Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Upcoming Online Fall Programs @ The Institute of Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Raritan Valley Community College 

Online Programs

Free and Open to the Public. 

Friday, September 17th, 10-11 am, on Zoom 

Online film presentation: From Swastika to Jim Crow

Join us online to view a timely documentary film, From Swastika to Jim Crow. This film tells the little-known story of Jewish professors and intellectuals who escaped Nazi Germany to the US in the 1930s. Confronted with antisemitism at American universities and public distrust of foreigners, they secured teaching positions at Traditionally Black Colleges in the then-segregated South. The complex interactions between these two groups are recalled through historic footage and moving firsthand testimonials by Black and Jewish scholars, activists, and artists. This program is co-sponsored by The Paul Robeson Institute for Ethics, Leadership, and Social Justice at RVCC.

Registration Link:

Friday, September 24th, 10-11 am, on Zoom

From Swastika to Jim Crow an Online Discussion with Dr. Lillie Edwards

This presentation, facilitated by Dr. Lillie Edwards,  broadens our understanding of the film previously presented, From Swastika to Jim Crow. This film tells the story of German-Jewish refugee scholars, who, expelled from their German universities by Hitler and the Nazis, found positions at Historically Black Colleges and universities in the American South. Dr. Edwards’s lecture will explore the international, national, institutional, and personal histories that connected Jewish refugee scholars and their families to Black college students, faculty, and communities; racial segregation and violence; as well as antisemitism in the U.S. and Europe. This program is co-sponsored by The Paul Robeson Institute for Ethics, Leadership, and Social Justice at RVCC. 

Registration Link:

Thursday, September 30th, 1-2 pm, on Zoom 

Online Presentation: Unpacking The Past with Silvia Foti and Grant Gochin

The Institute of Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Raritan Valley Community College is pleased to present Silvia Foti and Grant Gochin as they address Holocaust revisionism in Lithuania. Ms. Foti will share her family's history through her profoundly moving book, The Nazi's Grandaughter: How I Discovered My Grandfather Was a War Criminal. Ms. Foti and Mr. Gochin will discuss their efforts to expose the truth of what happened during the Holocaust in Lithuania. Q&A with the attendees will follow the presentation.

Registration Link:

Friday,  October 1st, 3-4 pm, on Zoom 

Unpacking The Past: The Number On Great-Grandpa's Arm, Online Film & Discussion

Discover the HBO documentary, The Number on Great-Grandpa’s Arm. This short family film introduces Holocaust history to a new generation. When 10-year-old Elliott asks his 90-year-old great-grandfather, Jack, about the number tattooed on his arm, he sparks an intimate conversation about Jack’s life that spans happy memories of childhood in Poland, the loss of his family, surviving Auschwitz, and finding a new life in America. Their tender exchange is woven with historical footage and hand-painted animation to tell a heartbreaking story of Jewish life in Eastern Europe before and during the Holocaust. Following the film, we will have a chance to hear from Elliot as he shares his thoughts about his Great-Grandfather and his decision to share his family story with the world. During the program, we will present a brief 18 min film.

Registration Link:

Friday, October 15th, 10-11 am, on Zoom 

Learning Through Experience Online: The Incredible Power of One

ONE PERSON CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE. Jeannie Opdyke Smith shares a powerful and riveting true story of one Polish gentile girl who changed the world for dozens of people during the Holocaust. Her mother, Irene Gut Opdyke, a nursing student when the Nazis invaded Poland, risked her life to save Jewish people during the Holocaust. Her story will be recounted by Jeannie as she discusses what we can learn from her mother's heroism. Our program will begin with the compelling story of survival from Holocaust Survivor Tova Friedman, originally from Poland and a child survivor of Auschwitz.

Registration Link:


Tuesday, October 19th, 1-2 pm, on Zoom 

The Early Warning Project for the Prevention of Genocide with Research Manager, Mollie Zapata

Can future genocides be prevented? The Early Warning Project assesses the risk of mass atrocities in countries around the world using state-of-the-art quantitative and qualitative methods and a range of widely available data. This presentation will give an overview of how the Early Warning Project produces its annual Statistical Risk Assessment and qualitative country reports. We will briefly discuss relevant cases happening in the world today and conclude with a discussion of what you can do to help prevent mass atrocities. This program is being Co-sponsored by The Paul Robeson Institute for Ethics, Leadership, and Social Justice at RVCC.

Registration Link:

Thursday, November 4th, 4-5:30 pm, on Zoom in Remembrance of Kristallnacht

Online Educator Workshop: Teaching Difficult Subjects Creatively Through Art

A picture is worth a thousand words. The “Light from the Yellow Star” Workshop was developed by Nancy Gorrell and Evelyn Rauch as part of the outreach program of the Holocaust Memorial and Education Center at the Shimon and Sara Birnbaum Jewish Community Center in Bridgewater. The workshop is designed to teach middle and high school students about the Holocaust using imagery and text to evoke a personal response to the lessons of the Holocaust. Evelyn Rauch will instruct the teachers step by step on how to teach this workshop to their own students. Teachers will each create artwork and participate in a discussion about its meaning. A list of materials and information about downloading the book will be provided after registration. This professional development program is free, on Zoom, and open to the public. (Recommended for Middle and High School Teachers, Grades 7-12) This program is being co-sponsored by The Holocaust Resource Center at Kean University.

To register, email

All of these programs are taking place online. They are free and open to the public. These programs are being co-sponsored by The Jewish Federation of Somerset, Hunterdon, and Warren Counties, The JCC Holocaust Memorial, and Education Center, & The New Jersey Commission on Holocaust Education. 

If you have any questions please email, Institute of Holocaust and Genocide Studies Program Specialist, Michelle Edgar at