Press Release: 9/11 Conference Examines the Response to Grief

On Sept 10 and 11, The Graduate Center will present a two-day, cross-disciplinary conference reflecting on "Death, Bereavement, and Mourning: What We Have Learned a Year After 9/11." The conference is being organized by Samuel Heilman, Graduate Center Harold M. Proshansky Chair in Jewish Studies, and is sponsored by the Proshansky Chair and the New York State Funeral Directors Association. The program will begin Sept. 10 at 7 p.m. with a plenary session in Elebash Recital Hall, where eminent psychiatrist Robert Jay Lifton will speak "On Death and Human Continuity: 9/11 and Beyond." Also, Thomas Lynch, writer/poet/undertaker, will speak on "Witness & Remembrance--Death in America." Sessions will continue Sept. 11 in The Graduate Center's Skylight Conference Room from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Graduate Center is located at 365 Fifth Avenue at 34th Street.

For reservations, contact Continuing Education & Public Programs at 1-212-817-8215 or continuinged@gc.cuny.edu, and further information can be found at soc1.soc.qc.edu/~tsoehl .

Participants in the conference will be admitted free to the exhibition "Yahrzeit: September 11 Observed" at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, September 10, 2 to 4 pm. For further information call (212) 509-6130.

Looking over the past year, this conference will examine rituals of public and private mourning and seek an understanding of the anatomy of grief. Over the two days, scholars from a wide range of disciplines will examine such topics as: death and human continuity; witness and remembrance; cross-cultural perspectives on mourning and war; ritual resources and bereavement; trauma, loss, and the reconstruction of meaning; grieving families, and creative aspects of public and private mourning. A complete program is attached.

The Harold M. Proshansky Chair in Jewish Studies was endowed by the Arnow/Weiler families: Mr. and Mrs. Jack Weiler, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Arnow, and Mr. and Mrs. Alan Weiler. Named for Harold M. Proshansky, president of The Graduate Center from 1972 until his death in 1990, the Proshansky Chair supports a professorship and a variety of activities in Jewish Studies. Samuel C. Heilman, a professor of sociology at The Graduate Center and Queens College, CUNY, was officially installed as the holder of the Harold M. Proshansky Chair in Jewish Studies at an inauguration on November 29, 1993. Professor Heilman is the author of When a Jew Dies: The Ethnography of a Bereaved Son (University of California Press, 2001), which won this year's Koret Literary Award.

In addition to the Proshansky Chair and the New York State Funeral Directors Association, the conference is also supported with aid from Project Liberty at Ohel.

The Graduate Center is the doctorate-granting institution of The City University of New York. The only consortium of its kind in the nation, The Graduate Center draws its faculty of more than 1,600 members mainly from the CUNY senior colleges and cultural and scientific institutions throughout New York City.

According to a recent National Research Council report, more than a third of The Graduate Center's rated Ph.D. programs rank among the nation's top 20 at public and private institutions, nearly a quarter are among the top ten when compared to publicly supported institutions alone, and more than half are among the top five programs at publicly supported institutions in the northeast.

Further information on The Graduate Center's programs and activities can be found on its website at: .


Death, Bereavement, and Mourning: What We Have Learned a Year After 9/11

The Graduate Center, The City University of New York

September 10 and 11, 2002

Sponsored by the Harold M. Proshansky Chair in Jewish Studies,

The New York State Funeral Directors Association, and

Continuing Education & Public Programs

The anniversary of the 9/11 disaster, following a year of bereavement and mourning, creates an opportunity for reflection on what we have learned over the past year. The Harold M. Proshansky Chair in Jewish Studies and the New York State Funeral Directors Association will use this occasion - known to the Jewish people as the yahrzeit -- to bring together scholars from a variety of disciplines to examine what we have learned about how we deal with death.

Beginning on the evening of September 10, 2002, and continuing throughout the day of September 11, 2002, this conference will explore such matters as death and human continuity; witness and remembrance; mourning and war in cross-cultural perspective; ritual resources and bereavement; trauma, loss, and the reconstruction of meaning; collective reintegration and dealing with chaos; grieving families; creative aspects of public and private mourning; and the impact of terror on the ability to cope with death.

September 10, 2002, Elebash Recital Hall

Opening Plenary, 7 p.m. - 9 p.m.

Greetings

Frances Degen Horowitz, President, The Graduate Center, CUNY

James P. Nolan, Jr., President, New York State Funeral Directors Association

Samuel C. Heilman, Harold M. Proshansky Chair in Jewish Studies

Plenary Addresses

Robert Jay Lifton (CUNY, Harvard University), Psychiatrist

"On Death and Human Continuity: 9/11 and Beyond"

Thomas Lynch, Writer/Poet/Undertaker

"Witness & Remembrance -- Death in America"

September 11, 2002, Skylight Conference Room

9:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon Morning Session

Peter Metcalf (University of Virginia), Anthropologist

"A Passion of Grief and Fear Exasperates Us: Mourning and War in Cross Cultural Perspective"

Robert Neimeyer (University of Memphis), Psychologist

"Trauma Loss and the Reconstruction of Meaning"

10:30 - 10:45 coffee break

Warren Spielberg (New School University), Psychologist

"The Firefighter, The Ghost and the Psychologist: Reflections on the 9/11 Firehouse Project"

Charles Strozier (John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY), Social Psychologist

"The World Trade Center Disaster: Explorations into the Meanings of Death, Grief, and Terror"

12:00 - 1:30 p.m. Lunch break

1:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Afternoon Session

Paul C. Rosenblatt (University of Minnesota), Family Studies

"Grieving Families and the 9/11 Disaster"

Eliezer Witztum (Ben Gurion University, Israel), Psychiatrist

"Cross Cultural Approach to Grief and Bereavement: Israeli and American Aspects"

Ilana Harlow, Folklorist

"Shaping Sorrow: Creative Aspects of Public and Private Mourning"

Neil Gillman (Jewish Theological Seminary), Theologian

"Coping With Chaos: Jewish Theological and Ritual Resources"

Samuel Heilman (Queens College and The Graduate Center, CUNY), Sociologist

"The Aftermath of Death: Collective Reintegration and Dealing with Chaos"

The Harold M. Proshansky Chair in Jewish Studies was endowed by the Arnow/Weiler families: Mr. and Mrs. Jack Weiler, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Arnow, and Mr. and Mrs. Alan Weiler. Named for Harold M. Proshansky, President of The Graduate Center from 1972 until his death in 1990, the Proshansky Chair supports a professorship and a variety of activities in Jewish Studies. Samuel C. Heilman, a professor of sociology at The Graduate Center and Queens College, CUNY, was officially installed as the holder of the Harold M. Proshansky Chair in Jewish Studies at an inauguration on November 29, 1993.

This conference is also supported with aid from Project Liberty at Ohel, a program providing trauma outreach, education, and supportive counseling to the Jewish community in response to 9/11 and the ongoing threat of terror.

To RSVP contact: Continuing Education & Public Programs, The Graduate Center, CUNY

1-212-817-8215 or continuinged@gc.cuny.edu.

Museum of Jewish Heritage

September 10, 2002, 2 p.m. - 4 p.m.

Participants in the Conference will be admitted free to the exhibition,

"Yahrzeit: September 11 Observed"

at the Museum of Jewish Heritage ‹ A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, in Battery Park City. For more information call (212) 509-6130 or visit www.mjhnyc.org.

Submitted on: AUG 1, 2002

Category: Institute for Sephardic Studies, Press Room, Rosenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies