This spring, we were pleased to celebrate the publication of new books by two Jewish Studies faculty members.
Jim Ross, Associate Professor of Journalism and a former director of Jewish Studies, has had a longstanding interest in the relationship between Jews and China. In 1994, he published Escape to Shanghai: A Jewish Community in China (Free Press), telling the story of Jews who escaped the Nazis and found refuge in Japanese-occupied Shanghai. Ross later became fascinated by the Chinese interest in Jews, despite the fact that there are very few Jews in China. The interest is reflected in the many Jewish Studies programs at Chinese universities and the dozens of Chinese-language books that focus on Jewish business and family practices. Together with Song Lihong, Professor of Jewish Studies in the Department of Religious Studies at Nanjing University, he has now co-edited The Image of Jews in Contemporary China: An Identity Without a People (Academic Studies Press). Chapters in the book include such topics as Chinese-Israeli relations, Chinese Jewish Studies programs, and the Jewish community of Kaifeng. An extensive excerpt from the book recently appeared in Moment Magazine.
Phil Brown, University Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Health Sciences, Director of the Social Science Environmental Health Research Institute, and member of the Jewish Studies Executive Committee, focuses much of his work on the interaction between the environment and health. Over the years, however, he has also found time to become one of the world’s foremost experts on the Catskills, serving as director of The Catskills Institute. Brown, who grew up in the region, published In the Catskills: A Century of Jewish Experience in “The Mountains” (Columbia University Press, 2002) and Catskill Culture: A Mountain Rat’s Memories of the Great Jewish Resort Area (Temple University Press, 2003) Now, with Holli Levitsky, he has co-edited Summer Haven: The Catskills, the Holocaust, and the Literary Imagination (Academic Studies Press). Contributors to the volume, most of whom spent time in the Catskills as young people, explore the experiences of Holocaust survivors in the Catskills through fiction and memoir. Summer Haven probes the contradictions between the Catskills “haven” and the horrors of the Holocaust.
Read the rest of the Spring 2016 Haverim Newsletter here.