holocaust-studies3 - Meet Our PhD Students


Meet Our PhD Students

Michael GansMichael Gans, the United States


Michael Gans is Director of Cultural Competence for a Holocaust Survivor Program, a RCSWI, and PhD candidate researching abuse, homophobia, mass-genocide and the transference of transgenerational trauma. He has been invited to speak at Yad Vashem, several international universities and is a self-taught filmmaker whose film, Jew Street, won two major awards.  He is an adjunct lecturer and co-creator of the I-witness Holocaust Field School in which university students explore ways mass-genocide is memorialized in Europe. Through clinical social work, Michael seeks to help clients grow and re-story their personal, familial and national narratives rooted in their traumatic memory of abuse, homophobia, slavery, forced displacement, or genocide.





Dr. Ari Kochavi, Chairman

Dr. Tsafrir Goldberg


A rendezvous of shadows: Grandchildren of Holocaust victims, perpetrators, bystanders and heroes meet in the former Warsaw Ghetto


Holocaust memory—and the long shadow it casts, still traumatizes the children and grandchildren of Holocaust victims, perpetrators, bystanders, and heroes—and may even “haunt” their DNA.  A rendezvous of shadows uses questionnaires, personal interviews and two weeks of field observation in Poland to explore how the transmission of traumatic memory has structured individual and communal consciousness, and may then have served as the scaffolding on which the perceptions and identity, and the personal, familial and national narratives of a cohort of third-generation Holocaust survivors are constructed.  As heirs of a genocidal past, when these young Germans, Israelis, Poles and Ukrainians encounter each other during a two-week Summer Educational Program in the galleries of POLIN; a recently opened Jewish museum, built on the ruins of the former Warsaw Ghetto, how and in which way are their perceptions, identity, narratives and intergroup relations impacted?

LukasLukas Meissel, Austria


Lukas Meissel is a PhD candidate in Holocaust Studies at Haifa University, his doctoral project analyses photographs taken by SS men at concentration camps. He holds a Master’s degree in contemporary history from the University of Vienna, his final thesis was awarded the Herbert-Steiner-Anerkennungspreis 2015 by the Documentation Centre of Austrian Resistance. Prior to his doctoral studies he worked as a historian in the archives of the Jewish community of Vienna, alongside serving as a board member and deputy chairperson for GEDENKDIENST, a Vienna-based NGO dealing with Austrian contemporary history. He had also worked on projects on behalf of Yad Vashem in Vienna and as a volunteer in the Yad Vashem archives in Jerusalem. Since 2008 he had guided numerous study trips to memorial sites in Austria, Poland, Italy and Lithuania. His research interests focus on visual history, perpetrator studies, antisemitism, and Holocaust Education.





Prof. Amos Morris-Reich

Dr. Ofer Ashkenazi


SS-Photography in Nazi Concentration Camps. Genres and Meanings of Erkennungsdienst-Photographs


The PhD-project focuses on photographic practices in concentration camps, specifically photographs taken by SS-men of Erkennungsdienste (identification departments). These departments were responsible for the production of photographs for the camp administrations, higher SS-institutions and for SS-members. The images produced there include portraits of deportees, photos of prisoners conducting forced labor, construction sites and buildings in the camps, corpses of murdered inmates, events such as ceremonies or visits by delegations, as well as private photographs of SS-personnel. The aim of this project is to analyze the act of photographing in concentration camps and how the pictures taken there were used in their historical and cultural context.

Interested in applying for our MA in Holocaust Studies Program?  You can find the application and more information here.
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