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College of Arts and Sciences

Solomon-Tenenbaum Lectureship postponed

The event scheduled for Sept. 10 will be postponed due to weather

The Fall 2017 Solomon-Tenenbaum Lectureship in Jewish Studies scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 10 will be postponed due to potential effects from Hurricane Irma. When the event is rescheduled, the College of Arts and Sciences will provide updates here.

Deborah E. Lipstadt, a scholar who won a famous legal battle over a Holocaust denier, will speak about modern anti-Semitism during the Fall 2017 Solomon-Tenenbaum Lectureship in Jewish Studies on Sept. 10.

Lipstadt’s visit to Carolina comes at an important moment as the broader national conversation about history and race relations continues, organizers say.

“Dr. Lipstadt will bring meaningful insight to our community during a time when public dialogue about race, religion and understanding are critical,” said Samuel Tenenbaum, who helped establish the Solomon-Tenenbaum Lectureship in Jewish Studies 28 years ago. “Throughout the years, the professional and academic achievement of the speakers at this esteemed lectureship has been profound, and Dr. Lipstadt joins a prestigious group that has included Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel, Pulitzer Prize winner Thomas Friedman, renowned historian Bernard Lewis and others.”

The lecture will be at 7 p.m. in the My Carolina Alumni Center’s ballroom, 900 Senate St., Columbia. A book signing will follow the talk.

Federica Clementi, interim director of the Jewish studies program and an English professor, is teaching a course on the Holocaust this semester. She says Lipstadt’s experiences offer a recent and concrete example for students to consider that will further amplify concepts discussed in the classroom.

“It’s important for us to hear from someone who has experience as an intellectual, a teacher, a scholar and has experience rooted in a life event,” she says.

Lipstadt, Dorot professor of modern Jewish history and Holocaust studies, wrote “Denial: Holocaust History on Trial,” chronicling her 10-week trial in London after being sued for libel by David Irving for calling him a Holocaust denier.

The judge ultimately ruled in favor of Lipstadt and found Irving to be a “neo-Nazi polemicist” who “perverts” history and engages in “racist” and “anti-Semitic” discourse. Lipstadt’s book was adapted into the 2016 movie “Denial” featuring Rachel Weisz and Tom Wilkinson.

Lipstadt’s talk titled “Contemporary Anti-Semitism: An Enduring Form of Prejudice and Hatred,” will discuss the major issues involved in her lawsuit, link them to today’s racial discourse and explore how communities can address this growing societal concern.  

The Solomon-Tenenbaum Lectureship in Jewish Studies is presented annually to university students, faculty and the larger community. A signature event from the College of Arts and Sciences, the endowed lectureship is made possible by benefactors, Melvin and Judith Solomon of Charleston, and Samuel and Inez Tenenbaum of Columbia, whose generosity has created a Jewish studies endowment, which exists to support the lectureship, to enhance the library collection and to establish a chair of Jewish Studies.