Program Details

A Tale of Two Popes:  Jews, Israel and the Demise of Communism

Stephen Berk
Video Catch-up

Course Description

Personality counts in history. One pope, Pius XII did little.  Another pope, John Paul II, did much. The Holocaust, the end of communism and a new relationship with the Jewish people were all influenced by the actions of two leaders of the Catholic Church.

About the Instructor

  • Stephen Berk, Ph.D., is a professor of history at Union College in Schenectady, New York, where he holds the Henry and Sally Schaffer Chair in Holocaust and Jewish Studies. He is the author of "Year of Crisis, Year of Hope: Russian Jewry and the Pogroms of 1881-1882". Berk has written articles on Russian and Jewish history, anti-Semitism, and the Middle East. In 2010, he was designated an Israel Hero for his defense and advocacy of the State of Israel by JERNY, the Jewish Educational Resources of New York. In 2013, he was the recipient of the Citizen Laureate Award from the University of Albany Foundation.