"The Routledge History of Antisemitism" at the New York Jewish Book Festival
1:00 PM ET | 10:00 AM PT
In-person and online
Museum of Jewish Heritage
Edmond J. Safra Plaza
36 Battery Place
New York, NY 10280
As anti-Jewish rhetoric and violence have increased around the world over the last few years, so too have scholarly approaches that aim to raise awareness around the expressions and dynamics of antisemitism. The newly published volume, The Routledge History of Antisemitism, offers a sweeping view of antisemitism, tracing how this ancient bigotry shapeshifts across cultures, from the Bible to TikTok.
Join USC Shoah Foundation and the Museum of Jewish Heritage for a panel discussion with the book’s editors, who will reflect on how a deeper understanding of the history of antisemitism can help us counter it today.
Dr. Robert J. Williams, Finci-Viterbi Executive Director, USC Shoah Foundation and Advisor, International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance
Dr. Mehnaz Afridi, Professor and Director, Holocaust, Genocide and Interfaith Education Center, Manhattan College
Jim Wald, Associate Professor of History at Hampshire College
Mark Weitzman, Chief Operating Officer, World Jewish Restitution Organization
Moderated by Laura Adkins, Opinion Editor at The Forward
This event is held in partnership with the Museum of Jewish Heritage.
Dr. Robert Williams is the Finci-Viterbi Executive Director of the University of Southern California Shoah Foundation. In addition, he is an Advisor to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), UNESCO Chair on Genocide Education, and on the steering committee of the German and US government-funded Global Task Force Against Holocaust Distortion. Previously, he was deputy director for international affairs at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, deputy head of scholarly initiatives at the museum, a member of the US delegation to the IHRA, and the long-time chair of the IHRA Committee on Antisemitism and Holocaust Denial.
He has played several leadership roles in international initiatives focused on Holocaust, antisemitism, and extremism issues. Robert regularly advises international organizations and governments on these and related topics, has led major initiatives on access to archives, and helped establish the US-German government dialogue on Holocaust issues. His research specialties include German history, US and Russian foreign policy, propaganda and disinformation, and contemporary antisemitism. He recently completed a co-edited, 40-chapter volume for Routledge on the history of antisemitism and is preparing a separate monograph on the political and cultural rehabilitation of perpetrators of the Holocaust and other mass atrocity crimes.
Dr. Mehnaz Afridi is Professor of Religious studies and Director of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Interfaith Education Center at Manhattan College. She teaches courses on Islam, the Holocaust, Genocide, comparative religion, and Feminism. Her book Shoah through Muslim Eyes (Academic Studies Press, 2017) was nominated for the Yad Vashem International Book Prize for Holocaust Research and the Jacob Schnitzer Book Award. She is currently working on a book, The Wounded Muslim, (Lexington Books, forthcoming) and a co-edited book on “International Approaches to the Holocaust”, (Nebraska University Press, forthcoming). In 2019 she was awarded the Costello Award for teaching excellence in the School of Liberal Arts at Manhattan College.
Dr. Afridi obtained her Ph.D. from University of South Africa, her M.A. and B.A. from Syracuse University.
James Wald teaches history at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts. His interests include modern European cultural history; the history of the book and literary life; Nazism and antisemitic and racist ideologies; historic preservation. He also teaches summer field courses in Prague and Kraków devoted to history and memory.
He served for fifteen years on the executive council of The Society for the History of Authorship, Reading, and Publishing (SHARP), the leading global organization devoted to the history of the book, and organized its 2019 international conference on Indigeneity and Migrations of the Book. He is currently the chair of the board of directors of the Massachusetts Center for the Book, an affiliate of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. He has also served as chair of the Amherst Historical Commission and president of the Amherst Historical Society and Museum.
Among his research areas related to antisemitism are: the survival of Christian supersessionist thinking in secular modernity, and the evolution of the Khazar myth. His current research project is a book on antisemitism in the Polish Army-in-Exile in Britain during the Second World War.
Mark Weitzman is Chief Operating Officer for the World Jewish Restitution Organization where he plays a leading role in the organization's advocacy and negotiations efforts to recover Jewish properties in Europe in pursuit of a measure of justice for Holocaust survivors, their families, and Jewish communities.
Previously he was Director of Government Affairs for the Simon Wiesenthal Center and is also Chief Representative of the Center to the United Nations in New York. He is a member of the official US delegation to the International Holocaust Remembrance Authority(IHRA) where he chaired the Committee on Antisemitism and Holocaust Denial and is currently chairing the Working Group on Holocaust Museums and Memorials. Described by the London Jewish Chronicle as “the architect” of IHRA’s 2016 adoption of the Working Definition of Antisemitism (which is the first definition of antisemitism with any formal status) he was also the lead author of IHRA’s Working Definition of Holocaust Denial and Distortion which was adopted by the 34 member countries of IHRA in 2013. Mr. Weitzman is a participant in the program on Religion and Foreign Policy of the Council on Foreign Relations, served as a member of the advisory panel of Experts on Freedom of Religion or Belief of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), and co-chaired the Working Group on International Affairs of the Global Forum on Antisemitism. He currently serves as Vice-President of the Association of Holocaust Organizations and was a member of the advisory board of the Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy at Yale University as well as a longtime member of the official Jewish-Catholic Dialogue Group of New York. In 2019 he was invited to be one of the founding board members of the International Organization of Antisemitism Research, the first academic society for the interdisciplinary study of antisemitism.
Laura E. Adkins is an award-winning writer, editor, and speaker based in New York. She is the Opinion Editor of the Forward and a volunteer mentor-editor for the OpEd project. Laura’s writing on antisemitism, Orthodox Judaism, data, and gender has appeared in The Washington Post, The New York Times, the Los Angeles Review of Books, Glamour, and other outlets. She was previously an adjunct instructor of journalism at Yeshiva University’s Stern College, an inaugural member of the Shalom Hartman journalism cohort, the Opinion Editor of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, the editor of Jewish Insider, and an assistant blogs editor at The Times of Israel. Laura is a frequently requested speaker and leads hands-on writing workshops for a variety of organizations and nonprofit groups.