Holocaust, Genocide and Interfaith Education Center to Host Several Events During Spring Semester

Manhattan College’s HGI Center will focus on the Holocaust and its lingering effects throughout the 2015 spring semester.

The Holocaust, Genocide and Interfaith (HGI) Education Center at Manhattan College will host several events this spring, examining the history of Jewish people during and after World War II.

All events are free and open to the public:

  • Monday, Jan. 26, 4 p.m.: This event has been postponed due to inclement weather, and will be rescheduled for later in the semester. A first generation descendant of Holocaust survivors, Janet Pfeffer Vignola will deliver a lecture titled "The Story of Three Salt of the Earth Families Before, During and After the Holocaust." Vignola was born in England in 1945 and arrived in the U.S. shortly before she turned 3 years old. Currently an adjunct professor at William Paterson University, Vignola was a longtime middle school teacher in New Jersey.
  • Tuesday, Feb. 10, 6 p.m.: HGI director Mehnaz Afridi, Ph.D. will screen the film The Woman from Sarajevo, in partnership with the Manhattan College Film Society's week-long film festival on war and memory. After the film, Afridi will lead an open discussion on how the two families depicted struggled with the realities of war.
  • Monday, March 9, 4 p.m.: Sander L. Gilman, Ph.D. will discuss the topic "Is Antisemitism a Mental Illness?" A distinguished professor of liberal arts and sciences and professor of psychiatry at Emory University, Gilman is the author or editor of more than 80 books, including his most recent edited volume Judaism, Christianity, and Islam: Collaboration and Conflict in the Age of Diaspora.
  • Wednesday, March 25, 5:30 p.m.: A seder open to the local community will take place in Smith Auditorium. The seder is held in partnership with the Office of Campus Ministry and Social Action and SelfHelp Community Services.
  • Monday, April 13, 4 p.m.: Roger Grunwald, the son of a Holocaust survivor, will perform his one-man show, The Mitzvah Project, to commemorate Yom Hashoah, a day to remember victims of the Holocaust. A combination theatrical performance, history lesson and conversation, Grunwald will explore one of the most shocking aspects of the Jewish experience during World War II.

Founded in 1996, the HGI Center is committed to understanding and respecting differences and similarities between people of all religions, races, ethnicities and nationalities. For more information about the HGI Center's events, please contact Mehnaz Afridi, at (718) 862-7284 or mehnaz.afridi@manhattan.edu.

By Pete McHugh