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April 28, 1997

Conference, ceremony, and evening performance all focus on the Holocaust

By Barbara McKenna

Two UCSC professors named as coholders of the Neufeld-Levin Holocaust Endowed Chair will be invested in a ceremony scheduled for May 4. The ceremony, a daylong conference, and evening events at Temple Beth El in Aptos have all been planned in conjunction with Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day). All events are free and open to the public.

Observances will begin at UCSC with an academic conference--"Family Histories and the Holocaust"--featuring leading Holocaust scholars from around the country. The conference takes place from 10 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. at Stevenson College.

Immediately following the conference will be an investiture ceremony for the chairholders--professor of English and comparative literature Murray Baumgarten and professor of history Peter Kenez (photos). The ceremony takes place from 4 to 4:30 p.m. in Stevenson Fireside Lounge. Chancellor Greenwood will invest the chairholders following comments by Rabbi Richard Litvak.

Observances will conclude with an evening of prayer, song, and performances at Temple Beth El in Aptos. The program features a performance of Father-Land by juggler, actor, comic, and writer Jeff Raz. His critically acclaimed one-man show concerns the long-term ramifications of the Holocaust.

The Neufeld-Levin Holocaust Endowed Chair was established in 1995 by Anne Neufeld Levin (photo), a resident of Santa Cruz and a trustee of the UC Santa Cruz Foundation. In addition to endowing the chair, she also donated a body of Holocaust-related materials to establish the Neufeld Family Archive. The archive includes family documents, medals, stamps, artifacts, photos, memorabilia, and letters, many of which document a personal history of the Holocaust. A former president of the UC Santa Cruz Foundation, Levin also established the annual Neufeld-Levin Holocaust Lecture Series in 1994.

In September 1996, Baumgarten and Kenez were named as coholders of the chair, a position they will hold for the next five years. For years, Kenez and Baumgarten have cotaught The Holocaust: The Destruction of European Jewry--one of the campus's most popular courses. During their tenure they will continue to teach the course in alternate years, will bring in visiting professors to teach undergraduate and graduate courses, will support a one-year graduate fellowship, and will host a conference on teaching the Holocaust.

For more information on the conference and investiture ceremony, call (408) 459-2696. For more information on temple events, call (408) 479-3444.

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