Holocaust, Genocide and Interfaith Education Center to Commence Spring Semester with New Events

Spring semester programming begins on Feb. 13 with activist and scholar Alan Richard.

This spring, Manhattan College’s Holocaust, Genocide and Interfaith Education (HGI) Center will host five events on campus throughout the semester. The programming will commence with guest speaker Alan Richard, Ph.D., a progressive religious organizer, activist and writer for the nonprofit group Realistic Living, on Wednesday, Feb. 13 at 4 p.m. in the Alumni Room of the Mary Alice and Tom O’Malley Library. The other four lectures will occur on April 4, 10, 17 and 25.

On Feb. 13, Richard will present a discussion on The Importance of New Religious Community at the End of Civilization: Looking Beyond Secularism and Religionism. In particular, his work concentrates on building networks of secular religious experimentation within existing traditions of religious practice.

“The HGI Center remains committed to the events this spring that encourage social justice, courage of survival and commemorating the Holocaust,” said Mehnaz Afridi, Ph.D., director of the HGI Center and assistant professor of religious studies at Manhattan College.

In addition, the rescheduled fifth annual Frederick M. Schweitzer Lecture, The Kristallnacht in History and Memory, will be held on Thursday, April 4 at 7 p.m. in Smith Auditorium. Alan E. Steinweis, Ph.D., the Leonard and Carolyn Miller Distinguished Professor of Holocaust Studies and director of the Center for Holocaust Studies at the University of Vermont, will illustrate how the Kristallnacht fit into the unfolding anti-Jewish policies of the Nazi regime. He will further analyze how the event continues to loom so large in the collective memories of Jews, Germans and others.

The HGI Center also welcomes local New York City author Nina Wolff Feld on Wednesday, April 10 at 4 p.m. in the Alumni Room to discuss her book Someday You Will Understand: My Father’s Private WWII. Feld will tell her father’s story of running from the Nazis in Europe, and eventually becoming a solider in the U.S. Army.

In honor of Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, Afridi’s Religion and Holocaust class will commemorate victims on Wednesday, April 17 at 4 p.m. in the Alumni Room. The event includes telling the story of survivor Lily Margules, a former speaker of the HGI Center who passed away in 2012, and a discussion of class readings Night by Elie Wiesel and Survival in Auschwitz by Primo Levil.

The spring semester of programming concludes on Thursday, April 25 at 7 p.m. in Smith Auditorium with author Jasha Levi discussing The Last Exile: The Tapestry of a Life. Levi’s autobiography depicts his own experiences growing up in Europe during World War I and II in the midst of the Holocaust, and continues with his moving to the United States as an adult. The event is co-sponsored by Alpha Phi Delta (APD) and UNICO National, both Italian-American service organizations.   

All of the spring HGI Center events are open to the public. For questions, please contact Mehnaz Afridi by email at mehnaz.afridi@manhattan.edu or call (718) 862-7284.