Prof. Philip Gossett (1941–2017)

In remembering our longtime supporter Philip Gossett, the Center for Jewish Studies would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge, with deep gratitude, the endowment he facilitated, the Jean and Harold Gossett Fund in Memory of Holocaust Victims Martha and Paul Feivel Korngold. The proceeds from this fund are, according to the terms of the endowment, “intended to support activities that highlight artistic expression in Modern Jewish culture, with a particular emphasis on issues related to the Holocaust.” Indeed, over the years the Gossett Endowment has enabled the Center to make the cultivation of Jewish arts and their study at the University a central part of our mission and to bring to campus outstanding events including:

Tony Kushner and the Music of the Holocaust (2010), featuring a reading by the students of University Theater, a performance by the New Budapest Orpheum Society musical ensemble, and a discussion with Tony Kushner led by Philip Gossett.

Marianne Hirsch and Leo Spitzer (2014), who presented a lecture entitled, Small Acts of Repair: The Unclaimed Legacy of Transnistria and who also held an all-day workshop with students on Crafting the Memory of Violence: Reflections on the Work of Literature and Visuality, a collaborative effort with the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures and the Center for Latin American Studies.

David Shneer (2016), who presented a lecture entitled, Grief: The History of the World's First Holocaust Liberation Photograph and the Man Who Made It, a presentation based on his work on Soviet war and Holocaust photography.

Martha and Paul Feivel Korngold, to whose memory the lectureship is dedicated, were the parents of Jean Korngold Lazarus Gossett, successful Berliners who were able to save their children by sending them to the United States but themselves reached only Amsterdam, where they were caught by the Nazis and then transported around Germany in the infamous trains—cattle cars—that the Nazis used to evade the approaching Allies so that remaining Jews would not be found. We do not know exactly how they died, in transport or soon thereafter, but they are buried at the final destination of the train.

The membership of the Center for Jewish Studies will always be thankful for the generosity of Jean and Harold Gossett and will continue, through the presentation of these artistic programs, to keep alive their memory, as well as that of Martha and Paul Feivel Korngold and, now, Philip Gossett.