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Dr. Beth Cohen

‘Life Reborn’ Fellow
"Case Closed: Holocaust Survivors in America, 1946-1950"

Professional Background

Dr. Beth Cohen received a Ph.D. in Holocaust history from Clark University, an M.Ed. in psychology from Harvard University, and a B.A. in psychology from Adelphi University. During her fellowship at the Museum, she was Lecturer at the Strassler Family Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Clark University. For her ‘Life Reborn’ Fellowship for the Study of Displaced Persons, Dr. Cohen conducted research for her project “Case Closed: Holocaust Survivors in America, 1946-1950.”

Dr. Cohen is the recipient of a number of prestigious awards and fellowships, including the Peter Hayes Fellowship from the Holocaust Educational Foundation; the Feinstein Center for American Jewish History Scholarship from Temple University; the Lipper Doctoral Research Scholarship and Grant to conduct research in Israel and the Czech Republic; and the Crown Family Doctoral Research Scholarship. The former Director of Education at the Rhode Island Holocaust Memorial Museum, Dr. Cohen has participated in the National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Scholars’ Seminar at Brandeis University, Yad Vashem’s Seminar for Educators from Abroad, and the Facing History and Ourselves Summer Institute. She is the author of “In the Shadow of Genocide: A Comparison of Literature by the Descendants of the Armenian Genocide and the Holocaust” in the Journal of Armenian Studies (vol. 6, no. 2, Winter/Spring 2000-2001). She has also given presentations on her work at a number of academic conferences.

Fellowship Research

During her tenure at the Museum, Dr. Cohen conducted research on her book manuscript about the reception of Holocaust survivors in America in the immediate postwar period and the response of Holocaust survivors to their new communities. She gained a nuanced understanding of the way in which Holocaust survivors were able to resettle and renew their lives after the war. Through extensive use of the Museum’s Yizkor book collection, oral testimonies, and other collections, she was able to broaden and deepen her doctoral research for her book project.

Dr. Cohen was in residence at the Mandel Center from October 18, 2004 to April 15, 2005.