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First-Class Mail US Postage PAID Geneva, NY Permit No. 69

2012 Passover Schedule Sunday, April 1 1 p.m., Passover Shopping Trip to Pittsford Wegmans RSVP to Friday, April 6 6:30 p.m., Hillel-Abbe Center Seder RSVP to Saturday, April 7 5:45 p.m., Community Seder at Temple Beth-El Tuesday, April 10 6 p.m., Passover Dinner at Abbe Center RSVP to

In addition to the community Seders and Passover meals at the Abbe Center, there will be a Passover food station in Saga dining hall throughout the week. A Passover option will also be available at the Café.


It is very important that students make reservations to attend the Seders. There is no fee for the HWS Seder, but a $5 fee is required for attendance at Temple Beth-El. Contact Lorinda Weinstock at for more information. Hillel will also have a table in Scandling Campus Center March 27, 28 and 29 to answer questions and make Seder arrangements.

Lorinda Weinstock Abbe Center Director and Hillel Adviser

Emily Hamburger ’13 Hillel Co-President

Jenna Lohre ’12 Hillel Co-President

RSVP for Shabbat Dinner

HOBART AND WILLIAM SMITH COLLEGES 764 South Main Street Geneva, NY 14456

Wednesday, April 11 6 p.m., Matzah Pizza Night at Abbe Center

Spring 2012 • • • •

2012 Passover Schedule Meet Professor Dobkowski Supporting the Abbe Center HWS Hillel Members Travel to Israel • Recent Photos and Events

Abbe Center for Jewish Life

Spring 2012

Meet Professor Dobkowski

I try to bring analysis, tempered by humor and irony, to significant subjects.

Recent Photos and Events

Supporting the Abbe Center


he success of the Abbe Center to date is due to the generosity of alumni, alumnae, families and friends of the Colleges who value the presence of this special place where students can follow their spiritual paths and cultural interests. For those who wish to support immediate needs during the academic year, funding opportunities include: • $35,000 to underwrite weekly Shabbat Dinners for an academic year (serving approximately 3,000 meals)

– Professor of Religious Studies Michael Dobkowski

Right: Jenna Lohre ’12 and Abbe Center Director Lorinda Weinstock bake hamantaschen in the Wasserman Kosher Kitchen.

• $20,000 to underwrite the cost for five students and one faculty member to travel to Israel for winter break

Above: HWS students pose with Temple Beth-El Rabbi David Reiner, who is costumed for the Temple’s Purim celebration.

Donors may also support the Abbe Center by underwriting the cost of special musical acts or speakers or by providing funds for domestic cultural travel during spring break.


member of the faculty since 1976, Dobkowski is an expert on genocide, terrorism and the Holocaust. In the classroom, he challenges students to integrate the meaning and implications of important historical events into their consciousness and conscience. Outside of the classroom, he is active in community service. “I tell students that despite violence and apathy, we have to maintain faith in people and in our ability to solve problems,” he says. “Despair is not helpful. The solution lies in analysis, in hard thinking and questioning, and in purposeful and informed action.” Dobkowski has led several groups of HWS students on trips to Germany and Poland as part of “The March: Bearing Witness to Hope,” a week-long trip that teaches students the dangers of intolerance through the study of the Holocaust. This year President Mark D. Gearan will accompany the student group. He is also the coordinator of the Holocaust Studies minor and a key organizer of the Hobart and William Smith Genocide Series, which continues to bring such notable speakers as Elie Wiesel, Robert Skloot, Peter Balakian, and Henry Greenspan to campus. A prolific writer, he has written The Tarnished Dream: The Basis of American AntiSemitism, The Politics of Indifference: Documentary History of Holocaust Victims in America, Jewish American Voluntary Organizations and co-authored Nuclear Weapons, Nuclear States & Terrorism and On the Edge of Scarcity. He has co-written other volumes on the Holocaust and genocide and also co-wrote The Nuclear Predicament: Nuclear Weapons in the 21st Century. He has participated five times in the Goldner Holocaust Symposium at Wroxton College in England and was a fellow at the Institute for the Teaching of the PostBiblical 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. He holds bachelor, master’s and doctoral degrees from New York University.

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Good News

If you know anyone who might like to be included on the Abbe Center mailing list, please contact Ruth Benedict at

In addition to these important programmatic gifts, there are a number of naming opportunities available for endowed funds that will ensure the sustainability of the Abbe Center for Jewish Life for generations to come. For more information, please visit or contact Ruth Benedict at or (315) 781-3779.

Left: During Shabbat 200, the community celebrates the largest Shabbat dinner in HWS history.

Professor Robert Skloot and members of the Hobart and William Smith community perform a reading of Skloot’s play, If the Whole Body Dies: Raphael Lemkin and the Treaty Against Genocide.

HWS Hillel Members Travel to Israel


uring Winter Break, HWS Hillel members Rebecca Ditchek ’13, Brianne Ellis ’13, Emily Hamburger ’13, Jenna Lohre ’12 and Stephen Wolff ’12 retraced their ethnic roots to Tzfat, Israel. Tzfat, Israel

Accompanied by Rabbi David Reiner, of Geneva’s Temple Beth-El, the students participated in Livnot’s Northern Exposure program, a one-week adventure of seminars, hiking and community service.

“This program combined my two favorite things: helping others and Israel,” says Ditchek. “I consider Israel my home away from home. Being able to contribute and make a small difference was an amazing opportunity.” While all of the students have travelled to Israel before, this is the first time Hillel has embarked on such a trip.”This is an exciting and important endeavor,” says Lohre, co-president of Hillel, who notes that she is proud and honored to be part of the inaugural experience. The trip was sponsored by the Abbe Center for Jewish Life and Hillel.

•Shabbat 200: On March 9, more than 220 members •Tu Bishevat Dinner: The Abbe Center hosted a of the HWS community celebrated Shabbat together special four-course meal, featuring recipes from in the Vandervort Room. The meal was an enormous Tina Wasserman’s cookbook, to celebrate the New success, serving as a portal to the Jewish community Year of the Trees. for many students as well as faculty and staff members. •Bagel Brunches and Dinners: The Abbe Center hosted several Bagel Brunches and Dinners at the •Purim: Students baked hamantaschen in the Abbe Center in January, February and March. Wasserman Kosher Kitchen and attended a reading of the Megillah at Temple Beth-El. •Tzedakah: Students are selling updated Hillel teeshirts to raise money in support of Relay for Life. •Discussing Genocide: Professor Robert Skloot and They’re also organizing a Mother’s Day card sale to several members of the HWS community presented benefit local women’s shelters. a dramatic reading of Skloot’s play, If the Whole Body Dies: Raphael Lemkin and the Treaty Against Genocide. Later, Skloot joined members of Hillel for Shabbat dinner.

Upcoming Events •Festival of Nations: Members of Hillel will represent Jewish culture during this community-wide festival at Geneva High School. •Passover: The HWS community will observe Passover. For more details, read the Passover panel in this newsletter. •Yom Hashoah: The HWS community will observe Holocaust Remembrance Days with a series of on- and off-campus events throughout mid-April. For more details, visit the Daily Update ( •Yom Ha’atzma’ut: The Abbe Center will host a shawarma and falafel dinner in celebration of Israeli Independence Day. •Bearing Witness to Hope: The March: Bearing Witness to Hope trip, a student leadership program and mission to Germany and Poland, is scheduled for May 15-23. This year, President Mark D. Gearan will join 18 students–the largest contingent of HWS students to date.

Spring 2012 Abbe Brochure  

Abbe Center Brochure, Spring 2012