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2017 Teachers Study

Refugees: World War II and Now

The Jewish-Christian Studies Graduate Program is pleased to invite educators and other interested individuals to the professional development study day, Refugees: World War II and Now.

The study day will offer five professional development credit hours to New Jersey educators.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017
9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Nursing Amphitheatre, Room NU113
Seton Hall University

In recent years the horrors of war and natural disasters have destroyed the life and livelihood of countless millions of people. Suddenly the survivors have become poor and homeless. This year's Teachers Study Day will examine the devastation wreaked upon those who survived World War II. Reviewing the history of Displaced Persons of that time, the presenters will deepen our awareness of the current situation of those who have fled from Syria, Iraq and other nations and will lead us to consider how this knowledge challenges us in 2017.


All are welcome and invited. Admission, including lunch is free, but you must register by March 1, 2017.

To RSVP, simply do one of the following:

  1. Fill out the form on the right, or
  2. Call Lawrence Frizzell by phone (973) 761-9751, or
  3. Email


Registration (8:30 - 9:00 a.m.)
Beck Rooms, ground floor of Walsh Library

Introduction (9:00 - 9:15 a.m.)
The Reverend Lawrence E. Frizzell, D.Phil., Associate Professor and Director, Jewish-Christian Studies Graduate Program and Director, Institute of Judaeo-Christian Studies, Seton Hall University

Presentation (9:15 - 10:30 a.m.)
Avinoam Patt, Ph.D., Maurice Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies, University of Hartford,
"No Place for the Displaced: The Jewish Refugee Crisis Before, During, and After WWII"

Break (10:30 - 10:50 a.m.)

Presentation (10:50 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.)
Avinoam Patt, Ph.D., Maurice Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies, University of Hartford,
"From Destruction to Rebirth: Holocaust Survivors and the Creation of the State of Israel"

Lunch (12:00 - 1:15 p.m.)
Dairy lunch

Workshops (1:15 - 2:45 p.m.)

  • Workshop 1: Avinoam Patt, Ph.D. - "Literature and the Holocaust"
  • Workshop 2: Monika Rice, Ph.D. - "Survivors and Holocaust Historiography in Israel: A Story of Awakening"
  • Workshop 3: Maria Biancheri, M.P.P. and Jessica Ramirez, Esq. - "Immigrants, Refugees, and Asylees: Myths, Facts, and Challenges"

Summary of Sessions (2:45 - 3:00 p.m.)

Distribution of Certificates (3:00 p.m.)

Speaker Bios

Avinoam Patt (Ph.D., New York University)

Dr. Avinoam Patt is the Philip D. Feltman Professor of Modern Jewish History at the Maurice Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Hartford, where he is also director of the Museum of Jewish Civilization. Previously, he worked as the Miles Lerman Applied Research Scholar for Jewish Life and Culture at the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM). Dr. Patt is the author of Finding Home and Homeland: Jewish Youth and Zionism in the Aftermath of the Holocaust; co-editor (with Michael Berkowitz) of a collected volume on Jewish Displaced Persons, titled We are Here: New Approaches to the Study of Jewish Displaced Persons in Postwar Germany; and is a contributor to several projects at the USHMM, including Jewish Responses to Persecution, 1938-1940. He is also director of the In Our Own Words interview project with the children and grandchildren of Holocaust survivors and most recently, is co-editor of an anthology of contemporary American Jewish fiction entitled The New Diaspora: The Changing Face of American Jewish Fiction. Dr. Patt is currently co-editing a new volume on The JDC at 100 and writing a new book on the early postwar memory of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.

Maria Biancheri (M.P.P., Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University)

Ms. Biancheri has worked for Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Newark for over ten years. At present she is the Senior Grants Specialist. Currently Ms. Biancheri is also assisting Catholic Charities in setting up a resettlement program for refugees from Syria, The Congo, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Jessica Ramirez, Esq. (J.D., Seton Hall University)

Ms. Ramirez is Chief Immigration Counsel and Division Director for Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Newark. She oversees their legal department of attorneys, staff, support services and all law office operations. Ms. Ramirez serves the immigrant community by preparing and delivering professional development presentations and workshops regarding the law and civil rights. She brings a wide ranging background in civil and criminal law to this work.

Monika Rice (Ph.D., Brandeis University)

Dr. Rice is an adjunct professor at Seton Hall University and at Gratz College in Philadelphia where she teaches courses on the Holocaust, Jewish-Christian relations and women's spirituality. Her articles, book chapters and reviews have been published (or await publication) in edited volumes and academic journals ( Yad Vashem Studies, Holocaust Studies, Polin, etc.), while her first book, "What! Still Alive?!" Jewish Survivors in Poland and Israel Remember Homecoming, will be published in the fall 2017 by Syracuse University Press. The book concerns the evolution of Holocaust survivors' memories of their first encounters with Polish neighbors after the war as recorded in immediate postwar testimonies.

This study day is sponsored financially by the New Jersey Commission on Holocaust and Genocide Education and Msgr. John M. Oesterreicher Endowment.

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