Sarah Cushman is Director of the Holocaust Educational Foundation of Northwestern University and Senior Lecturer in the History Department. She came to HEFNU in 2016 with broad administrative experience and a background in Holocaust history and education. Cushman served as Head of Educational Programming at the Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Clark University from 2013-2016 and from 2007-2013, she was Director of Youth Education at the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center of Nassau County (New York). She earned her PhD from Clark University in 2010 for her dissertation, The Women of Birkenau, which she is currently revising as Women in Auschwitz, which is under contract with the University of Indiana Press. Cushman is co-editor of the forthcoming The Routledge Handbook on Auschwitz-Birkenau, and co-editor in chief of Holocaust Studies: A Journal of Culture and History. She has earned fellowships from the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute, the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Holocaust Educational Foundation, and Steven Spielberg. Cushman is involved with the National Higher Education Leadership Consortium of Directors of Centers in Holocaust, Genocide and Human Rights Studies, as well as its Midwestern affiliate, and is a member of the Illinois Holocaust and Genocide Commission.
Vanda Rajcan is HEFNU’s first PostDoc/Assistant Director. She earned her PhD from Northwestern University in 2021 for her dissertation “Unpopular Justice: Holocaust Trials in the Slovak People’s Courts,” which she is currently revising for publication. She has earned fellowships from the IIE (Fulbright), the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Auschwitz Jewish Center and Northwestern University. Rajcan worked as a researcher for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos from 2009 to 2014. Her current project investigates the complicated relationships between justice, nationalism, and collective memory in Slovakia through wartime Aryanization and postwar restitution cases.
Eva Seligman, Executive Assistant, joined the Holocaust Educational Foundation in 2022. She has a BA in Religion and Gender Studies with a minor in Jewish Studies from Oberlin College and a Master of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School. Prior to her work at HEFNU, Eva taught middle and high school for eleven years in both Romania and in the greater New York City area.
Anastasiia Simferovska, Graduate Assistant, is a PhD candidate at the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures and a Jewish Studies Cluster fellow at NU. She is working towards her dissertation on image migration in artistic and literary Holocaust texts in Eastern Europe. In her research, Anastasiia brings together art history, literary criticism, historical analysis, and cultural archeology. Anastasiia also holds a PhD in Art History from Lviv National Academy of Arts, Ukraine. In 2022, Anastasiia was the recipient of the HEFNU Teaching Grant.
Theodore “Zev” Weiss, Founder, was born and spent his early childhood in Hungary. When the Germans occupied Hungary in 1944, he was deported to Auschwitz with his parents, brother, and sister. He was immediately separated from his family and never saw them again. After imprisonment in Auschwitz-Birkenau, he worked as a slave laborer in other camps, and eventually was liberated by the US army. He came to the United States in 1956, where he served as a teacher and principal for 35 years. Along with his wife Alice and a host of friends who comprised the original Board of Directors, Weiss founded the Holocaust Educational Foundation in 1976. For the first decade, the Foundation’s primary work was to record Holocaust Survivor testimony. In 1988, the Foundation provided funding to establish a Holocaust history course at Northwestern, which continues to this day and enrolls over 100 students each year. The success of this course prompted the broadening of the Foundation’s mission to encourage Holocaust education at the university level. As a result of Weiss’s efforts, the Foundation has become a critical force in developing and supporting the field of Holocaust Studies. Sadly, Theodore "Zev" Weiss passed away in November 2020. HEFNU's In Memoriam and Video Tributes
Benjamin Frommer (2013-2016) oversaw the integration of the Holocaust Educational Foundation into Northwestern University and served as the first Director of the Foundation after integration. Building upon the work of Zev Weiss, Frommer formalized processes related to all aspects of the foundation, including leadership advising, awarding fellowships and grants, staffing the Summer Institute, and fundraising. He grew the Foundation from two part-time staff members to two full-time staff members and laid the groundwork for continued growth and impact on the field of Holocaust Studies. He continues to serve on the faculty at Northwestern University in the Department of history. For more information click here.
Past Graduate Student Assistants
Daniel Atwood (2022-2023), is a doctoral student in Musicology studying representations of musicians in early modern English theater. He has recently presented his research at the conferences of the Royal Music Association and the Society for Seventeenth-Century Music. He holds an M.M. in Classical Guitar Performance from Northwestern University and a B.M. in Classical Guitar Performance from Southeast Missouri State University.
Eda Uca (2020-2021) is a PhD candidate in Religious Studies, concentrating in Orientalism and American Religious History, with secondary concentrations in religion and media, and digital and environmental humanities. Before enrolling at NU, Uca founded a faith-based third wave feminist (distance learning) people’s seminary, trained for ordained (Protestant) ministry, and earned two graduate degrees at Yale Divinity School.
Jeremy Kuperberg (2019-2020) is a PhD Candidate in Northwestern’s Sociology Department. His research focuses on collective memory and historical representation in post-conflict societies. Before coming to Northwestern, Jeremy received a B.A. in History at UCLA and worked as an elementary school teacher in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Niamba Baskerville (2018-2019) is a Ph.D. candidate in Sociology interested in the relationship between media and society. Her current research examines how messaging and strategy trends within the political consulting industry shape U.S. political culture. She holds an M.A. in sociology from Northwestern University and a B.A. in Sociology & Anthropology from Swarthmore College.
Myisha S. Eatmon (2017-2018) is a Ph.D. candidate specializing in African American history with a minor field in Legal history. Her research interests include Jim Crow, civil litigation, African American print culture, and the long nineteenth century. Before attending Northwestern, Myisha interned for (then) Senator John Kerry and attended the University of Notre Dame, where she earned a B.A. in Political Science and History (2012). She holds an M.A. in history from Northwestern University.
Alissa Schapiro (Winter – Spring 2017) is a third year Ph.D. student in Art History working on mid-twentieth century American art related to World War II and the Cold War, focusing most specifically on various American modernist responses to the Holocaust during the war years. Schapiro received her B.A. in History of Art and Architecture from Harvard University, and her M.A. in Curatorial Studies from the Courtauld Institute of Art in London.
Amanda Kleintop (Spring 2016) is a Ph.D. candidate specializing in nineteenth-century American history with a minor field in historical methodologies. Her research interests include the U.S. South, Civil War, slavery, and emancipation in the Atlantic World. Before attending Northwestern, Amanda worked in digital history with the Digital Scholarship Lab and public history with Virginia Sesquicentennial Commission. She holds an M.A. in history from Northwestern University and a B.A. in history and leadership studies from the University of Richmond (2011).
Lev Daschko (Spring – Fall 2015) is a graduate student studying Modern European History, concentrating on the historical relationship between Ukrainians and Jews in Austro-Hungarian Empire. He completed an Honours BA in History and Political Science at the University of Toronto, and a master’s degree in History at the University of Western Ontario. Recently, he presented at a conference in Toronto on the representation of Jews in Ukrainian nationalist newspapers during WWI. Lev is currently examining the depiction of local Ukrainians by Jewish publishers and printers in the Habsburg Duchy of Bukovina.
Beth Healey (Fall 2014 – Winter 2015) is a doctoral candidate in History, concentrating on Nazi Germany and the Holocaust. She holds a bachelors degree in History from Providence College and a masters degree in History from Boston College. Beth has presented her work in Rome, Chicago, London, Los Angeles, and Munich, and is currently working on her dissertation examining the Royal Warrant war crimes trials of Nazi war criminals in British-occupied Germany.