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Ramapo College and Purdue University Partner to Offer Scholarly Symposium

(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)October 3, 2023

The Gross Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Ramapo College and the Jewish Studies Program at Purdue University are proud to announce its first scholarly symposium, funded with generous support from the S. Rubenstein Family Foundation: “CONTACT: The Movement and Meetings of Jewish People and Artifacts across Cold-War Boundaries.” Scholars will discuss and offer suggestions for how to improve upon pre-circulated chapter drafts. The symposium will run October 9-11, 2023.

On Monday, October 9 at 6:00 p.m., acclaimed author and journalist, Ann Hagedorn, will deliver the keynote address for a scholarly symposium. Ms. Hagedorn will speak about her latest book, Sleeper Agent: The Atomic Spy in America Who Got Away (Simon & Schuster, 2021): Born in Iowa, schooled in science at Columbia University, and as American as baseball, George Koval was the ultimate secret agent. Because he had security clearances to the Manhattan Project, he was able to pass invaluable classified information that helped Soviet scientists produce an atomic bomb years earlier than US experts had expected. The FBI only identified him several years after he had returned to the Soviet Union, and in 2007, Vladimir Putin posthumously awarded him Russia’s highest civilian honor for his contribution to the Soviet atomic bomb program.

This event is free and open to the public. It will be held on campus in Friends Hall as well as online. To register, visit: Light refreshments will be served in Friends Hall.

Symposium Organizers

Jacob Ari Labendz, Ramapo College, NJ, USA

Rebekah Klein-Pejšová, Purdue University, IA, USA

Participating Scholars

Jonathan Dekel-Chen, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel

Brian Goodman, Arizona State University, AZ, USA

Anna Kawałko, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel

Shaul Kelner, Vanderbilt University, TN, USA

Boris Morozov, Tel Aviv University, Israel

Kunduz Niiazova, Tel Aviv University, Israel

Dora Pataricza, Åbo Akademi University in Turku, Finland

Anat Plocker, Stockton University, NJ, USA

Zohar Segev, University of Haifa, Israel

Paweł Sowiński, Polish Academy of Science, Poland

Jonathan Zisook, University of Pittsburgh, PA, USA

The symposium is the second in a two-part series, the aim of which is to publish an edited volume featuring contributions from the participants. The first symposium was held in May, 2022 at the Youngstown Historical Center of Industry & Labor (Steel Museum).

For more information about these events or the Gross Center, contact Director Jacob Labendz ( / 201-684-7409).


About Ramapo College

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 comprehensive college is situated among the beautiful Ramapo Mountains, is within commuting distance to New York City, was named one of the 50 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America by CondeNast Traveler, and boasts the best on-campus housing in New Jersey per 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, Applied Mathematics, Business Administration, Contemporary Instructional Design, Computer Science, Creative Music Technology, Data Science, Educational Leadership, Nursing, Social Work and Special Education, as well as a Doctor of Nursing Practice.


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