Fall 2023

“Off the Grid: Passionate Abstractions – Gorky’s Dream Garden”

September 20th at 7:30pm in the Ciccone Theater

“Gorky’s Dream Garden,” a hybrid opera written and composed by Michelle Ekizian, will feature performances by musicians, artists, and dancers including 2023 Faculty mini grant recipient and organizer of the event, Lynn Needle, who will spotlight the life of Arshile Gorky and the Armenian Genocide. The event will pay tribute to Gorky, a founding father of American abstract expressionism and a child survivor of the 1915 Armenian Genocide, on the eve of Armenia Independence Day (September 21).

The theatrical event will take place Wednesday, September 20 at 7:30 p.m. in the Anna Maria Ciccone Theatre at Bergen’s main campus (400 Paramus Road, Paramus, New Jersey). General admission tickets are $10 ($5 for students) and available at tickets.bergen.edu or by calling (201) 447-7428.


Spring 2023

Bergen Union Debate: “Peace with Honor or Dishonorable Peace?”

March 8 from 11am-12:30pm in room C313

The year 2023 marks the 50th Anniversary of the Paris Peace Accords that ended the Vietnam War. Two years thereafter in 1975, Saigon fell and the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam) ceased to exist. Bergen historians Professors Keith Chu and Kil J. Yi will debate whether the Paris Peace Accords achieved a peaceful conclusion to America’s longest war or disguised a colossal failure. Prof. Chu will argue for the “Dishonorable” thesis and Prof. Yi will support the “Honorable” notion. Dr. Peter Dlugos of the Philosophy and Religion Department will serve as the moderator.

The US and the Holocaust: Old Debates and New Approaches

January 26  from 7-8pm on Zoom. To register for this event, please click here or use this URL:

An event to commemorate International Holocaust Remembrance Day with speaker Dr. Barry Trachtenberg. Co-sponsored with The Mercer County Holocaust, Genocide & Human Rights Education Center, William Paterson University, and Saint Elizabeth University

Barry Trachtenberg is Rubin Presidential Chair of Jewish History at Wake Forest University in North Carolina. He is the author of The Holocaust and the Exile of Yiddish: A History of the Algemeyne Entsiklopedye, The United States and the Holocaust: Race, Refuge, and Remembrance, and The Revolutionary Roots of Modern Yiddish, 1903-1917. He also serves on the Board of Scholars of Facing History and Ourselves.

Fall 2022

A screening of the documentary film Reckonings will be available to stream October 26- November 8.

Click Here to watch the film trailer

Click Here to stream the full documentary film anytime between October 26 and November 8.  The full film is 74 minutes long.

Reckonings was an official selection at the United Nations Association Film Festival in 2022 and is directed by award winning documentarian Roberta Grossman

It is the perfect film for any course or individual that wants to examine the topics of diplomacy, international law, US and World History, Reparations and Restorative Justice models, Holocaust and Jewish history, and questions of reconciliation.

In the aftermath of the Holocaust, German and Jewish leaders met in secret to negotiate the unthinkable – compensation for the survivors of the largest mass genocide in history. Survivors were in urgent need of help, but how could reparations be determined for the unprecedented destruction and suffering of a people? Directed by award-winning filmmaker Roberta Grossman, RECKONINGS is the first documentary feature to chronicle the harrowing process of negotiating German reparations for the Jewish people, which resulted in the groundbreaking Luxembourg Agreements of 1952. Filmed in six countries and featuring new interviews with Holocaust survivors, world-renowned scholars and dignitaries and the last surviving member of the negotiating delegations, the film powerfully models how political will and a moral imperative can join forces to bridge an impossible divide. By confronting the past, the German and Jewish leaders charted a better future for a desperate and traumatized people. Their actions led to the first time in history that individual victims of persecution received material compensation from the perpetrators.


Maud Dahme: A Hidden Child of the Holocaust shares her story

November 3 11:00 a.m.-12:15 p.m. in room S-138
An event to commemorate Kristallnacht

Maud Dahme, one of the hidden children of the Holocaust, will come to Bergen to share her story in person with our college community.

An estimated 1.5 million Jewish children were killed in the Holocaust. Only about 10% of the Jewish children in Europe survived the Nazi persecution. Many of these were “hidden children” who were kept hidden, often in non-Jewish homes. Maud Dahme was born in Amersfoort, Holland in 1936. In 1942, the Germans sent letters to all the Jewish families ordering deportation. Maud’s parents asked one of their Christian friends in the anti-Nazi Resistance to hide Maud and her sister Rita. After Liberation of Europe in 1945, Maud and her sister were reunited with their parents but their extended family had all died at the concentration camp Sobibor. Maud has shared her story of survival and the family who kept her hidden in a PBS documentary and at the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC and through her book, “Chocolate, the Taste of Freedom”.

Spring 2022

A Screening of the documentary film Who Will Write Our History and Q&A with filmmaker  Roberta Grossman

Streaming of the Film will be available from April 11-April 25

Click here to stream the film

The talk and Q&A by filmmaker Roberta Grossman will be virtual via Webex Monday April 25, 2022 12:30-1:30pm

Click here to join the Webex talk on April 25

In November 1940, days after the Nazis sealed 450,000 Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto, a secret band of journalists, scholars and community leaders decided to fight back. Led by historian Emanuel Ringelblum and known by the code name Oyneg Shabes, this clandestine group of journalists, scholars, and community leaders in the Warsaw Ghetto vowed to defeat Nazi lies and propaganda not with guns or fists, but with pen and paper. Now, for the first time, their story is told in the documentary featuring the voices of three-time Academy Award® nominee Joan Allen and Academy Award® winner Adrien Brody. Written, produced, and directed by Roberta Grossman and executive produced by Nancy Spielberg, WHO WILL WRITE OUR HISTORY mixes the writings of the Oyneg Shabes archive with new interviews, rarely seen footage and stunning dramatizations to transport us inside the Ghetto and the lives of these courageous resistance fighters. They defied their murderous enemy with the ultimate weapon – the truth – and risked everything so that their archive would survive the war, even if they did not.

Email Sarah Shurts sshurts@bergen.edu with any questions about the event

Fall 2021

Holocaust Survivor, Fran Malkin, Speaks (flyer) – virtually via Webex – Thursday 11/04/21  @11am  – 12 pm

Fran Malkin was born in Sokal, Poland in 1938.  In 1939, Russia occupied her town. Under Communist rule, her family’s properties were taken away and strangers occupied their home. In spring 1941, Germany invaded and occupied Sokal. They ordered all Jewish men between the ages of 16-60 to report to the town square. 400 Jewish men, including her father, were taken to a brick factory and shot. Fran was two years old.

The family was later forced into the ghetto. In the fall of 1942, the family went into hiding. They were among sixteen people who were hidden for two years in the hayloft of a barn by Francisca Halamajowa, 13 in the hayloft over the pigsty and 3 in a hole under her kitchen.  Watch Amazon movie trailor

view recording of Fran Malkin’s talk 


1-hour Webinars from echoesandreflections.org  – Register on their 2021 Registration calendar

Explore Virtual Holocaust events at Kean.edu  holocaust-resource-center-events


Spring 2021 (virtual events)

France Divided_ Understanding the WWII Occupation of Franceby Dr. Eileen Angelli co-hosted by Kean University Wednesday, April 28 @7pm – contact sshurts@bergen.edu for details

Holocaust Survivor Talks:

Holocaust Survivor, Bronia Brandman to speak for Yom HaShoah
Tuesday April 13, 2021 @11:30 -1:00pm   Register for webex JOIN link
Bronia Brandman was born into a family of six children in Jaworzno, Poland.  She was just eight years old when Book cover for "The Girl Who Survived"WWII broke out. She and her family were confined in ghettos, enslaved in labor camps, deported, and murdered. Ms. Brandman narrowly escaped the gas chambers at Auschwitz by running away from her assigned line and joining her older sister in another line. Her sister soon developed typhus, and the Nazis sent her to the gas chambers. Her parents and a brother were also deported to Auschwitz, never to be heard from again. Bronia remained at Auschwitz until January 1945, when she was forced on a death march. Though sick and delirious with fever, Ms. Brandman survived until liberation in May 1945. Today, she is a retired teacher and volunteer member of the Speakers Bureau of the Museum of Jewish Heritage, mjhnyc.org

Holocaust survivor, Erwin Forley,
to speak for International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Co-hosted by The Museum of Jewish Heritage, NYC. mjhnyc.org     view Event Poster International Holocaust Remembrance Day Zoom Event Header
Tuesday, January 26th  12:00pm


Dialogue for WomenPoster  Thursday March 25 – 12- 1:30 pm
Dialogue on Race –  Poster  Feb 25th
E-Board NIF Healthcare Discussion (SGA private event 6/18)


Fall 2020 (virtual events)

Holocaust Survivors Speak – in commemoration of  Kristallnacht

Sami returns to Bergen to tell his story of surviving the HOLOCAUST – November 9  Monday 11:00 – 12:30 pm – view the recording
PJR Speaker Sami SteigmannSami Steigmann  was born in 1939 in Bukovina, Romania. As a toddler Sami was subjected to cruel Nazi medical experimentation and starvation, in the Transnistria labor camp.  He suffered all of his life with chronic head, neck, and back pain.  His life was saved by a German woman who had access to the camp.  

Virtual Dialogue Series

Join us in an open dialogue. Listen to multiple, diverse perspectives that allow us to address racism in our society. Advanced sign-up required – Email Cristina Haedo, Facilitator, Student Services Counselor, chaedo@bergen.edu.

  • Racial Justice and Policing –  Tuesday, November 10, and Thursday November 12.
  • Identity -What’s your Story? Tuesday, October 13 and Thursday, October 15, 12 -1:30 pm
  • The Golden (Platinum )  Rule – Listen to Golden Rule Rap song
    Tuesday, October 20 and Thursday, October 22, 12 – 1:30 pm

Faculty should also explore opportunities for Dialogues from our partner at Facing History

Spring 2020

  • Annual Prahkin Literary Awards Ceremony – Wednesday, 1/29, 6:30pm, TEC-128
  • Women’s History Book and Brunch: Women and War – 3/19
  • Literary Arts Series: Author’s on War – 3/24
  • Holocaust Commemorative Speaker, Paul Galan, Survivor – Thursday 4/02, 11am-12:30pm, C-211
    Paul Galan was born in Czechoslovakia. He and his family were fortunate to survive the Holocaust through a series of unusual circumstances and good luck. He will share his unique story of survival. Despite the separation of his siblings, and family members sent to concentration camps, all of his immediate family miraculously survived and were reunited at the end of the war.

Fall 2019

  • No Man’s Land: Dialogues on the Experience of War – series of 3 weekly sessions beginning November 11 – S-134 – 6:30 pm. co-hosted by BCC’s Center for Veterans and Military Affairs.


  • Dr. Waitman Beorn, Holocaust historian from Northumbria University in England will be speaking over Skype at the Meadowlands – Nov 19, 11:45-1pm.
  • Women’s Experiences during the Rwandan Genocide – Dr. Sara Brown – December 10, 2019 – 11:45am Room 5 Meadowlands
  • Injuries of Reconciliation: Being an Armenian in Post-Genocide Turkey – Wednesday, November 6, 2019 – 7 pm – A-104
    Dr. Melissa Bilal, a native of the Istanbul Armenian community, will share her research from three generations of genocide survivors who continued living side-by-side with the people who murdered their loved ones, as well as survivor families of the 1930s’ Armenian exodus from the village of Burunkışla. Dr. Bilal will share how songs and stories were used as means of transmitting memories within a framework of forgiveness and reconciliation.
  • NIGHTINGALES, True Stories of Escape, Hope and Resilience – Mimi Melkonian, author. Wednesday, October 2, 2019, 7 p.m. – A-104
    11 million Syrians have been forced to flee their homes as a result of civil war. Melkonian profiles 16 inspiring migrants, including artists, musicians, intellectuals, and entrepreneurs, who left their homes and family, knowing they may never return.

Spring 2019

“No Man’s Land: Dialogues on the Experience of War” – series of 3 open sessions from 6 – 8 pm – C325. co-hosted by BCC’s Center for Veterans and Military Affairs.  Read: news.bergen.edu/100k-grant-spurs-programs-for-military-veterans 

Holocaust Remembrance – April 2019
co-sponsor: NJ Commission on Holocaust Education

  1. Monday, April 1, 11 am – 12:30 pm – TEC-128 – Iris Dorbian: INTERGENERATIONAL TRAUMA: Struggling With a Painful Legacy – In the Aftermath of the Camps.  As the daughter of Holocaust survivors. Iris speaks about her father’s Holocaust experiences and the effects his trauma had on her and her family. Hirsh Dorbian was 11 years old, when he and his family were arrested and separated. He spent six months following his liberation in a displaced persons camp, and a lifetime deeply traumatized.
  2. Wednesday, April 3, 11 am- 12:30 pm TEC-128 – HOLOCAUST Survivor Hidden Child in France – Simon Jeruchim  was born in Paris, France on December 25, 1929. In July 1942 the French police, collaborating with the Nazis, rounded up Jews in Paris to be sent to death camps. Simon’s parents were put in touch with neighbors, a compassionate gentile couple, connected with an underground network organized to save Jewish children. Twelve-year old Simon and his two siblings, fourteen and five, were sent in hiding in Normandy and placed separately with gentile families. Simon’s parents, while attempting to escape to the unoccupied zone of France, were arrested crossing the border, deported and murdered in Auschwitz. Simon and his siblings survived.

Monday, April 8, 11am – 12:40 pm A104Chris Nicola presents “No Place on Earth”.
American Cave Explorer, Chris Nicola narrates the story of how five Ukrainian Jewish families survived the Holocaust by taking refuge in a cave for over a year. He explains how he spent 10 years finding and interviewing the survivors, to confirm what he had accidentally discovered; Plus 10 years in bringing about both a book and documentary; : www.noplaceonearthfilm.com.
040819- Chris Nicola- No Place on Earth Holocaust Remembrance Lecture

Armenian Genocide – March -April 2019

  1. WORKSHOP for Educators
    Thursday, March 28 -PJR hosts Facing History  – a workshop for teaching “The Armenian Genocide “ – 9 – 1:30 pm – Examine the events leading up to the systematic murder of over one million Armenians, and the aftermath of such atrocity. Middle and High School educators welcome.  flyer details.  RSVP – facinghistory.org/newyork/events
  2. Book presentation “Feast of Ashes” – by Sato Moughalian – Thursday, April 11, 7 pm – A-104
    The story of David Ohannessian, the renowned ceramicist who in 1919 founded the art of Armenian pottery in Jerusalem. Born in an isolated Anatolian mountain village, endured arrest and deportation in the Armenian Genocide, founded a new ceramics tradition in Jerusalem.

Early SPRING 2019 Holocaust Studies Events

  1. Tuesday, January 29, 12:30-1:30pm – Opening of the Exhibit: POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews Present ‘They Risked Their Lives: Poles Who Saved Jews During the Holocaust
  2. Thursday January 31 @5:30 pm TEC-128 – 12th Annual Student Award Ceremony – The Holocaust, Genocide and Stalinist Repression  
  3. Tuesday, February 19, 1:45-3:00pm A-104 – “Karski & Lords of Humanity” by Sławomir Grünberg: documentary film screening followed by Q&A
  4. Tuesday, February 26, 12:30-1:30 pm – “Resistance of the Heart” —  the Rosenstrasse Protest of February 27, 1943, Berlin