Michael Dobkowski, professor of religious studies, was among several featured authors at The Lane Dworkin Jewish Book Festival, presented by The Louis S. Wolk Jewish Community Center of Greater Rochester. Celebrating 25 years, the festival showcases Jewish authors and literature for members of the Rochester community.
Dobkowski’s talk focused on his recent contribution to the publication, Facing Death: Confronting Mortality in the Holocaust and Ourselves. Bringing together 11 Holocaust and genocide scholars including Dobkowski, the publication’s essays explore whether Holocaust survivors and their children have a particular approach to mortality and death, given their experiences.
Through his essay, “Living For: Holocaust Survivors and Their Adult Children Encounter Death and Mortality,” Dobkowski also offered commentary on two other essays that deal with the controversy around the Sonderkommando, the Jewish work units in the concentration camps that dealt with the disposal of gas chamber victims.
A member of the faculty since 1976, Dobkowski is an expert on genocide, terrorism and the Holocaust. He holds a doctorate in history from New York University. A prolific author, he has written The Tarnished Dream: The Basis of American Anti-Semitism, The Politics of Indifference: Documentary History of Holocaust Victims in America and Jewish American Voluntary Organizations. He is the co-author of Nuclear Weapons, Nuclear States & Terrorism, On the Edge of Scarcity and The Nuclear Predicament: Nuclear Weapons in the 21st Century. He has co-written other volumes on the Holocaust and genocide.
Dobkowski participated several times in the Goldner Holocaust Symposium at Wroxton College in England, and was a fellow at the Institute for the Teaching of the Post-Biblical Foundations of Western Civilization at the Jewish Theological Seminary. He received the New York University Ferdinand Czernin Prize in History and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa.