Garber, Zev (Warren) 1941-
GARBER, Zev (Warren) 1941-
PERSONAL: Born March 1, 1941, in New York, NY; son of Morris Benjamin (a pharmacist) and Pearl (a homemaker; maiden name, Borko) Garber; married Lois Koppelman, December 26, 1963 (divorced, November, 1975); married Susan Adriana Ehrlich (a writer), October 4, 1985; children: Asher, Dorit Garber. Ethnicity: Jewish. Education: Hunter College of the City University of New York, B.A., 1962; attended University of California, Los Angeles, 1962-65; University of Southern California, M.A., 1970. Politics: "Centralist-Right." Religion: Jewish. Hobbies and other interests: Films, plays.
CAREER: Los Angeles Valley College, Van Nuys, CA, professor of Jewish studies, 1970—, currently chair of Jewish studies; writer. Visiting professor of religious studies at University of California, Riverside, 1983-1994. Educational consultant to the Philadelphia Center for the Holocaust. Member of the conference committee of Annual Scholars' Conference on the Holocaust. Editorial advisor of the Western States Jewish History. President, National Association of Professors of Hebrew (USA).
MEMBER: National Studies Review Journal, 1978-1980, American Oriental Society, American Schools of Oriental Research, American Academy of Religion, Society of Biblical Literature, Association of Jewish Studies, National Association of Professors of Hebrew, Society of Biblical Literature.
AWARDS, HONORS: Recognition Award, 1990, National Association of Professors of Hebrew.
Teaching Hebrew Language and Literature at the College Level, Educational Resources Information Center (Washington, D.C.), 1991.
Shoah: The Paradigmatic Genocide: Essays in Exegesis and Eisegesis, University Press of America (Lanham, MD), 1994.
Methodology in the Academic Teaching of Judaism, University Press of America (Lanham, MD), 1986.
(With A. Berger and Richard Libowitz) Methodology in the Academic Teaching of the Holocaust, University Press of America (Lanham, MD), 1988.
(With Richard Libowitz) Peace, in Deed: Essays in Honor of Harry James Cargas, Scholars Press (Atlanta, GA), 1998.
Academic Approaches to Teaching Jewish Studies, University Press of America (Lanham, MD), 2000.
Editor-in-chief of "Studies in the Shoah" series, University Press of America. Contributor to books, including What Kind of God?: Essays in Honor of Richard Rubenstein, University Press of America, 1995.
Editor of Iggeret; editor of Shofar issues; contributing editor of Israel Today (became Los Angeles Jewish News). Member of editorial board of Shofar.
WORK IN PROGRESS: "Ongoing researching and writing on themes related to the Shoah."
SIDELIGHTS: Zev Garber is an educator specializing in the Holocaust, which he prefers to refer to as the Shoah. Garber explained to John Dart in the Los Angeles Times that the term Holocaust originally referred to religious sacrifices and thus bears a Biblical connotation that "makes the six million Jews an offering to God, and the priests are the Nazis." He told Dart that the Hebrew word Shoah, which means "destruction," is more appropriate. "Language determines how we think," Garber observed. "And because Shoah is a Hebrew term, we don't lose the Jewishness of the victims."
Garber wrote Shoah: The Paradigmatic Genocide: Essays in Exegesis and Eisegesis, and he has edited numerous academic volumes. In addition, he serves as editor-in-chief of the University Press of America's "Studies in the Shoah" series.
Garber once told CA: "My main research focuses on the central issues of human life, meaning, and consciousness in the post-Shoah (Holocaust) world. My writings and scholarly papers address historical, literary, pedagogical, philosophical, and theological concerns. What unites my approach to the Shoah is the quest for a meaningful agenda to learn and teach the Holocaust fifty years later, when the entire horrific enterprise is either forgotten, questioned, revised, or denied. For an age that ponders technologically administered mass death, global indifference, tribalism, and God forsakeness, my thinking is offered as a meditation in human responsibility and theological responsibility.
"The essence of Shoah thinking is 'dislike of the unlike.' It is the recognition of this force in our lives that must be at the core of any Holocaust presentation. I am concerned, therefore I am; I am appalled, therefore I write: Mankind is improvable. We must all be reminded of this, and writers and educators, above all, must believe it."
Garber coedited Peace, in Deed: Essays in Honor of Harry James Cargas, with fellow Hebrew scholar Richard Libowitz. The book is dedicated to the leading Catholic scholar in Holocaust studies, Harry James Cargas. In the foreword, Kurt Vonnegut identifies Harry Cargas as "a person of historical importance for having taken into his very bones, as a Christian, the horrifying mystery of how persons could profess love of Jesus Christ, as did most Nazis . . . yet commit a crime as merciless as the extermination of Europe's Jews."
Peace, in Deed consists of twenty essays exploring Holocaust issues, such as the Holocaust and higher education, the relationship between man and God after Auschwitz, and a call for philosophical examination of the question of evil. The title of the book is quoted from Cargas, "Converting the 'teaching of contempt' to the 'teaching of reconciliation' is the reality of Peace, in Deed."
Academic Approaches to Teaching Jewish Studies, published in 2000, is a collection of essays by Jewish and non-Jewish scholars focused on the way that Jewish studies can be integrated into standard college and university curricula. The book is an extension of his 1986 book, Methodology in the Academic Teaching of Judaism. The essays cover diversified disciplines within the broad category of Jewish studies. Different scholars examine the teaching of Post-Resurrection Jewish history, gender studies, Hebrew literature, Biblical studies, and the Holocaust. David Patterson, in his included Holocaust essay, furthered Garber's editorial position, writing, "If non-Jews are to fathom the significance of the Shoah to the Jews . . . they must incorporate Jewish religious teachings into their study of the Shoah." Carol Harris-Shapiro wrote in the Journal of Ecumenical Studies, "Teachers will undoubtedly find at least one essay that provides helpful theoretical and curricular material, although it would be the rare individual who would profit from every essay."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Garber, Zev, Academic Approaches to Teaching Jewish Studies, University Press of America (Lanham, MD), 2000.
Garber, Zev, Peace, in Deed: Essays in Honor of Harry James Cargas, Scholars Press (Atlanta, GA), 1998.
Choice, November, 2000, A. J. Avery-Peck, review of Academic Approaches to Teaching Jewish Studies, p. 548.
Journal of Ecumenical Studies, winter, 2000, Carol Harris-Shapiro, review of Academic Approaches to Teaching Jewish Studies, p. 84.
Los Angeles Times, April 9, 1994, review of Shoah: The Paradigmatic Genocide: Essays in Exegesis and Eisegesis, p. B1.
Reference & Reference Book News, February, 1999, review of Peace, in Deed, p. 21.
Religious Education, spring, 1998, review of Shoah, p. 259.
Shofar, winter, 2002, Richard Libowitz, review of Academic Approaches to Teaching Jewish Studies, p. 129.
Humanities and the Social Sciences Online,http://www.2.h-net.msu.edu/ (May, 1999), review of Peace, in Deed.