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Auschwitz: Remembering Our Ways Forward

Presented by The Sheen Center and the Museum of Jewish Heritage

Sunday, January 26, 2020 @ 3PM


In collaboration with the Museum of Jewish Heritage, The Sheen Center presents Dr. Robert Jan van Pelt, one of the main authorities on the camp and the curator of Auschwitz: Not Long Ago. Not Far Away exhibit at the museum. Dr. Van Pelt will speak about his curation of this very timely exhibit, the largest and most comprehensive of its kind.

The talk will be followed by a conversation with Dr. Van Pelt about the exhibit and the recent rise of anti-Semitic attacks, moderated by Rabbi Joseph Potasnik. Musicians Vitor Gonçalves (accordion) and Sam Sadigursky (clarinet) will provide a musical interlude after the talk and the event will end with an audience Q&A.


“Anti-Semitic attacks are on the rise around the country, leaving members of the Jewish community feeling frightened and unsafe. In New York City, anti-Semitic crimes have jumped 21 percent in the past year. According to the Anti-Defamation League, there were 1,879 incidents of anti-Semitism in the United States in 2018, including more than 1,000 instances of harassment.” – The Washington Post, December 29, 2019

Rabbi Joseph Potasnik is the Executive Vice President of The New
York Board of Rabbis, the largest interdenominational rabbinic body in the
world. Presently Rabbi Emeritus, he has been the spiritual leader of
Congregation Mount Sinai in Brooklyn Heights since 1972. A Chaplain of the New
York City Fire Department and a former member of the New York Human Rights
Commission, Rabbi Potasnik is committed to ensuring the security of all Jewish
people and to combatting the violence plaguing this country.


Dr. Robert Jan van Pelt is one of the main authorities on the history of Auschwitz. From 1997-98, he presided over the team that developed the master plan to preserve the Auschwitz camp and participated as an expert witness in the famous case against the British historian and author David Irving (London, 1998-2001), a Holocaust denier. Dr. Van Pelt, born in Haarlem (Netherlands), has published widely on the camp, including the award-winning Auschwitz, 1270 to the Present (1996) and The Case for Auschwitz (2002). Throughout his career, he has served as a historical advisor on films such as Auschwitz: The Nazis and ‘The Final Solution’ (2005) by Laurence Rees, and co-curated The Evidence Room, exhibited at the Venice Biennale in 2016

Sam Sadigursky (clarinet) lives in New York and likes to play with people like Fred Hersch, Brad Mehldau, Darcy James Argue, Matt Mitchell, Pablo Mayor, Jamie Baum, Gabriel Kahane, Lucia Pulido, and many others. He’s released four albums of his own music for New Amsterdam Records, a collaborative album with Laurent Coq called Crosswords, and Follow the Stick for BJU Records. He was recently named a Rising Star on clarinet by Downbeat Magazine, and was most recently the onstage clarinetist for the Broadway show The Band’s Visit, which won ten Tony Awards and the Grammy for their cast recording.

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