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By Michael Berenbaum

The tale of yank Jewry is inextricably entwined with the notable defeat of the Holocaust and the rebirth of the kingdom of Israel. in spite of the fact that, for Michael Berenbaum, and others of his iteration, whose grownup cognizance integrated the warfare in Lebanon and the Palestinian Uprisings, the story is extra anguished, for the Jewish individuals are now divided, doubtful concerning the implications of the previous and the course in their destiny. Berenbaum explores the Jewish id of this iteration, the 1st to mature after tragedy and triumph. He probes the Holocaust's impression on Jewish realization and the imprint of yankee tradition on Jewish identification. tough Zionism's traditional assumptions, he info American Jews' altering courting to Israel as he examines the tensions created inside Jewish culture among a historical past of victimization and the empowerment of Jews. whereas demonstrating that the safety of victory is one step from the affliction of sufferers, even if the victors have lately emerged from the fireplace, Berenbaum holds out the desire of liberation for Judaism, retaining that 5 thousand years of heritage, with its bankruptcy of Holocaust and empowerment, offer a distinct starting place upon which to construct a destiny. Michael Berenbaum is Hymen Goldman Professor of Theology at Georgetown collage and undertaking Director of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC. he's the writer or editor of numerous books, together with The imaginative and prescient of the Void: Theological Reflections at the Works of Elie Wiesel and The Holocaust: non secular and Political Implications (with John Roth).

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This was not the first gathering of Jewish Holocaust survivors. Two years earlier, 5,000 people from fourteen different countries came to Jerusalem. 12 When meeting in Washington, by contrast, the survivors were surrounded by other national shrines - the Capitol, the White House, the Washington Monument, Arlington Cemetery, the Lincoln and Vietnam memorials. Much to the surprise of the survivors themselves, America became the dominant theme of the conference - or at least the survivors' unique sense of America.

When survivors gathered in Jerusalem, they came as pilgrims to add their experience to the Jewish national saga, to which they 10 I. THE HOLOCAUST IN CONTEMPORARY AMERICA felt inextricably connected. When they came to Washington, they offered their experience as part of the American drama, to which they also belonged. A second example of Americanization of the Holocaust has occurred in high school classrooms. In 1979—81, a team of educational researchers, psychologists, historians, and sociologists worked on a study of four different Holocaust curricula — material developed by teachers and students in Great Neck, New York; Brookline, Massachusetts; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and New York City, along with the written curricula of several other cities.

Two examples may prove instructive. In 1983 the American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors brought more than 20,000 people to Washington for a three-day conference - the largest single sustained assembly in American Jewish history. The Gathering was convened on the fortieth anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising to counteract the widespread and painful perception that Jews went compliantly to their deaths - like sheep to the slaughter - and to give new meaning to the word "resistance": redefined as armed and spiritual.

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