Chailights

Emmanuel Tchividjian, a senior vice president and chief ethics officer at the public relations firm Ruder Finn, came to the W&L campus to give the keynote address at Washington and Lee's 59th Institute of Media Ethics. Williams School Assistant Dean Rachel Beanland helped organize a special program for us - Tchividjian spoke to students, faculty and staff at a luncheon provided by Washington and Lee Hillel on the topic Swiss Banks and the Shoah - Stories of a one-person journey into a 50+ year old scandal of financial injustice inflicted on Holocaust survivors by Swiss banks. Emmanuel Tchividjian shared his personal experience encountered in his search for justice for survivors on the issue of the dormant Swiss bank accounts and on Nazi looted gold.


English Professor Genelle Gertz brought the students from her Spring Term course, the Bible as Literature, to see the Torah at Hillel House. Rabbi Fabian Werbin of Beth Israel Synagogue in Roanoke (who is also one of our Hebrew instructors) gave the students an enlightening and entertaining lesson on the Hebrew Bible. Director of Hillel, Megan McLean, gave a brief history of W&L's exquisite Torah Scroll, which was saved by Torah Scribes during the Holocaust.


For Yom HaShoah this year, W&L Hillel received permission to light the walkway from Washington Hall to Lee Chapel in remembrance of the millions of people-not just Jews-who were murdered during the Holocaust. This beautiful display served as a reminder to all who saw it that we have not, should not, and will not ever forget what happened.


Director Ben Loeterman screened his new documentary film, "1913 Seeds of Conflict: How Things First Went Wrong in Palestine" to a packed house on April 28th, just after the start of Spring Term. Over 100 people came from W&L, VMI, and all over Western Virginia. In his film, Loeterman used previously unavailable documents to shed light on pre-World War I Palestine and the region's divergent social forces that contributed to the simultaneous rise in Jewish and Arab nationalism. W&L Hillel co-sponsored this program along with the Departments of Politics, History and Religion.


Our friends at the Leyburn Library put together a lovely display for Jewish American Heritage Month this year. Director of Hillel, Megan McLean, added some of her own Jewish ritual objects, to help show how the Jewish community at W&L incorporates Jewish practice into our daily lives. The books, covering a wide range of contemporary Jewish topics, were available to be read in a cozy reading nook, or checked out, throughout the month of May. W&L Hillel is especially grateful to Emily Cook at the University Library for putting all of this together!


On February 4th, Professor Marc Bregman (UNC-Greensboro) visited Washington & Lee to give a lecture entitled "The Sacrifice of Isaac in Art and Jewish Legend." Professor Bregman was invited by Professor Richard Marks of Washington & Lee's Religion Department to deliver the Weinstein Memorial Lecture this year. Bregman, the Bernard Distinguished Professor of Jewish Studies at UNCG, discussed the evolution of the legend of Isaac and demonstrated how changes in the story have influenced Jewish art over time. Bregman also visited Professor Marks' introductory Judaism course to deliver a lecture on early rabbinic humor.


Professor Jim Warren at a V.I.P. (Very Important Professor) dinner at the Southern Inn in February. Back from sabbatical, Warren spoke with students about his new book and his adventures in Alaska.


W&L Hillel students assembled 100 shaloch manot and gave them out to students at the Hillel House on Purim.