The Wolinsky Lectures on Jewish Life and Education examine ‘Jews as Refugees’

Centre for Jewish Studies

York University’s Israel and Golda Koschitzky Centre for Jewish Studies will host the 2018 Leonard Wolinsky Lectures on Jewish Life and Education on April 22, with a lens on Jews as refugees.

The event will feature three guest speakers and will take place from 2 to 5pm at the Tribute Communities Recital Hall at York University’s Keele campus. Registration is free.

Centre for Jewish StudiesYael Braudo-Bahat, visiting professor in Israel Studies at York University, will present “The Case of the Missing Yemenite Children in Israel.” Braudo-Bahat earned a PhD from the Tel Aviv University Law School, where she also served as the associate editor of the law journal Theoretical Inquiries in Law and as a teaching fellow. Braudo-Bahat’s research focuses on the history of Israeli law, Israeli feminism, jurisprudence and legal theory. In her dissertation, she unveiled the involvement of Israeli women’s organizations in the enactment of the Israeli Spouses Law (Property Relations) in 1973 and, along with the historical analysis, she theorized the connection between the various possible regimes of marital property and the autonomy of the spouses within the family. In her current research, Braudo-Bahat addresses a 1950’s legal project in which the Harvard Law School assisted the Israeli Ministry of Justice in formulating legislation in the young Israeli state. In addition, she further develops her research on the role of law in promoting spouses’ autonomy. During the 2017-18 academic year at York University, Braudo-Bahat will teach two undergraduate courses on Israeli history and society, as well as a graduate seminar on A Century of Israeli Feminism.

Sharon Delmendo, a professor of English at St. John Fisher College in Rochester, N.Y., will present “An Open Door: Holocaust Rescue in the Philippines.” Delmendo did much of the research for her first book, The Star-Entangled Banner: One Hundred Years of America in the Philippines (Rutgers University Press 2004, University of the Philippines Press 2005), in 1995-96 as the Fulbright Professor of American Studies at De La Salle University in Manila, Philippines. Her grandfather, Dominador Delmendo, was XO of the Masbate Guerrillas during the Second World War. Delmendo has two books on the Manilaner history forthcoming from De La Salle University Press, Manila: When the Time of Need Came: Manuel Quezon and Holocaust Haven in the Philippines is a scholarly analysis of Commonwealth President Manuel Quezon’s efforts on behalf of Jewish refugees; In Time of Need, an Open Door: Holocaust Haven in the Philippines is a more broadly based history of the Manilaners for general audiences. When these two books are published, she will go back and complete the book project she put aside to work on the Manilaners: Pacific Theater, a study of Hollywood-produced Second World War films set in the Philippines, made while the war was ongoing.

Olga Gershenson is professor of Judaic and Near Eastern Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she is also on the Film Studies faculty. She will present the lecture “Unlikely Heroes: Jewish Refugees in Soviet Film.” Gershenson is a multidisciplinary scholar with interests at the intersection of culture, history and film. She is the author of Gesher: Russian Theater in Israel; A Study of Cultural Colonization (2005) and The Phantom Holocaust: Soviet Cinema and Jewish Catastrophe (2013). She edited the collection Ladies and Gents: Public Toilets and Gender (2009) and a special issue of East European Jewish Affairs about new Jewish museums in post-communist Europe. Gershenson’s current research deals with emerging genres in Israeli cinema. Along with her academic work, she curates film series, consults for festivals and has a lively lecture schedule at universities, conferences and museums around the world.