Lecture: American Jews and the Civil Rights Movement
Date(s) - 07/23/2017
Congregation Bnai Israel
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Noted Historian to Speak at Bnai Israel on
Jewish Involvement in Civil Rights Movement
Dr. Stephen M. Berk, a history professor and former Chair of the History Department at Union College in Schenectady, will give a talk entitled “American Jews and the Civil Rights Movement” on July 23rd at Congregation Bnai Israel. The lecture is being sponsored by CBI member Andrew Sole in memory of his mother, Sheila R. Sole
Dr. Berk’s lecture will cover the topic in the latest book he is completing, Our People Are Your People: American Jewry and the Struggle for Civil Rights 1954-1965. That book looks at the American civil rights movement and the myths and misunderstandings that surround the relationship between Jews and African-Americans. Dr. Berk, a worldwide lecturer and widely quoted authority on a variety of Jewish historical subjects, including the Holocaust, Russia and the Middle East, is also the author of Year of Crisis, Year of Hope: Russian Jewry and the Pogroms of 1881-1882 (Greenwood Press, 1985). He is currently Union College’s Henry and Sally Schaffer Professor of Holocaust and Jewish Studies as well as Director of the Program in Russian and Eastern European Studies.
Professor Berk, known as a superb lecturer, has frequently been consulted by newspaper reporters and by TV and radio stations, including the BBC. In 1996 he received the prestigious Holocaust Memorial Award from the Holocaust Survivors and Friends Education Center. The citation accompanying the award stated: “On the 50th Anniversary of the end of the Nuremberg trials, the Holocaust Memorial Award honors Dr. Berk’s years of dedication to understanding and education as a world-wide lecturer and spellbinding speaker on the lessons of the Holocaust and its meaning for today.” He has also been a consultant to the Wiesenthal Holocaust Center in Los Angeles and in 1992 made a set of six hour-long audio-taped lectures on the Holocaust that have been sold across the country.