Queens College hosts annual Kristallnacht commemoration

Queens College hosts annual Kristallnacht commemoration
From left, Arnold Franklin, Director Queens College Center for Jewish Studies; Noah Isenberg, Professor & Keynote Speaker; Félix V. Matos Rodríguez, President of Queens College; and Michael Resnick, President of Sinai Chapels (Photo by Leo Correa).

In the Sinai Chapel-sponsored presentation, Holocaust survivors and their family members lit remembrance candles in a commitment to combat anti-semitism.

This was Queens College’s annual Kristallnacht commemoration, presented by the Center for Jewish Studies at Queens College and Sinai Chapels of Fresh Meadows, to recommit to combating anti-Semitism and hatred.

The keynote address, “’Casablanca,’ the Refugee Question, and the Fateful Summer of 1938,” by Noah Isenberg, included clips from the popular film starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman.

The program, which was free and open to the public, included a candle-lighting ceremony with Holocaust survivors and family members of the subsequent generations. There was also a multicultural invocation and audiovisual and musical interludes, including performances by Townsend Harris High School students, and Sara Kahan, who performed the national anthem. 

Sinai Chapels President Michael Resnick was recognized for his many years of support of this event and the Center for Jewish Studies at Queens College.

Noah Isenberg is professor of culture and media and director of the Screen Studies program at the New School’s Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts in New York City. His latest book is “We’ll Always Have ‘Casablanca’: The Life, Legend, and Afterlife of Hollywood’s Most Beloved Movie.”

Isenberg is also the author of the critically acclaimed biography “Edgar G. Ulmer: A Filmmaker at the Margins,” and a recipient of grants and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Fulbright Commission, the International Research Center for Cultural Studies in Vienna, and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.

In aiming to be the premier community resource for Jewish intellectual endeavor in the Queens-Long Island area, the Center for Jewish Studies at Queens College has become one of the best-known in the country.

Through its outreach and research exploring the more than three millennia of Jewish civilization, the center bridges Queens College’s academic Jewish studies program and the community. Its attractive educational and spirited cultural programs on campus— lectures, symposia, conferences, film festivals, and artistic performances— are all open to the public, most at no cost.

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