Division of Social Studies Events

<< Back to DSS Events

Hannah Arendt Center presents

Hannah Arendt and the Struggle for Jewish Human Rights

A Lecture by Natan Sznaider

Monday, April 1, 2013

The lecture of Sznaider, from the Academic College of Tel-Aviv-Yaffo, tries to come to terms with Jewish politics right after the Holocaust. Usually, the understanding of Jewish politics after World War II is framed around the Jewish state of Israel and its meaning. This presentation will provide another angle, which connects Jewish particular politics with current concerns about cosmopolitan politics like human rights, genocide, and international law. Sznaider will especially pay attention Hannah Arendt’s practical work for “Jewish Cultural Reconstruction” (JCR). This organization was founded 1944 in order to re-define legally and morally the concept of Jewish cultural property, and to deal on a practical level with heirless Jewish cultural property stolen by the Nazis and liberated by the Allies. By looking more closely at the goals and struggles of this organization he will be able to evoke the urgency of Jewish politics that started immediately in 1945, and try to explain how the various positions of Jewish intellectuals shaped Jewish and Israeli politics in the years to come. The story being told here is a combination of two languages, political and theological as the story of pre and post-Holocaust Jewry while at the same time exploring the underlying tensions between minority and human rights. Hannah Arendt is one of the main protagonist with whose help Sznaide will explore those questions. She tried to push the boundaries of their collective existence from particular premises to universal ones. 

Time: 7:00 pm

Location: Reem-Kayden Center Laszlo Z. Bito '60 Auditorium