February 26, 2017

A Book That Changed the Way We Think -
and Saved Lives


The Abandonment of the Jews is Feted in the Journal of Ecumenical Studies


An entire issue devoted to exploring the impact and legacy of David S. Wyman's book, The Abandonment of the Jews, on the twentieth anniversary of its publication, has just been published by the leading international journal of ecumenical scholarship, The Journal of Ecumenical Studies.

Edited by the noted Catholic scholar, Prof. Leonard Swidler, the Journal of Ecumenical Studies is published by Temple University.  The special issue devoted to 'Abandonment' was guest edited by Dr. Rafael Medoff, director of The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies and Dr. Racelle R. Weiman, director of the Center for Holocaust and Humanity Education, at Hebrew Union College.

Prof. Swidler said: "Through his scholarship on the Jewish Holocaust and the Christian role in it, David Wyman has held a mirror before the face of America, and especially America's Christians.  Coming from a family of minister and being himself a committed Christian, gives Wyman standing before the court of public Christianity.  What America and what Christians saw in Wyman's mirror was the Mr. Hyde of Dr. Jekell.  We Americans and Christians --thanks in significant measure to David Wyman-- now have a solid foothold from which we can build further a bridge to the people of the First Covenant, the Jews."

The issue features:

*   An assessment of the impact of The Abandonment of the Jews on the public's view of such issues as the Allies' refusal to bomb Auschwitz and America's restrictionist immigration policy during the Holocaust, explored in essays by Dr. Medoff, Prof. Paul Miller, and Prof. Alex Grobman.

*  The never-before-revealed story of how advocates for the rescue of Ethiopian Jewry in 1985 used 'Abandonment' to convince U.S. officials to order the airlift of Ethiopian Jewish refugees to Israel.  

*  A previously unpublished exchange between Prof. Wyman and Dr. Eugene Fisher of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, on the response of U.S. Catholic leaders to news of the Nazi genocide.

*  A memoir by the noted Jewish leader and scholar, Prof. Arthur Hertzberg, on his participation in a 1943 march to Washington by 400 rabbis, urging U.S. action to rescue Jewish refugees.

*  A symposium by an array of scholars and public figures, reflecting on how The Abandonment of the Jews influenced them personally.  Contributors to the symposium include Nobel Prize laureate Elie Wiesel, journalist Marvin Kalb, former New York City Mayor Ed Koch, the late U.S. Senator Paul Simon, Prof. Blanche Wiesen Cook, biographer of Eleanor Roosevelt, and many others.

*  New research based on issues raised by Abandonment:  essays by Prof. Laurel Leff on U.S. press coverage of the liberation of the death camps; Prof. Gil Troy on the Holocaust rescue activism of playwright Ben Hecht; Dr. Efraim Zuroff on rescue efforts by American Orthodox rabbis; and Rabbi Dr. Haskel Lookstein on the response of American Jewry to the Holocaust.

The issue concludes with a new afterword by Prof. Wyman.

(Note: Because of delays in the publication of previous issues of the Journal of Ecumenical Studies, the latest issue is officially dated Fall 2003, although it was published in September 2005.)

To order, send $6 plus $1 postage for each copy to:

The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies
On the campus of Gratz College
7605 Old York Rd.
Melrose Park, PA  19027