The Little-Known Story of Jewish Refugee Professors at Historically Black Colleges & Universities with Lillie J. Edwards and Nadine Epstein

By | Oct 12, 2022


When German Jewish scholars were expelled from universities after the rise of the Nazis in the 1930s, many hoped to flee to the United States. But it wasn’t easy to find educational institutions to sponsor them due to rampant antisemitism in academia. Some of the lucky ones found homes at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Hear from Dr. Lillie J. Edwards, Professor Emerita of History and African American studies at Drew University, for a conversation about why HBCUs offered Jewish scholars positions, the influence these teachers had on their students and the impact the students and schools had on the lives of these refugees. In conversation with Moment editor-in-chief Nadine Epstein.

This conversation is part of a Moment series on antisemitism supported by the Joyce and Irving Goldman Family Foundation. The program is also a part of The Wide River Project, a joint initiative of Western States Center and Moment Magazine, that takes a deep dive—and fresh look—into the art, history and issues that both unite and divide the Black and Jewish communities.


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