International Conference: «Minorities, cultural heritage and modern Romanian civilization» – Bucharest, October 21-22 2003

The Romanian Jewish Heritage Project Conference

The U.S. Government, with assistance from the Romanian Foreign Ministry, is providing support for the Romanian Jewish Heritage Project Conference on “Minorities, Cultural Heritage and Contemporary Romanian Civilization”. The conference will be held in Bucharest on October 21-22, 2003, and is organized by B’nai B’rith International and the Federation of Jewish Communities in Romania.

The Romanian Jewish Heritage Project’s objectives include: the creation of a digital archive accessible via the Internet; a comprehensive documentation of Jewish trails in Romania; improvement of interethnic communication and cultural knowledge among Romania’s ethnic minorities; and heightened public awareness of the role minorities play in a multiethnic, democratic civil society. The Project was officially launched at the end of 2002 through a grant from the U.S. Government to B’nai B’rith International under the Romanian-American Sustainable Partnerships (RASP) Program. RASP is financed by the U. S. Agency for International Development and implemented by World Learning.

B’nai B’rith International and the Federation of Jewish Communities in Romania are also assisted in the organization of the Project conference by the “Civic Education Project” Romania and the “Goldstein Goren” Center for Hebrew Studies of Bucharest University.


International Seminar


October 21-22, 2003

Crowne Plaza Hotel

Tuesday, October 21, 2003


  • Greetings

  • Representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

  • Representative of USAID/World Learning/US Embassy in Romania

  • Nicolae Cajal, president of FJCR, Member of the Romanian Academy of Sciences

  • Daniel Mariaschin, Executive Vice President of B’nai B’rith International
  • 1st Section: Multiculturalism and interethnic dialogue

    9.30-11.00 Moderator Liviu Rotman

  • Jews, their Diaspora and the Minority Experience
    Jeremy Cohen, Director, Goldstein-Goren Diaspora Research Center, Professor of Jewish History, Tel-Aviv University

  • Gala Galaction and the Jewish Heritage
    George Voicu, Professor, Department of Political Sciences, Bucharest University

  • The Romanians’ Tolerance to minorities – between myth and reality
    Andrei Oisteanu, Researcher, “Goldstein Goren” Center for Hebrew Studies, Bucharest University

  • 11.00-11.15 Coffee break

    11.30-12:30 Moderator Felicia Waldman

  • From the goy-Jew to the Jew-goy
    Michael Shafir, Senior Area Specialist, Radio Free Europe

  • The Germans of Romania between Nazism and Stalinism
    William Totok

  • Political strategies of Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania (UDMR) and the multicultural model in Romania
    Miklos Bakk, Assistant Professor, Babes Bolyai University, Cluj

  • 12.30-13.00 Questions and Answers

    13.00-14.00 Lunch break

    2nd Section: Successful projects for the preservation of cultural heritage

    14.00-17.00 Moderator Andrei Oisteanu

  • Together – a cultural project
    Georgeta Rosu, Peasant’s Museum

  • Digital Photo Of a Burning Candle
    Stefan Maier, Project Manager, Romanian Jewish Heritage

  • Governmental structures involved in the issues of national minorities. Past and present
    Peter Eckstein Kovacs, representative of the Hungarian minority

  • The Armenians’ presence in Romania for a thousand years – a model of ethnic co-existence
    Varujan Vosganian, representative of the Armenian minority

  • Rroma people of Romania: the emergence of a stigmatized identity
    Vasile Ionescu, representative of the Rroma minority

  • Regenerative and Mimetic Actions in preserving the Identity of National Minorities
    Andrei Ioan Stefanko, representative of the Slovak minority

  • 17.00-17.30 Questions and Answers

    17.45 Cocktail

    Wednesday, October 22, 2003

    3rd Section: Jewish heritage; lessons lived, lessons learned

    09.00-10.45 Moderator Alexandru Florian

  • The Jewish cultural heritage, essence and form
    Harry Culler, Researcher, FJCR

  • Significance of the Choral Temple in the Jewish cultural heritage
    Lya Benjamin, Researcher, FJCR

  • The Holocaust in Romania and its Consequences through photographic images
    Radu Ioanid, USHMM

  • Romanian Jews, Romanian Antisemitism, Romanian Holocaust
    Paul Shapiro, USHMM
  • 10.45-11.15 Coffee break:

    Presentation of Ruth Glasberg Gold’s book “The time of dried tears”, Hasefer 2003

    11.15-13.00 Moderator Liliana Popescu

  • The Jewish Cultural Heritage between preservation, re-evaluation and re-launching
    Dorel Dorian, MP, Editor in Chief of “The Jewish Reality” Magazine

  • The Road to Jewish Heritage in the South of France
    Carol Iancu, Professor, Paul Valery University, Montpellier

  • Managing historical memory. Contemporary highlights
    Liviu Rotman, Researcher, Goldstein-Goren Diaspora Research Institute, Tel Aviv University

  • The year 1942 – Testimonies
    Victor Eskenasy, Historian, Radio Free Europe

  • Romanian Jewish Heritage, a cross-field project
    Alexandru Florian, Manager for Romania, Romanian Jewish Heritage Project
  • 13.00-13.30 Questions and Answers

    13.30-14.30 Lunch