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America and The Holocaust: A Series of Colloquies

Wednesday, May 17, 2023 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm EDT

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Dr. Michael Berenbaum joins CWB for a groundbreaking look into the controversy surrounding America and the Holocaust.

Classrooms Without Borders is excited to offer the opportunity share our new series: America and The Holocaust: A Series of Colloquies.

The new PBS Documentary U.S. and the Holocaust has sparked debate over America’s response to one of the greatest humanitarian crises of the 20th century.

In each of our 6 part series Dr. Michael Berenbaum will explore this complicated debate.

Each session will feature an scholar whose work will shed new light on the topic and challenge us to reframe our understanding of the complex portrait of national inaction.

May 17th 2023 Session Featuring

A conversation between Michael Berlin and Michael Berenbaum

During the 1930s and 1940s there were a number of films depicting Hitler and the Nazi assault against the Jews – it was not yet called the Holocaust, in fact it was a “crime without name.” As part of our five part series on America and the Holocaust, we will consider the relationship between Hollywood and the Nazis as it shaped America’s understanding of the world across the Sea.

Michael Berlin, screenwriter and founder of the Jewish Film Festival of Orange County, CA.

Michael Berlin, Ph.D., associate professor of Screenwriting, Cal State Long Beach, screenwriter and producer, currently works for ABC and Wide World Disney. He has written and produced over 150 episodes of dramatic TV scripts ranging from award winning “Cagney and Lacy,” “Miami Vice,” “Quantum Leap,” “The Commish,” “Murder She Wrote,” and “Sisters” to Steven Spielberg’s “Earth 2” and Gene Rodenbury’s “Earth: Final Conflict.” Feature film credits include “Breaking Point,” “Gaudi,” “Robo Warriors,” and “Anguish,” the winner of 10 European awards including Best Picture at the Sitges Film Festival, Spain. A Ph.D. psychologist, he is a former associate professor of Psychology and Film and dean of Academic Affairs at the College of Developmental Studies in Los Angeles. He has been the host of Orange County’s University Synagogue Jewish Film Festival for 10 years, and is currently Adjunct Film Curator at the Bower’s Museum of Cultural Art.

Dr. Michael Berenbaum

Dr. Michael Berenbaum is a writer, lecturer, and teacher consulting in the conceptual development of museums and historical films. He is director of the Sigi Ziering Institute: Exploring the Ethical and Religious Implications of the Holocaust at the American Jewish University, where he is also a Professor of Jewish Studies.

He was the Executive Editor of the Second Edition of the Encyclopedia Judaica that reworked, transformed, improved, broadened and deepened, the now classic 1972 work and consists of 22 volumes, sixteen million words with 25,000 individual contributions to Jewish knowledge. For three years, he was President and Chief Executive Officer of the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation. He was the Director of the United States Holocaust Research Institute at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and the Hymen Goldman Adjunct Professor of Theology at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. From 1988–93 he served as Project Director of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, overseeing its creation. He also served as Deputy Director of the President’s Commission on the Holocaust, where he authored its Report to the President.

Berenbaum is the author and editor of twenty books, scores of scholarly articles, and hundreds of journalistic pieces. His most recent books include: Not Your Father’s Antisemitism, A Promise to Remember: The Holocaust in the Words and Voices of Its Survivors and After the Passion Has Passed: American Religious Consequences, a collection of essays on Jews, Judaism and Christianity, Religious Tolerance and Pluralism occasioned by the controversy that swirled around Mel Gibson’s film, The Passion. He was the conceptual developer on the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Educational Center and played a similar function as conceptual developer and chief curator of the Belzec Memorial at the site of the Death Camp. He is currently at work on the Memorial Museum to Macedonian Jewry in Skopje, the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum, and the Holocaust and Humanity Center in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Future Sessions in this Series:

  • June Guest COMING SOON!

Past Sessions:

  • January 18th 2023: A conversation with award winning filmmaker Pierre Savage on Varian Fry: The First American honored as a Righteous Among the Nations of the Earth by Yad Vashem for the rescue of a Cultural Elite in Vichy France 1940-1941.
  • February 15th 2023 featuring A Discussion Surrounding “Ben Hecht: The Legendary Writer Who Mobilized Hollywood on Behalf of the European Jews” Featuring: Rick Richman
  • March 15th 2023 Refuge Must Be Given, Eleanor Roosevelt and the Holocaust: Featuring: John Sears
  • April 26th 2023 Session Featuring: Charles Gallagher S.J., on Nazis in Copley Square

Thank you to our Partners


Founded in 1981 as a series of conferences on the Holocaust and its contemporary meaning, the Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Florida opened its current museum in 1986, founded by Holocaust Survivor and local philanthropist, Tess Wise. Located in Maitland, just outside Orlando, the Holocaust Center attracts visitors from around the world. Its mission is to use the history and lessons of the Holocaust to build a just and caring community free of antisemitism and all forms of prejudice and bigotry. The Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center will transform into the Holocaust Museum of Hope & Humanity, a lakefront museum in Downtown Orlando and the first-ever built from the ground up in partnership with the USC Shoah Foundation. To learn more about the Holocaust Center, visit www.holocaustedu.org.

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