EVENT: JDC Archives Webinar "Chief Rabbi Dr. Moses D. Rosen's Leadership in Romania under Communism and Afterwards: Two Perspectives" (November 9, 2021)

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Chief Rabbi Dr. Moses D. Rosen's Leadership in Romania under Communism and Afterwards: Two Perspectives

Tuesday November 9, 2021

12pm-1:30pm (Eastern Time)


Rabbi Dr. Moses D. Rosen, Chief Rabbi of Romania from 1948 -1994, also served as President of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Romania.  Many have called Rosen the greatest Jewish communal leader during the Communist era.  A rabbi devoted to Jewish life in Romania under the most difficult of times, Rabbi Rosen walked a tightrope to maintain good relations with the regime and to remain loyal to his community.  

This program will feature talks by two individuals who worked closely with Rabbi Rosen.  Dr. Zvi Feine, JDC's Country Director in Romania from 1988 - 2005, will describe JDC's Romania program and focus on the leadership role played by Rabbi Rosen. He will discuss the controversies surrounding Rabbi Rosen's leadership and his relationship with the Communist regime. He will then reflect on Rabbi Rosen's leadership of the Jewish community following the fall of Communism in December 1989, and until his death in May 1994.

A second perspective on Rabbi Rosen’s leadership will be provided by Sandra Segal, a member of the Jewish community of Romania who was especially active after the Communist regime.

Zvi Feine served in senior roles at JDC until his retirement in 2010. He served as Country Director for Romania, where he worked with Rabbi Rosen under the constraints of Communism, through the violent December 1989 revolution in Romania, and through the transition to democracy. He was deputy director of JDC-Israel for many years and also served as Country Director for Poland.

Sandra Segal is a veteran member of the Jewish community of Romania, residing in Bucharest. After the 1989 revolution, she attended various Jewish cultural courses and JDC-sponsored development programs. In 1998, she was appointed Director of Youth and Leadership Development for the Romanian Jewish Federation and served in that role until 2007.

Categories: Announcement

A note to the organizers of this event:

In an out-of-the-way place, that is, in a little known memoir, the late historian A.J. Sherman, who served a brief tenure as the Executive Director of the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture, gives a keenly perceptive and vividly written account of Rabbi Moses Rosen's invitation to him in that capacity to accompany the rabbi on one of his periodic, extended tours of the Jewish communities of then Communist Rumania. In his account, which runs to ten pages, Sherman captures Rabbi Rosen's political finesse and also reveals both his admiration and his wariness of his host. See A.J. Sherman, The Time of my Lives: A Memoir (Amazon, 2016), pp. 365-75.