Contact:

Margaret Anne Tockarshewsky, Executive Director, New Haven Museum

203-562-4183, ext. 120, matockarshewsky@newhavenmuseum.org

Julie Winkel, Media Specialist,                                                                                                             

203-815-0800, jwinkel@live.com          

Laurel Fox Vlock to be Highlighted at

Second Annual Judith Ann Schiff Women’s History Program

New Haven, Conn. (January 8, 2024) – The New Haven Museum (NHM) will highlight the life, work, and legacy of Laurel Fox Vlock during the Second Annual Judith Ann Schiff Women’s History Program presentation, “Laurel Vlock: Pioneering Holocaust Filmmaker,” on Sunday, March 3, 2024, at 2 p.m. The program will also stream on FB Live. In the case of inclement weather, the event be recorded and aired the following week on YouTube and social media. Register here.

The lecture is dedicated to the memory of Judith Ann Schiff, founder of the Jewish Historical Society of Greater New Haven and the Ethnic Heritage Center, and Yale archivist and historian dedicated to women’s, ethnic, and New Haven history.

Vlock is best known for creating the collection that became the Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies at Yale University. Born and raised in New Haven, Vlock began her journalism career in 1964 with a WYBC-FM radio program taped and broadcast to New Haven public school students, “Your Community Speaks.” She interviewed local, national, and international personalities on a weekly public-affairs program, “Dialogue with Laurel Vlock,” on WTNH. While focusing largely on the local Jewish community, Vlock interviewed many other important leaders, including Golda Meir and Hillary Clinton. 

In 1979, Vlock and Dori Laub, a psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor, founded the New Haven-based Holocaust Survivors Film Project. The then-new technology of video allowed them to capture the full effect of survivors’ memories. The Fortunoff Video Archive at Yale now includes over 4,400 testimonies.  In 1981, Vlock received an Emmy Award for a documentary about survivors, “Forever Yesterday,” filmed for WNEW-TV in New York.

The New Haven Museum program will include video clips of Vlock’s interviews, and remembrances of her life by colleagues and family members. Photographs, publications, and objects related to Vlock will be on view in the Community Case in the Museum’s rotunda throughout March 2023.

The event is co-sponsored by the Jewish Historical Society of Greater New Haven.

About the Speakers

Marian Fox Wexler, sister of Laurel Vlock, now 94, is Laurel’s younger sister.  She will share her memories of the family’s strong influence on their lives.  In the summer of 1937, as 7- and 10-year-olds, their mother Rose Fox took them to England to stay with her sister and travel in Europe.  They witnessed the seeds of the Holocaust. 

Sandra Vlock, daughter of Laurel Vlock, has worked as an architect with her own practice, Arbonies King Vlock, for 30 years. Her firm designed a range of projects including museums and galleries, academic and municipal buildings, and private residences. Sandra has always been fascinated by how the built environment fosters a sense of community. She is excited by transforming environments and spaces into extraordinary experiences, creating a magnet that invites participation and engagement. Now working as an artist, she continues this passion for engaging people in a shared experience by capturing an authentic sense of place, context, and narrative with her art. Sandra views the integration of Fine Art & Architectural Elements offered through her newest venture, Studio Vlock, as a natural evolution of that vision, one that enables her to design pieces that inspire memorable experiences and create unique environments for social gatherings, quiet reflection, and visual delight.

Daniel Vlock, son of Laurel Vlock, is a medical oncologist who spent 15 years in academia (Yale, University of Pittsburgh, Harvard) before moving to the pharmaceutical industry. He held senior positions at several large and small pharmaceutical companies before founding his own company in 2006. Daniel is currently CEO of Alopexx Enterprises, which invests and manages a group of operating companies with programs in oncology, infectious diseases, Alzheimer’s, and rare diseases. He received his A.B. from Cornell University and an M.D. from Baylor College of Medicine.

Paul Falcone is Director of Studio Operations and Media Production and Director of Instructional and Institutional Media in the Communication, Film and Media Studies Department of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of New Haven. He has produced audio, video and film works, including feature films, short films, documentaries, television programs and commercials. Student work produced under his guidance has achieved recognition from many international film festivals and includes best student film awards and numerous University Awards for Excellence honors from the National Academy for Television Arts and Sciences. As the former lighting designer for the University Theater Department, his skills included creating the environment, setting the mood, and directing audience attention through the use of light for a wide spectrum of stage productions. Paul is known as a distinguished film festival juror, and participant at many film festivals and markets including Cannes, Toronto, Montreal, Milan, New York, Seattle and New Haven.

Stephen Naron has worked as an archivist/librarian since 2003, when he received his MSIS from the University of Texas, Austin. Stephen pursued a Magister in Jewish studies/history at the Freie Universitaet Berlin and the Zentrum fuer Antisemitismusforschung, TU. Stephen has worked with the Fortunoff Archive for more than 12 years, starting as an Archivist. Now, as director of the Fortunoff Archive, Stephen works within the wider research community to share access to the collection through the access site program, as well as writing and presenting on testimony for conferences, symposiums and class sessions inside and outside Yale. Stephen is also responsible for spearheading initiatives such as preservation and digital access to the collection; cooperative projects with other testimony collections; oversight of fellowship and research programs; and the production of the podcasts, ethnomusicological recordings, and the Archive’s documentary film series.  Since August, 2021, Stephen has been working on location in Austria, establishing the Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies outreach office in Vienna.

Carole Bass is a writer, editor, and lifetime member of the Jewish Historical Society of Greater New Haven. As a volunteer member of the planning team for the Judith Ann Schiff Women’s History Program, she wrote and helped research a biographical sketch that will be distributed at the program honoring Laurel Vlock. A longtime journalist, Carole worked for publications as varied as the Connecticut Law Tribune, the New Haven Advocate, and the Yale Alumni Magazine. She lives in New Haven and is active in her synagogue, BEKI (Congregation Beth El-Keser Israel).

About Judith Ann Schiff

Judith Ann Schiff’s passion for history led her to become New Haven’s first female City Historian—a volunteer position—and she spent a lifetime avidly documenting and teaching Elm City history. She grew up in New Haven and attended Hillhouse High School. She graduated from Barnard College with a bachelor’s degree in American history, and received a master’s degree in library science from Southern Connecticut State University, and a master’s degree in history from Columbia University. She founded or co-founded several professional historical organizations, including the Jewish Historical Society of Greater New Haven, the Ethnic Heritage Center of New Haven, and New England Archivists. She served on the boards of the New Haven Museum and Grove Street Cemetery and was heavily involved with the League of Women Voters. She contributed a chapter on social history to “New Haven: An Illustrated History,” and received the Elm Ivy Award for contributing to “increased understanding and cooperation between Yale and the City of New Haven,” and the Yale Medal in 2020.

About the Jewish Historical Society of New Haven

The Jewish Historical Society of Greater New Haven (JHSGNH) collects synagogue, cemetery, and organizational records, genealogical material, personal papers, scrapbooks, serials, yearbooks, books, objects, photographs, and other audiovisual materials, especially oral histories. Established in 1976, their mission is to preserve and share archival materials, as well as serve as a research and education center documenting the history of the Greater New Haven Jewish community. Their holdings include collections on most major Jewish organizations in Greater New Haven, a collection of the CT Jewish Ledger and over than 300 oral histories. JHSGNH is a member organization of the Ethnic Heritage Center at Southern Connecticut State University.

About the New Haven Museum

The New Haven Museum has been collecting, preserving and interpreting the history and heritage of Greater New Haven since its inception as the New Haven Colony Historical Society in 1862. Located in downtown New Haven at 114 Whitney Avenue, the Museum brings more than 375 years of New Haven history to life through its collections, exhibitions, programs and outreach. As a designated Blue Star Museum, the New Haven Museum offers the nation’s active-duty military personnel and their families, including National Guard and Reserve, free admission from Memorial Day through Labor Day. For more information visit www.newhavenmuseum.org or Facebook.com/NewHavenMuseum or call 203-562-4183.

Donate

Logo for: CT Humanities Logo for: Preservation Connecticut Logo for: CT Humanities Logo for: The 1772 Foundation Logo for: Blue Star Museums Logo for: Howard Gilman Foundation Logo for: United Illuminating Lighting Up the Arts Logo for: Connecticut Freedom Trail Logo for: WSHU Public Radio