News Briefs: Ancestry.com Makes Holocaust Records Available to Public and More

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University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Offers Online Jewish Studies Major

The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee announced it has established an entirely online Jewish studies undergraduate degree program — contending that it’s the first public university in the United States to do so.

“We want to help people looking to learn for personal enrichment, or who see a Jewish studies major as a way to enhance their resumes to advance their careers or change jobs,” said Joel Berkowitz, director of the Sam & Helen Stahl Center for Jewish Studies at UW-Milwaukee.

Online students living outside Wisconsin will have the chance to pay a fee that keeps the cost similar to in-state tuition.

The major will have two tracks: Jewish cultural studies and Hebrew. The program’s roots date to a 1960 visit to Milwaukee by then-Israeli Foreign Minister Golda Meir, who grew up in the city.

man on computer
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Two Sets of Holocaust Records Released to Public by Website

Ancestry announced that is making two collections of Holocaust records accessible to the public via its ancestry.com/alwaysremember.

The Arolsen Archives — an international center on Nazi persecution — gave Ancestry access to publish the digital images of the documents. Ancestry then digitized millions of names and other information found in the records, which are now searchable online.

One collection of records is called “Africa, Asia and Europe Passenger Lists of Displaced Persons (1946-1971)” and tracks people relocated by the war, including displaced persons leaving Germany and other European ports and airports. Most of those listed are Holocaust survivors, former concentration camp inmates and forced laborers, as well as refugees from Central and Eastern European countries and certain non-European countries.

There also is a collection called “Europe, Registration of Foreigners and German Individuals Persecuted (1939-1947).” This includes registers of those living in Germany and German-occupied territories with non-German citizenship, stateless persons and German Jews.

Judge Rules That Fordham Must Recognize SPJ Chapter as Approved Club

A New York judge ruled Aug. 6 that Fordham University must recognize a chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine as a university-approved club, JNS.org reported.

Bronx-based Fordham had declined to recognize the SPJ chapter in 2016 with Dean of Students Keith Eldredge saying, “I cannot support an organization whose sole purpose is advocating political goals of a specific group, and against a specific country, when these goals clearly conflict with and run contrary to the mission and values of the university.”

But Justice Nancy Bannon said the university didn’t abide by its own rules about clubs.

She wrote that Eldredge “does not provide a rational basis for concluding that SJP might encourage violence, disruption of the university, suppression of speech, or any sort of discrimination against any member of the Fordham community based on religion, race, sex or ethnicity.”

‘Mrs. Maisel’ Exhibit Opens in NYC

The Paley Center for Media in New York City announced the opening of an exhibit about the hit TV show The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, JTA reported.

The interactive exhibit, which will be open through Sept. 6, will allow visitors to immerse themselves in Midge Maisel’s Jewish 1950s New York with sets, makeup and costumes from the show. It will also show how episodes of the show were created.

The Amazon show is about a Jewish homemaker who becomes a stand-up comedian.

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Andy Gotlieb is the managing editor of the Jewish Exponent. He holds 31 years of experience in communications, mostly in journalism, with a decade in public relations, too. Prior newspaper stops include the St. Joseph (Mo.) News-Press, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, the Tampa Tribune and the Philadelphia Business Journal. The first 17 years were spent in print journalism, where I covered, at various times, business, politics, crime and government, among other beats. The final 2.5 years in that stretch was an editor at the Philadelphia Business Journal, where my responsibilities included complete control over a weekly section and working with both staff writers and freelancers. In late 2005, I switched gears and began working in public relations for the next decade. I learned the ins and outs of public relations -- including being on the other side of the media-PR equation -- and made numerous contacts. I rejoined the ranks of journalism in March 2016, starting as the managing editor of the Jewish Exponent.

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