HARTFORD – The Trinity Club of Hartford honored Samuel Kassow, Northam Professor of History, as the club’s “Person of the Year” at a dinner in early November. The annual event took place in Hamlin Hall on the Trinity College campus.
Kassow, who graduated from Trinity in 1966, received the award for his distinguished service to the college. The West Hartford resident has been a member of the faculty since 1972, during which time he has won prestigious fellowships, held visiting professorships and written numerous books and articles. The Person of the Year award was presented to Kassow by Henry Zachs ’56, who has been a major donor to the college. In fact, the Hillel House bears Zachs’s name.
At Trinity, Kassow’s areas of expertise include modern Jewish history; Russian and Soviet history; the Holocaust; modern German history; and modern European intellectual history. In addition to English, he speaks Russian, Yiddish, Hebrew, Polish, German and French.
After graduating from Trinity in 1966, Kassow received his master’s degree from the London School of Economics and his Ph.D. from Princeton University.
His most recent book, “Who Will Write Our History? Emanuel Ringelblum, the Warsaw Ghetto, and the Oyneg Shabes Archive,” has received national and international acclaim. Published by Indiana University Press in 2007, it was selected by the Jewish Book Council as a finalist for the 2007 National Jewish Book Award in the Holocaust category. Kassow won the 2008 AAASS/Orbis Books Prize for Polish Studies, and Peter N. Miller wrote in his New Republic review that Kassow’s book “may well be the most important book about history that anyone will ever read.” Miller called the book “a work of tremendous significance.”
Earlier this year, Kassow was elected a Fellow of the American Academy for Jewish Research (AAJR), the oldest professional organization of Judaica scholars in North America. Kassow has also written “Students, Professors, and the State in Tsarist Russia: 1884-1917; Between Tsar and the People: the Search for a Public Identity in Tsarist Russia;” and “The Distinctive Life of East European Jewry”. He is current working on “Two Jewish Cities: Vilna and Warsaw,” which will be published by Indiana University Press.
In 2008, Kassow was honored as one of 14 “Jewish Movers and Shakers” by The Connecticut Jewish Ledger. He was selected for his “substantial, sustained contributions to the state’s Jewish community.”
Sam Kassow accepts the Person of the Year Award as his daughter Serena Kassow, his wife Lisa Pleskow Kassow and Scott Lewis ’76, president of the Trinity Club of Hartford look on.