Press Releases

Jewish Studies Hosts Talk by Author Ghita Schwarz on April 11

Date Released: 3/28/2011

The Jewish Studies Progam will host author Ghita Schwarz for a community-wide discussion on April 11 at 7:30 PM in the Student Services Building. Free admission. Details.

Ghita Schwarz'™ recent novel, DISPLACED PERSONS, (William Morrow 2010) was recently named Finalist in the Jewish Book Council's 2010 National Jewish Book Awards, category Outstanding Debut Fiction- Foundation for Jewish Culture's Goldberg Prize.

Ms. Schwarz will discuss her American-Jewish heritage, her research on the displaced persons camps, and her novel as it connects to her work with immigrants from many ethnic backgrounds.  Historian Rachel Hallote, Director of the Jewish Studies Program of Purchase College SUNY notes, "Schwarz' visit will be a fantastic opportunity for students to meet an author face-to-face in a manner that brings together our vital course offerings in the fields of Holocaust Studies, Creative Writing, and Jewish Studies. Indeed, this is a chance for the campus and the wider Westchester community to share in conversation with one of the newest novelists in the American-Jewish literary world." 

Ghita Schwarz is a civil rights litigator specializing in immigrants' rights. She grew up in a family of postwar Jewish refugees in New York City and attended Harvard College and Columbia Law School. Her fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Ploughshares, The Believer, and The San Francisco Bay Guardian.  This is her first appearance in the Westchester area since the publication of her critically acclaimed novel, which Associated Press hails as "the long view of what postwar survival really meant." 


In DISPLACED PERSONS, Schwarz distills the disparate experiences of the hundreds of thousands of ordinary men, women and children who lived through the cataclysm of war into a beautiful and heart-rending debut novel. The end of World War II found some 250,000 Jewish survivors living as displaced persons-alive but without homes, families or communities to which they could return.  Until recently little has been written about this fascinating and turbulent time, and the experiences of the refugees into the ensuing decades.  DISPLACED PERSONS tells the tale of four Polish Jews-Pavel, Fela, Sima and Chaim--following through in three distinct periods in their lives: from their first meeting in the Bergen-Belsen displaced persons camp, to their early attempts at family normalcy in the United States, to their late-in-life project of memorializing their own histories, concluding in the year 2000.


The talk is supported by the Julian and Barbara Juster Fund for Holocaust Studies of the Jewish Studies Program, Purchase College State University of New York.


Ghita Schwarz is available for interviews; her book trailer may be viewed at the following link:


Event contact: Prof. Andrea Siegel, Visiting Assistant Professor, Jewish Studies Program Purchase College SUNY, 914-251-6563 /