Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Holocaust Symposium to be Named for Attorney Stephen “Skippy” Weinstein
Teaneck, NJ (February 22, 2006) — Morris County attorney Stephen “Skippy” Weinstein, Fairleigh Dickinson University alumnus and Board of Trustee member, has committed $300,000 over the next ten years in support of the University’s Holocaust symposium. Beginning in 2008, the symposium will be named The Stephen S. Weinstein Holocaust Symposium at Wroxton College.
The Holocaust symposium, held at Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Wroxton College in England, is unlike any other. It turns the normal academic conference inside out, focusing first and foremost on dialogue and community-building rather than formal presentations of academic papers.
It features a diverse representation of 36 scholars from nine countries committed to working together on a continuing basis. The participants hail from United States, Canada, England, Sweden, Germany, Belgium, France, Poland, and Italy. About half of the members are Christian and half are Jewish.
Dr. Leonard Grob, co-coordinator of the symposium and a professor of philosophy at Fairleigh Dickinson, said, “I speak for all 36 Holocaust scholars who assemble at Wroxton every two years when I express my deepest gratitude to Steven (Skippy) Weinstein for a generous gift that will allow the symposium to continue for a second decade. Skippy's heartfelt and enthusiastic support of our endeavor will inspire us as Holocaust and genocide scholars to continue working to help heal our troubled world.”
For 40 years, Mr. Weinstein has specialized in representing clients in New Jersey and New York in trial courts in cases dealing with significant personal injury and death, as well as criminal defense.
In 2005, he was named one of the top 10 attorneys in the State of New Jersey and has received numerous honors and awards in his professional area, i.e., Honoree 2002 Trial Bar Award by Trial Attorneys of New Jersey; Life Member of National Registry of Who’s Who published in 2001; American University - Washington College of Law’s “American Jurist” Distinguished Alumnus Award, 1998, just to name a few. Additionally, in 1996, American University dedicated a courtroom in the new law school in his name. He is, and has been, a member of numerous organizations and has served as a delegate to the New Jersey Electoral College in 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996 and 2000. In addition, Mr. Weinstein has been involved in a variety of charitable causes, including the American Cancer Society. Throughout the years he has conducted lectures relating to his specific area of expertise and has authored several articles.
He and his wife, Nancy, a hospice nurse, have resided in New Vernon, NJ, for more than 24 years and have four adult children and seven grandchildren. Skippy and Nancy met at FDU on her first day of college in September of 1959. “I knew then that I would marry her,” he said. They graduated from Fairleigh Dickinson one year apart, Nancy earning her degree in nursing in 1961 and Skippy earning his bachelor’s degree in 1962. They have been married for 45 years.
Commenting on the Symposium, Weinstein said, “Genocide is a crime against individuals, a community, the nation and the world because it permits the evaporation of a proper moral compass.”
Symposium participants first gathered in 1996 and have produced important academic projects, artistic creations and public presentations as well as a regular book series. Their greatest success is the hardest to measure: the formation of a true community.
Leonard Grob had long wanted to build a community of scholars to study the lessons of the Holocaust. He, like many of the participants, has a personal connection to the Holocaust. Henry Knight, University of Tulsa Holocaust scholar, collaborated with Grob to coordinate the program. They wanted to make a difference in today’s world and often use the phrase “tikkun olam”— the repair of the world — to describe their efforts.
Grob says symposium members have committed to submitting one book per year to the press. They have produced three books thus far, including “Ethics After the Holocaust: Perspectives, Critiques, and Responses.” The University of Washington Press has contracted with the Symposium to publish a series of Post-Holocaust Studies, emerging from the Wroxton group. Two anthologies have already been published—“After-Words: Post-Holocaust Struggles with Forgiveness, Reconciliation, Justice” and “Fire In The Ashes: God, Evil, and the Holocaust” — and contracts have been issued for two additional books. In 2002, the symposium focused on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and the impact of September 11. Two years later, the symposium featured a day dedicated solely to networking and the arts were especially showcased.
According to Grob, the goal is “to continue exploring the boundaries of Holocaust studies in a world that has changed quite dramatically since our first symposium in 1996.”