JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen JGS NY Meeting Sunday November 20 #general

Harriet Mayer

Jewish Genealogical Society - New York - Meeting Sunday, November 20 at 2 PM
at the Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th St. New York

Program: "Family Secrets, Jewish-Christian Relations and the Holocaust"

Speakers: Professor Katharina von Kellenbach and Pastor Heidi Neumark

Professor von Kellenbach and Pastor Neumark are Lutheran theologians whose families
carefully disguised their connections to Jews and Judaism. Both families tried to
rebuild lives by disassociating and denying the trauma and guilt of the Holocaust.
Neumark accidentally discovered that she was descended >from a prominent Jewish
German family and that her grandfather had been murdered in a concentration camp.
Von Kellenbach became inadvertently aware that her uncle belonged to the SS and was
tried for the mass murder of the Jews in Pinsk, Belarus. These revelations
compelled our speakers to go on a journey of discovery that led them through
archives across several countries and into Jewish-Christian and Jewish-German
dialogue. Uncovering their family secrets challenged them personally and
theologically, as they confronted Lutheran anti-Judaism and German antisemitism.

Heidi Neumark is a graduate of Brown University and Lutheran Theological Seminary
in Philadelphia. She is the pastor of the multicultural, bilingual Trinity Lutheran
Church on Manhattan's Upper West Side. Her fist book, "Breathing Space: A Spiritual
Journey in the South Bronx", tells of her strong passion for social justice, which
led her to serving congregations in the South Bronx for twenty years. In her book
"Hidden Inheritance: Family Secrets, Memory and Faith," Neumark tell of her
discovery of her previously unknown German-Jewish ancestry and successive family
loss and trauma through the Holocaust, as well as antisemitism in the Evangelical
Lutheran Church.

Katharina von Kellenbach is Professor of Religious Studies at St. Mary's College of
Maryland, the Honors College of the State of Maryland. She studied Protestant
evangelical theology in Berlin and Goettingen (Germany) and received her PhD at
Temple University. Her areas of expertise include Holocaust Studies,
Jewish-Christian relations, feminist theology and interreligious dialogue. She is
the author of biographical articles about the life and work of Rabbi Regina Jonas
(1902-1944), who was ordained in 1935 and worked in Berlin until her deportation
to Theresienstadt in 1942 and subsequently to Auschwitz in 1944. Her recent book,
"The Mark of Cain: Guilt and Denial in the Lives of Nazi Perpetrators"(Oxford U.
Press, 2013), uses the archival documents of prison chaplains to examine Christian
discourses of forgiveness and Nazi perpetrators' moral self-reflection in post-war
West Germany.

Free for members: guests welcome, $5 at the door.

More information at our website and on our Facebook page.

Submitted by
Harriet Mayer
JGS NY VP Communications
New York NY

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