Published on March 10th, 2023 | by University Communications


CCJS and Florida Holocaust Museum to host panel on Eli’s Story

The Saint Leo University Center for Catholic-Jewish Studies and the Florida Holocaust Museum will host a panel of scholars who will discuss the story of Eli Rochelson and the question of Catholic reaction to the Holocaust and displaced persons after the Second World War.

Eli’s Story is a moving account of the life of a Holocaust survivor, Eli Rochelson, born in Kovno, Lithuania, in 1907. Rochelson was a physician who was sent to a concentration camp during the war. After liberation in April 1945, Rochelson joined the masses of concentration camp survivors who found themselves in one of many displaced persons camps. He befriended Lithuanian physicians, and together they established two displaced persons camp hospitals — one in Landsberg am Lech, Germany, and one at a Benedictine monastery, St. Ottilien. There, they treated thousands of survivors.

The program will feature a panel of distinguished scholars:

  • Meri-Jane Rochelson is the author of Eli’s Story, and the daughter of the late Eli Rochelson. She is professor emerita of English at Florida International University and affiliated with its programs in Jewish Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies.  Rochelson also is the author of A Jew in the Public Arena: The Career of Israel Zangwill, and the editor of Zangwill’s 1908 play The Melting-Pot, among other works.
  • Burt Rochelson is the son of the late Eli Rochelson and a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell. He serves as chief of maternal-fetal medicine for the Northwell Health System and is the director of the Maternal Fetal Medicine Fellowship Program.
  • Kevin P. Spicer, CSC, is the James J. Kenneally Distinguished Professor of History at Stonehill College. He is also chair of the advisory board of Seton Hill University’s National Catholic Center for Holocaust Education, and he is chair of the Council of Centers on Jewish-Christian Relations.

Thursday, April 27
7 to 8:30 p.m.

Florida Holocaust Museum
55 Fifth St., St. Petersburg, FL, 33701

This event is free and open to the public, but space is limited. Register online to attend »

For more information, please contact Sasha Bergstrasser with the Center for Catholic-Jewish Studies at or (352) 588-7711.

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