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Kraft-Hiatt Program for Jewish-Christian Understanding

Holy Cross is committed to deepening understanding of Judaism, Jewish life around the world, and Jewish-Christian relations. Funded by the College and by the Kraft-Hiatt family, the Kraft-Hiatt Program for Jewish-Christian Understanding sponsors a number of opportunities that continue to have profound impact on individual student and faculty participants and the campus community at large. The initiative includes lecture series, visiting scholars, and support for faculty and students to study abroad.

Lecture Series

Each semester, the McFarland Center presents Kraft-Hiatt lectures, performances and other events on the Holocaust, Jewish history and contemporary Jewish faith and life. Recent guest speakers have included David Kertzer, Yaakov Katz, Rabbi Abie Ingber, Ervin Staub, Marion Kaplan, Alan Rosen, Yehuda Bauer, Nir Eisikovits and Aaron Levine.  In collaboration with the Worcester JCC, the Center has hosted talks by Paula Fredriksen and James Carroll. Audio and/or video recordings of many past lectures are available.

Save the Dates

Wednesday, October 23, 4:30 p.m., Rehm Library
Anne Frank, Otto Frank, and the Creation of Memory — This fall, Roger Guenveur Smith, the award-winning playwright and actor, will be coming to Holy Cross to do a one-person performance based on the well-known story of Anne Frank. Of special concern for Smith is the figure of Otto Frank, Anne's father, who would bring her diary to the world. Following Smith's performance, a faculty panel featuring Thomas Doughton, senior lecturer in CIS; Edward Isser, W. Arthur Garrity, Sr. Professor in Human Nature, Ethics and Society; and Theresa McBride, professor of history; will join Smith and moderator Mark Freeman, Distinguished Professor of Ethics and Society, to explore the profound complexities entailed in the creation of both individual and collective memory.
Learn more about Roger Guenveur Smith's performance of Otto Frank»


Alan RosenWednesday, November 13; 4:30 p.m., Rehm Library
Memory as Protest: How and Why We Remember the Holocaust—Alan Rosen, our Kraft-Hiatt Scholar in Residence, returns this November to work with our students and help us to explore the ethics of commemoration. Rosen is a lecturer at Yad Vashem, and has held fellowships at the Fondation pour la Mémoire de la Shoah in Paris and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Watch Online

Omer BartovFebruary 20, 2019
The Holocaust on the Local Level: Coexistence and Genocide in one Galician Town — Omer Bartov, the John P. Birkelund Distinguished Professor of European History at Brown University, looks to the Eastern European border town of Buczacz — today part of Ukraine — to explain how ethnic cleansing develops slowly and often unnoticed, the culmination of pent-up slights and grudges and indignities. Bartov is author of “Anatomy of a Genocide: The Life and Death of a Town Called Buczacz” (Simon & Schuster, 2018).
Watch the lecture: Stream online»


April 2-3, 2019
Readings from the RootsReadings from the Roots: Bible Translation and Its Impact — This two-day conference highlights a new, historically-sensitive translation of the Revised Common Lectionary — the collection of readings from Scripture used in many Christian services — to reduce the potential for anti-Judaism by enriching Christianity through its roots in Judaism. The conference will provide an opportunity for clergy to engage with the translation team and will feature talks by Taylor Burton-Edwards, chair of the Consultation on Common Texts; Everett Fox, the Allen M. Glick Professor of Judaic and Biblical Studies at Clark University; Adèle Reinhartz, professor of classics and religious studies at the University of Ottawa; and a keynote by Mary C. Boys, vice-president of Academic Affairs and dean and the Skinner & McAlpin Professor of Practical Theology at Union Theological Seminary, on "Seeing Judaism Anew: Jewish Christian Dialogue." Learn more»