It is with great sadness that we inform you of the death of Former Trustee Ione Apfelbaum Strauss, CW’54, PAR’82. Ione became a Penn leader at a crucial point in our University’s history, and her service helped open doors for the generations of volunteers that would one day follow. She will be deeply missed, and we offer our sincere condolences to her family and friends, especially her daughter Louise, C’82.
The Katz Center mourns the recent passing of Ione Apfelbaum Strauss (CW’54), who, in addition to her leadership as a university trustee, SAS overseer and president of Penn’s alumni association, was also instrumental in the creation of the Katz Center, as a supporter, advisor and as the chair of its board.
In 1832, an antisemitic scandal shook France to its core. In the spring of that year, the Bourbon royal family—ousted by yet another revolution—was moldering in exile when its most glamorous member, the duchesse de Berry, hatched a plot to reclaim the throne for her 11-year-old son. Surrounded by a band of young nobles willing to die for the royalist cause, the duchess landed on the coast of France in May.
It has always been a source of pride for the Katz Center that it is located so close to the birthplace of American democracy. That democracy is now having to reckon with many painful issues at the same time—racism, violence, and people’s distrust of a government that is meant to represent and serve them—and that too is now manifest in the Center’s immediate environs, in different kinds of loss being experienced by people who live and work very close to home for us.
JQR 110.2 is now available, online* and in print.
In this issue:
In fifteen years serving as an academic director, I have never experienced such a cascade of painful decisions as I have faced in the last few weeks, scuttling programs and plans that were years in the making, disappointing people, calling a halt to scholarly work that it is my responsibility to help advance. Of course, the disruption that the Katz Center faces is nothing compared to what so many are going through at Penn, in Philadelphia, and around the world right now.
This is a generation-defining moment. And like every such moment that has gone before, it is not only the crisis itself but also how we respond that matters most.
The Penn community has responded heroically. Everyone has had truly difficult decisions to make. That we have done so together will contribute directly to the health and lives of members of our community and countless others. We will continue to do this guided by the best understanding and evidence for what will protect and save lives.
Dear Katz Center community,
During the present public health challenge posed by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the Katz Center needs to follow guidelines established by the University of Pennsylvania. This includes cancelling all public programs for the remainder of the semester, as well as our annual Meyerhoff Lecture. We are hoping to reschedule many of these events for another time in the future, so please stay tuned.
It is my pleasure to announce the Katz Center fellowship cohort for the 2020–21 academic year, tackling the theme of “America's Jewish Questions.”