It appears that there is no interdisciplinary research center, either in Israel or anywhere else in the world, that focuses solely on the unique fate of Women during the Holocaust.

There are not enough studies devoted to the topic of women and the Holocaust, whether victims or survivors.  Establishing such a center would make a real contribution, both by researchers and educators, to the study of the Holocaust, gender studies, Holocaust art and Holocaust literature. 

Despite the welcomed and dramatic change in attitude that the publication of Carol Rittener's monumental book, “Different Voices: Women of the Holocaust” (1993), had brought about in the field – such as conferences, in Israel and abroad, and the growing number of historians addressing the topic - the existing research on the unique fate of Jewish women during the Holocaust is still lacking and is still disproportionally small.

We believe that the planned Center is essential as well as pioneering. It could enrich the research in the field and provide a balanced agenda in gender- Holocaust interdisciplinary study.

The Center would operate simultaneously on various levels, and would be an active research workshop with regularly scheduled meetings for Israeli and world-wide researchers.

Establishing and running the Center and increasing the number of researchers will require the appointment of a small steering committee, headed by an academic coordinator. The Centre’s members will present new studies and report their findings and research in progress. As a group, they will also have to serve as a bridge between researchers in Israel and others outside Israel, encouraging, supporting and assisting fresh research students.

Most academic institutions (including David Yellin College) hold research workshops in which members of the academic faculty and students participate.

The main aim of such workshops would be the accumulation of studies relating to women during the Holocaust in an attempt to generate Big Data in Hebrew, in English, and in other languages (preferably German, Polish, and Serbian).

In order to pool resources and make them accessible to users, we would have to examine many different archives and scattered materials. The Centre proposes to build a subject curriculum together with Moreshet's education staff, either on a national or international level. This, therefore (possibly under Noam Leibman’s leadership), could be responsible for recruiting history teachers and researchers in the field both in Israel and abroad. It may be worthwhile to cooperate with the I.D.F., the World Zionist Organization, the Israeli Foreign Ministry, and other similar bodies.

It is important to note that the existing school curriculum in Israel (for grades 1-12) hardly mentions the unique fate of women during the Holocaust and treats the topic as if both men and women had a similar experience for each event, without touching on the dilemmas unique to women.


Establishing a 3–4-day annual international conference on the subject at Moreshet (or at a different venue determined by the steering committee), could attract scholars from different countries including those who do not research the Holocaust per se. The conference could include panels for developing interest of future research. It could include visits to Holocaust-related sites in Israel resulting, hopefully, in published papers, after being presented and peer-reviewed at the conference. 


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whisc.center@gmail.com |+972-46309248 |Givat Haviva, Mobile Post Menashe, 37850 Israel