JTS Scholar Receives Prestigious Appointment

Press Contact: Nina Jacobson
Office: (212) 678-8950
Email: nijacobson@jtsa.edu

October 23, 2006, New York, NY

Dr. David G. Roskies, Sol and Evelyn Henkind Chair in Yiddish Literature and Culture and Professor of Jewish Literature at The Jewish Theological Seminary, has been selected as 2007 JB and Maurice C. Shapiro Senior Scholar–in–Residence at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. This prestigious appointment is based on the individual's body of work and contribution to the field of Holocaust studies.

An expert in the field of Eastern European Jewry, its achievements, its confrontation with modernity, its destruction and its living heritage, Dr. Roskies is a prolific author, editor, and scholar, publishing seven books and receiving numerous awards. In 1971, Dr. Roskies published Night Words: A Midrash on the Holocaust, one of the first liturgies on the subject ever to appear. Night Words has entered its fifth edition, has been translated into Hebrew, and recently has been reissued as an audio cassette. In 1975, he co–authored The Shtetl Book: An Introduction to East European Jewish Life and Lore, which went on to become a standard textbook. In 1984, Harvard University Press published his book Against the Apocalypse: Responses to Catastrophe in Modern Jewish Culture, and has since been translated into Russian and Hebrew. A companion volume, The Literature of Destruction, was published by the Jewish Publication Society in 1989.

Awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1985, Dr. Roskies began studying the modern Jewish return to folklore and fantasy. The fruits of his labor are The Dybbuk and Other Writings by S. Ansky (1992), and A Bridge of Longing: The Lost Art of Yiddish Storytelling (1995). This past summer, he taught at Tel Aviv University's first–ever summer program in Yiddish language and literature. In 1981 (with Dr. Alan Mintz), he co–founded Prooftexts: A Journal of Jewish Literary History, published by Indiana University Press, and has served since 1998 as Editor–in–Chief of the New Yiddish Library, published by Yale University Press.

During his tenure at the USHMM, Dr. Roskies will be working on his latest project, 1943: A World Jewish Reader, to be published by Yale University Press.

Editors/Reporters: To schedule an interview with Dr. Roskies, please contact Sherry S. Kirschenbaum in the JTS Department of Communications at (212) 678–8953 or email.

Founded in 1886 as a rabbinical school, The Jewish Theological Seminary today is the academic and spiritual center of Conservative Judaism worldwide, encompassing a world–class library and five schools. JTS trains tomorrow's religious, educational, academic and lay leaders for the Jewish community and beyond.

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