Jewish Journal

Community Briefs

Posted on Nov. 1, 2001 at 7:00 pm

Spielberg Foundation Gives Grant

Steven Spielberg's Righteous Persons Foundation has given a grant of $100,000 to establish a continuing public lecture series on rescuers who braved large risks to save Jews and others during the Holocaust.

The grant, distributed over a five-year period, was awarded to the Rodgers Center for Holocaust Education at Chapman University in Orange, to honor the memory of Leopold "Paul" Page.

Page was one of the Jews saved by German entrepreneur Oskar Schindler. He repaid his benefactor by using his extraordinary powers of persuasion to convince Thomas Keneally and Fred Schepisi to write, and Spielberg to make, "Schindler's List."

Page, who died last March, was a founder of The "1939" Club, an organization of Holocaust survivors -- the formal title of the series is The "1939" Club's Leopold Page Righteous Rescuers Lecture Series.

The small, independent Chapman University, with close ties to the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), has one of the most active Holocaust education programs in the country.

The lecture series started in early October with a talk on American rescuer Varian Fry. On Nov. 27, author David Crowe will speak on "The Search for Oskar Schindler: One Historian's Journey."

For information, call (714) 628-7377.

--Tom Tugend, Contributing Editor

Chapman Remembers Jedwabne

Members of the general public are invited to join Chapman students, staff and faculty in journeying back in time to one of the most horrific and disturbing episodes of the Holocaust as Dr. Jan T. Gross speaks about the destruction of one Polish Jewish community.

Sixty years ago, the half-Jewish, half-Christian town of Jedwabne, Poland, imploded when the Christians murdered their Jewish neighbors. About 1,600 men, women and children were killed in the massacre.

Gross, a professor at New York University, has written a best-selling book on this horrific event. "Neighbors: The Destruction of the Jewish Community in Jedwabne, Poland" is a thought-provoking work that has stimulated worldwide discussion about how neighbor can turn against neighbor.

"We are fortunate to be able to host Dr. Gross -- perhaps especially during this period in American history, when so many of us are focused on the issue of what drives human beings to kill other innocent human beings," says Dr. Marilyn J. Harran, Stern Chair in Holocaust Education and director of Chapman University's Rodgers Center for Holocaust Education.

Educated at Warsaw University, Oxford University and Yale University, Gross has been a Senior Fulbright Research Fellow and a Fellow at the Hoover Institution for War, Peace and Justice at Stanford University. In addition to "Neighbors," he is the author of "Revolution from Abroad: Soviet Conquest of Poland's Western Ukraine and Western Belorussia" and co-editor of "The Politics of Retribution in Europe: World War II and Its Aftermath."

"From Neighbors to Victims: The Destruction of the Jewish Community of Jedwabne, Poland," will take place Monday, Nov. 5, at 7 p.m. in Argyros Forum 209 at Chapman University. It is the first event of the fall semester in The "1939" Club Lecture Series, sponsored by the "1939" Club, including Shoah Survivors of Orange County/Long Beach, one of the nation's largest and most active Holocaust survivors organizations. Admission is free. Parking is available in the university's parking structure on Sycamore Street.

For more information, contact The Rodgers Center for Holocaust Education at (714) 628-7377 or cioffi@chapman.edu. Or, visit the center's Web site at www.chapman.edu/holocaust .

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