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'Jewish Refugees in Shanghai' Tells Story of Survival

For Jews desperate to flee the Nazi regime but barred from entry almost everywhere, Shanghai was the Last Place on Earth and a rescuing Noah’s Ark. Between 1933 and 1941, some 20,000 Jews, mainly from Germany and Austria, found a harsh but safe refuge in the Chinese port city, and a UCLA exhibit and symposium will bear witness to one of the rare Jewish experiences of the Holocaust era with a positive narrative. 

The Jewish Journal


Julie Kalmar: IS Student Curates Exhibit on Jewish Refugees in Shanghai

An exhibit currently on view through Dec. 14 at UCLA Hillel, tells the story of more than 20,000 Jewish men, women, and children who were shielded from persecution and death in the Holocaust by living in a “Designated Area for Stateless Refugees,” a one-square mile area in the Hongkou district of Japanese-occupied Shanghai. Among the photographs, documents, and other artifacts showcased in “Jewish Refugees in Shanghai (1933-1941),” are several other relics of this little-known chapter in history that bring the story closer to home, thanks to Julie Kalmar, a graduate student in the Department of Information Studies. 

UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Science


Jewish Refugees in Shanghai

Phil Blazer’s “Main Street” video coverage of UCLA Hillel exhibit of a “mystical and exotic piece of Jewish history” includes interviews with two former Jewish refugees in Shanghai. 

Jewish Life TV





Dr. Samuel Goetz, Promoter of Holocaust Studies and Friend of the Center, Dies at age of 85

The Jewish Journal

The Wall Street Journal

The Los Angeles Times


altJews in the other promised land: a story that UCLA helped the Autry tell

What does French stoneware from the 19th century have in common with the camera used to make Hollywood's first feature movie and a miniature etching bearing the well-known slogan, "War is unhealthy for children and other living things"? As random as they seem, all of these items help tell the story of Jewish life in Los Angeles.

The Autry National Center is recounting that tale through these and 150 other artifacts that document local Jewish history, and it is doing so with assistance from UCLA faculty, students, alumni and the university's extensive library system. 






Artists from inside the concentration camps

The Nazis gassed and murdered 1 million prisoners at the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp complex, but they could not kill the human urge to create and leave behind a sign of their existence for future generations.

Some 20 examples of the prisoners' artistic legacy are on display in the exhibition "Forbidden Art," continuing through Jan. 31 at UCLA Hillel and the neighboring St. Alban's Episcopal Church. 

Inmates' once-hidden artwork offers poignant look at concentration camp life

Imagine toiling in secrecy, trying to create a drawing on bits of toilet paper or using a nail sharpened on a piece of stone to carve a wooden sculpture from a chair leg. Then burying these artistic treasures in the hopes that someday, someone would dig them up and attempt to understand the circumstances under which they were created.

UCLA Today



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Jewish Studies Flourish in China
By David N. Myers

The last quarter century has witnessed a veritable explosion in the academic field of Jewish studies. During that time, Israel solidified its place as the global center in the field, while in the United States virtually every university and college of note has established its own program, center or chair. In these two venues, the growth of Jewish studies has been closely linked to the presence of Jews, though in the United States an increasing number of non-Jews have entered the field. In other parts of the world where the field of Jewish studies has been expanding, such as Germany, the field is populated almost exclusively by non-Jews.
Surely one of the most interesting sites of the new Jewish studies — and one of the most promising in terms of growth — is China. 
Jewish Journal



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UCLA Mapping Project Goes Back to the Future

When Todd Samuel Presner was “drilling down” through the history of Los Angeles, he noticed something unusual in a 1939 map of the city’s eastern part. In contrast to the surrounding areas, the entire Boyle Heights neighborhood was colored in red. To real estate agents and mortgage lenders, the “redlined” area was a clear signal that this was no place for upstanding citizens to purchase a home or get an easy loan. The warning signal came from the Home Owners’ Loan Corp., a federal agency established as a New Deal benefit… Jewish Journal

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Examining unconventional Judaism at UCLA

American Jewry is in transition, 20 speakers argued during “Looking for Judaism in [Un]Conventional Places,” a symposium at UCLA on Feb. 12-13. Scholars and academics discussed what Jews value, Jewish identity and which organizations are relevant today.
Shawn Landres, CEO of Jumpstart, set the tone early on Monday for the day’s presentations and panels, proclaiming the “era of consensus is over.”

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Holocaust Conference Probes Ethics, Honors Prof. Friedländer

What are the moral and artistic limits faced by a novelist, filmmaker, historian or artist in depicting the Holocaust?

Some of the leading thinkers on this often agonizing question will present their views at a UCLA conference, April 21-23, on “History Unlimited: Probing the Ethics of Holocaust Culture.” The occasion will also serve as a tribute to UCLA historian Saul Friedlander, who has retired as the first holder of the “1939” Club Chair in Holocaust Studies.



Foundation for Jewish Culture Honors David N. Myers

Professor David N. Myers, chair of the UCLA History Department and past director of the UCLA Center for Jewish Studies, was honored with a Foundation for Jewish Culture Jewish Cultural Achievement Award at a gala event on Sept. 25 featuring the Los Angeles premiere of Monajat by Composer and Singer Galeet Dardashti.



Digitizing cultural stories and histories

Two UCLA students mapped the lives of Holocaust survivors and put their results online.  Their project follows the lives of a married couple who traveled from Europe to Israel and eventually to the United States.  A viewer can zoom around the globe, following the couple’s journey and reading their story.

This was just one of the projects funded by the W.M. Keck Digital Cultural Mapping Program showcased at the Faculty Center on Monday.



Presner appointed new director of UCLA Center for Jewish Studies

Todd Presner, professor of Germanic languages and comparative literature, has been appointed the new director of the UCLA Center for Jewish Studies.
As director, Professor Presner will oversee one of the most active and diverse centers for Jewish studies in North America, with a robust annual schedule of more than 50 academic events..
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