Communications, 201.684.6844.


Ramapo College of New Jersey is the state’s premier public liberal arts college and is committed to academic excellence through interdisciplinary and experiential learning, and international and intercultural understanding. The College is ranked #1 among New Jersey public institutions by College Choice, has been named one of the 50 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America by CondeNast Traveler, and is recognized as a top college by U.S. News & World Report, Kiplinger’s, Princeton Review and Money magazine, among others. Ramapo College is also distinguished as a Career Development College of Distinction by, boasts the best campus housing in New Jersey on, and is designated a “Military Friendly College” in Victoria Media’s Guide to Military Friendly Schools.

Established in 1969, Ramapo College offers bachelor’s degrees in the arts, business, data science, humanities, social sciences and the sciences, as well as in professional studies, which include business, education, nursing and social work. In addition, the College offers courses leading to teacher certification at the elementary and secondary levels, and offers graduate programs leading to master’s degrees in Accounting, Business Administration, Creative Music Technology, Data Science, Educational Technology, Educational Leadership, Nursing, Social Work and Special Education, as well as a post-master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice.


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