A Mass Grave, 70 Years Later
By Mordechai I. Twersky

New York Times Features Op-Ed by Bar-Ilan Doctoral Student in Jewish History

August 2011

New York, NY – As part of his passionate interest in Jewish history and the important role his well-known family played in it, Bar-Ilan University (BIU) doctoral student Mor dechai I. Twersky traveled from Israel to Ukraine to trace his ancestors. His moving account of this journey, featured in the August 10th New York Times Op-Ed "A Mass Grave, 70 Years Later," can be read here.

A Mass Grave, 70 Years Later, by Mordechai I. Twersky (PDF)

In a telephone interview with Twersky after the Op-Ed was published, he credited the BIU professors he is studying with at The Israel & Golda Koschitzky Department of Jewish History — whom he calls "all-stars" — with helping him make the transition from writing strictly as a journalist to writing articles that have historic and academic significance.

Twersky is enjoying his Bar-Ilan academic experience. "The university provides a stimulating academic environment. It's a joy to engage with professors who are the leading experts in their field."

Among the "all-star" BIU History professors who have most influenced Twersky are Prof. Gershon Bacon, who holds the Klein Chair for the History of the Rabbinate in Modern Europe; and Prof. Kimmy Caplan, who has written extensively on Modern Jewish History, contemporary Jewry, and Israel's religious streams. "Prof. Bacon's lectures are beautifully woven tapestries," Twersky notes. "Prof. Caplan's courses are enlightening and enriching."

Twersky says Bar-Ilan is a perfect fit for him because he "proudly comes from a Zionist family." He added, "I always have a sense of pride when I enter Bar-Ilan's esthetically beautiful campus… It is a privilege to be at a University that not only resonates with Israeli pride, but is consistently at the forefront of research in the arts and sciences."

He is looking forward to earning his PhD, which is focusing on "Early Hasidism in America — 1880s to 1940s. While he is studying, Twersky will continue his career as a freelance writer, multimedia journalist and producer and host of the new "Inside Israel" Multimedia for JPost.com.

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