The Jewish people are known as the People of the Book. When faced with extermination during World War Two, many Jews turned to their books — both sacred and secular — to resist the Nazis and derive strength. Other Jews turned to guns and grenades to fight their oppressors. In this course, we will study the varied approaches to Jewish resistance during the Holocaust. Who were the intellectual, spiritual, and military resisters, and why did they choose these methods of resistance? Topics covered include the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, the legal responsa of Rabbi Ephraim Oshry in Kovno, the fiery sermons of Rabbi Kalonymous Kalman Shapira in Warsaw, the Paper Brigade’s book smuggling efforts in Vilna, and the Oyneg Shabes collaborative team of historians and leaders documenting life in Warsaw.
*please note this class will not meet on October 25*
Pamela Brenner is an MSt candidate in Yiddish Studies at the University of Oxford and a Yiddish Translation Fellow at the Yiddish Book Center. She holds a BA in Yiddish Studies from Barnard College and is an alumna of the SKA Beit Midrash for Women at Migdal Oz. Pamela has taught at the Yiddish Arts and Academics Association of North America, the Kreuzberg Kollel of Berlin, the Community Beit Midrash of the Upper West Side, and the Oxford Jewish Congregation, among other institutions. Pamela was a two-time recipient of the Irene Kronhill Pletka Research Fellowship at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research and currently works as Managing Editor of Women on the Yiddish Stage, forthcoming from Syracuse University Press.
Rabbi Mendel Jacobson
Director, Truman Scholars Program