Tikkun Olam: War-Injured Vietnamese Children and (Hidden?) Jewish Humanitarian Efforts
Theresa Keeley, University of Louisville
In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the Committee to Save War-Burned and War-Injured Vietnamese Children (COR) brought children to the United States for free medical care. Jews, especially Jewish doctors, played key roles in founding and leading COR, yet archival documents and contemporaneous press coverage virtually ignore this fact. Privately, some Jews expressed fear that antisemitism might derail COR if the organization was seen as “too Jewish.” This paper explores what Jews’ involvement with COR – and attempts to perhaps downplay their own role - reveals about Jewish humanitarian efforts, Jewish identity, and religious activism versus religiously-influenced activism.
Respondent: Shana Bernstein, Northwestern University
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About the Seminar
The Religion and Culture in the Americas Seminar explores topics in religion and culture including social history, biography, cultural studies, visual and material culture, urban studies, and the history of ideas. We are interested in how religious belief has affected society, rather than creedal or theological focused studies. Seminars are conversational and free and open to faculty, graduate students, and members of the public, who register in advance to request papers.