update deskSchools & Higher Education

Holocaust scholar tapped to be first director of NYU’s new antisemitism center

Professor Avinoam Patt said this is “a critical moment in history where serious scholarship and education can make a difference.”

Professor Avinoam Patt
Avinoam Patt. Credit: Courtesy.

New York University launched a brand-new Center for the Study of Antisemitism in November after receiving two $1 million gifts, the most recent one anonymously. Now it has named professor Avinoam Patt as its director.

He has also been named the Maurice Greenberg Professor of Holocaust Studies in NYU’s Skirball Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies.

Patt said that he was grateful for the opportunity and “humbled by the trust President Mills and NYU have placed in me to serve as inaugural director. I look forward to working with colleagues at NYU and beyond to begin this vital project in order to expand the impact that we can make locally, nationally, and indeed, globally.”

He has written or edited multiple books on antisemitism and the Holocaust, including Finding Home and Homeland: Jewish Youth and Zionism in the Aftermath of the Holocaust; We Are Here: New Approaches to the Study of Jewish Displaced Persons in Postwar Germany; and Laughter After: Humor and the Holocaust.

NYU has seen its share of antisemitic activities and rhetoric.

Just days after the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attacks on Israel, Ryna Workman issued a statement as president of the Student Bar Association at New York University School of Law expressing “unwavering and absolute solidarity with Palestinians in their resistance against oppression toward liberation and self-determination.”

“Israel bears full responsibility for this tremendous loss of life,” wrote Workman. “This regime of state-sanctioned violence created the conditions that made resistance necessary.”

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