THOMAS A. KOLSKY

OFFICE ADDRESS

Montgomery County Community College, Social Sciences Division
340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell, Pennsylvania 19422
Tel: 215.641.6380 E-mail: tkolsky@mc3.edu

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

Born in Buzuluk, Russia. Lived in Czechoslovakia, Israel, and the United States.

EDUCATION

  • Ph.D. (History, 1986), George Washington University, Washington, D.C.
    Dissertation: “Jews Against Zionism: The American Council for Judaism, 1942-1948.”
  • M.A. (International Relations, 1970), University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  • M.A. (History, 1967), University of Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii.
  • B.A. (History, 1965), Rutgers University, New Brunswick, N.J.

AWARDS AND HONORS

  • CASE and Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching 2004 Pennsylvania Professor of the Year.
    View the press release (press release will open in a new window).
  • Who’s Who among America’s Teachers, 2003-2005.
  • 2004 National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) Excellence Award.
  • 2003 Lindback Distinguished Teaching Award.
  • Contemporary Authors, 1992.
  • Franklin Fellow, American Jewish Archives, Hebrew Union College, Cincinnati, Ohio, Summer 1980.
  • National Defense Education Act Fellow in Arabic

— University of Pennsylvania, Summer 1969
— Columbia University, Summer 1970.

  • Henry Rutgers Scholar (History), Rutgers University, 1964-1965.

ASSOCIATIONS

  • Amnesty International
  • Middle East Institute
  • Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences
  • American Civil Liberties Union

WORK EXPERIENCE

  • Montgomery County Community College: Assistant Professor of History and Political Science, 1971-1975;
    Associate Professor, 1975-1985; Professor since 1985.
  • Temple University-Ambler Campus: Adjunct Instructor of Political Science, 1990-1995.
  • Beit Ha-Tfutzot, Tel Aviv University (Museum of the Diaspora): Translator and instructor (volunteer), 1979
    (during a sabbatical leave).
  • Trenton State College: Adjunct Instructor of Political Science, 1971.
  • Mercer County Community College (N. J.: Adjunct Instructor of History, 1970.
  • Bishop Conwell High School: Social Studies Instructor (12th grade), 1969-1970.
  • University of Hawaii: Graduate Assistant, Department of History, 1965-1967.

ACADEMIC INTERESTS

  • History of the Modern Middle East
  • Modern Jewish History
  • Modern European History
  • American Diplomatic History
  • American and Comparative Politics
  • Middle Eastern Politics
  • International Relations
  • Humor in History and Politics
  • History of Caricatures and Cartoons
  • Political Humor

COURSES TAUGHT

  • Middle East Government and Politics (Temple University)
  • The Peace Process in the Middle East (Temple University)
  • Western Civilization I (Ancient History)
  • Western Civilization II (Medieval and Early Modern History)
  • Western civilization III (Modern History)
  • Introduction to Sociology
  • History of the Modern Middle East
  • Modern Jewish History
  • Topics in Modern History: The Cold War
  • Topics in American Civilization: 2000 Elections
  • Introduction to Political Science
  • American National Government and Politics
  • Internships in Political Science
  • Online: Western Civilization III (Modern History)
  • Telecourse: American National Government and Politics
  • College Seminar (Orientation 101)
  • Topics in Modern History: The Arab-Israeli Conflict (Fall 2002)
  • International Politics
  • Honors Colloquium: Terrorism (Spring 2004)
  • Topics in American Civilization: The U.S. and the Middle East (Fall 2005)
  • Introduction to Political Science, Honors (2004-2005)
  • History of Modern Israel (Fall 2006)

PUBLICATIONS

“The Opposition to Zionism: the American Council for Judaism Under the Leadership of Rabbi Louis Wolsey and Lessing Rosenwald,” in Philadelphia Jewish Life, 1940-1985, ed. Murray Friedman (Ardmore: Seth Press, 1986). Also in Philadelphia Jewish Life, 1940-2000 (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2003).

Jews Against Zionism (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1990).

“The American Council for Judaism Opposition to Zionism, 1942-1948: an Assesment,” in Eretz Israel, Israel, and the Jewish Diaspora Mutual Relationship, ed. Menachem Mor (Latham, Maryland: University Press of America, 1991).

“Diaspora Anti-Zionism” in Encyclopedia of the Jewish Diaspora, ed. Avrum Ehrlich (Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2008).

PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS

MCCC SPEAKERS BUREAU. Speaker on humor and politics (1995- present).

“THE ADVANTAGE,” Montgomery County Community College Student newspaper. Cartoonist, 2003-2004.

ISSUES AND INSIGHTS, 2009-2010: Creator and organizer of two programs:
SPRING, 2010: (April 7 and April 14, 2010): AMERICAN POLITICS IN THE OBAMA ERA.
FALL, 2009: 1. (October 14, 2009): THE GENIUS OF ISLAM  2. (October 21, 2009)  “NICHOLAS WINSTON: THE POWER OF GOOD”—Film with commentary by Czech Honorary Consul Peter Raphaeli.

ISSUES AND INSIGHTS, 2008-2009:
SPRING, 2009: THE U.S. AND THE WORLD (April 8, 2009): Organizer and moderator of a panel discussion of America’s image in the world.
FALL, 2008: FOCUS ON ELECTIONS 2008 (September 24, October 8, October 22) Organizer and moderator of election panels of candidates and issues.

ISSUES AND INSIGHTS: THE UNITED STATES IN A GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE (Fall 2007 and Spring 2008). Organizer and Host (October 31 and November 7, 2007; April 16 and 23, 2008).

ISSUES AND INSIGHTS: AMERICA CONFRONTS THE WAR AND IMMIGRATION (Fall 2006). Organizer and Host (October 11 and 18, 2006).

ISSUES AND INSIGHTS: BENJAMIN FRANKLIN 300TH BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION (Spring 2006). Theme: “Happy Birthday Ben.” (12:30 p.m., April 5, 2006).

ISSUES AND INSIGHTS: THE U.S. AND THE WORLD (Fall 2005)
(1). “The United States and the Middle East, 1945-2005: Reflections, Insights, and Lessons.” Lecturer and Discussion Leader (November 2, 2005).
(2). “Religion and Politics in Contemporary America:” Host of an Interview and Open dialogue with The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Dick Polman and St. Joseph University’s Dr. Paul Aspan (November 9, 2005).

ISSUES AND INSIGHTS: THE GREAT DEBATE ON SOCIAL SECURITY (Spring 2005). Organizer and Host of an Interview/Talk Show (April 13, 2005).

RADIO APPEARANCE (WNPV radio station): Guest commentator on Election Night, November 2, 2004 (Lansdale, PA).

ISSUES AND INSIGHTS: FOCUS ON THE 2004 ELECTIONS (Fall 2004). In cooperation with the Montgomery County League of Women Voters, Host of a four-part Interview/Talk Show (October 6, 13, 30, and 27, 2004).

ISSUES AND INSIGHTS: POLITICS, RELIGION, AND HEALTH CARE (Spring 2004). Host of a three-part Interview/Talk show (April 14, 21, 28, 2004).

“AFGHANISTAN AND IRAQ.” A talk at the Adult Forum “America in the Post 9/11 World” at the Abington Presbyterian Church, Abington, PA (March 7, 2004).

“SMART BOMBS, FOOLISH CHOICES: HUMOROUS REFLECTIONS ON THE CONTEMPORARY STATE OF WORLD POLITICS.” A talk at the Montgomery County Community College Library Coffee Hour (November 5, 2003).

ISSUES AND INSIGHTS (Fall 2003): CHANGING PERSPECTIVES ON A CHANGING WORLD. Host of three-part Interview/Talk show (October 15, 22, 29, 2003).

“FROM 9-11 TO AFGHANISTAN AND IRAQ: THE MAKING OF A NEW AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY, 2001-2003.” A talk at the Indian Valley Public Library, Telford, PA on Wednesday, July 30, 2003.

ISSUES AND INSIGHTS: WAR AND PEACE. Host of a three-part Interview/Talk Show (April 9, 16, and 23, 2003).

RADIO APPEARANCE: The Daryl Berger Show (Lansdale, April 4, 2003).

FOCUS ON IRAQ: Host of a Town Meeting on the Current International Crisis, March 10, 2003.

ISSUES AND INSIGHTS: FOCUS ON POLITICS. Host of a three-part Interview/Talk Show (October 9, 16, and 23, 2002).

IMPACT OF SEPTEMBER 11, 2001. Organizer and Host of a College Forum (September 11, 2002).

ISSUES AND INSIGHTS: FOCUS ON THE MIDDLE EAST. Host of three-part Interview/Talk Show (April 10, 17, 24, 2002).

“REFLECTIONS ON THE MODERN MIDDLE EAST.” Montgomery County Community College Presidential Inauguration Celebration Lecture (March 11, 2002).

“OBSERVATIONS ON THE ISLAMIC WORLD.” A lecture at Indian Valley Library Middle East Series (January 13, 2002).

“FIGHTING AGAINST THE BACKLASH: ARAB AMERICANS AND MUSLIMS IN THE U.S.” Panel Discussion Participant (November 12, 2001).

RADIO APPEARANCE: Daryl Berger Show (Lansdale, October 19, 2001)

ISSUES AND INSIGHTS, 2001: Host of a three-part Interview/Talk Show (October 3, 10, 17, 2001).

REFLECTIONS ON THE ATTACK ON AMERICA. Organizer and Panelist (September 26, 2001).

FOCUS ON POLITICS—THE 2000 ELECTIONS: Host of a five-part Interview/Talk Show (October 11-November 8, 2000).

ISSUES AND INSIGHTS, 1999—MILLENNIAL REFLECTIONS: Host of a four-part Interview/Talk show (October 6- 27, 1999).

FOCUS ON POLITICS, 1998—ELECTIONS 1998: Host of four-part Interview/Talk show (October 7-21, 1998).

AARP CANDIDATES FORUM, October 1998 (Fox-Hoeffel): Forum Panelist.

LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS: Guest Speaker (May 17, 1997).

FOCUS ON POLITICS, 1996—ELECTIONS 1996: Host of four-part Interview/Talk Show (October 16-November 13).

AARP CANDIDATES FORUM, October 1996 (Fox-Hoeffel): Forum Panelist.

FOCUS ON POLITICS, 1994—ELECTIONS 1994: Host of a five-part Interview/Talk Show (October 5-27, 1994).

REIGN OF ERROR: OBSERVATIONS ON THE MARRIAGE OF POLITICS AND HUMOR.” Two lectures on political humor for MCCC Cultural Affairs program (October 13 and 14, 1993).

“A VIEW FROM PRAGUE: REFLECTIONS ON A VISIT:” Speech at the pre-Graduation Convocation, Gwynedd Mercy College ( May 14, 1993).

“LIVING WITH THE CHOICES,” Lecture on the outcome of the 1992 election at Abington Presbyterian Church program “Faith in an Election Year” (November 8, 1992).

“THE CROOCKED SMILE: REFLECTINS ON THE POWER OF POLITICAL HUMOR.” Lecture on political humor for MCCC Cultural Affairs program (April 9, 1992).

“THE ANTI-ZIONIST CAMPAIGN OF THE AMERICAN COUNCIL FOR JUDAISM, 1942-1948.” An address delivered at the 1991 National Conference of the American Jewish Historical Society, Hartford, Connecticut (June 1, 1991).

“THE UNITED STATES AT WAR.” Participated at a DAY and EVENING panel discussion on the Gulf War at Montgomery County Community College (January 30, 1991).

RADIO APPEARANCE: Daryl Berger Show. Lansdale, January 17, 1991.

RADIO APPEARANCE: Irv Homer Show. Philadelphia, December 3, 1990.

RADIO APPEARANCE: Ralph Collier Show. Camden, November 23, 1990.

IN PERSPECTIVE: Host of a six-part Interview/Talk Show at Montgomery County Community College (September-October 1989).

INVOLVED IN MANKIND—JEWISH ENCOUNTERS WITH HISTORY: Organizer, host, and lecturer in a film/discussion/lecture series based on Abba Eban’s film series “Heritage: Civilization and the Jews” (March-April, 1989).

“AMERICAN COUNCIL FOR JUDAISM’S OPPOSITION TO ZIONISM, 1942-1948.” A paper presented at the First Annual Symposium of the Philip and Ethel Klutznick chair in Jewish Civilization, Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska (October 10, 1988).

ASPECTS OF MODERN JEWISH LIFE. Host of lecture series program at Montgomery County Community College (April-May 1988).

FOCUS ON THE MIDDLE EAST. Organizer, host, and lecturer in 7-week film/discussion/lecture series based on 14 films on the Middle East produced by Encyclopedia Britannica (March-April 1988).

RADIO APPEARANCE: Carol Saline show. Philadelphia, December 18, 1987.

MODERN JEWISH EXPERIENCE. Host of lecture series on Jewish life at Montgomery County Community College (April-May 1987).

SEMINARS AND WORKSHOPS ON HUMOR, 1986-1990. Leader of workshops on humor at Montgomery County Community College. These included: “Investing in Laughing Stock,” “The Power of Positive Humor,” “Strategic Humor Initiative.”

FACULTY COLLOQUIUM: “THE CHANGIG NATURE OF THE AMERICAN JEWISH COMMUNITY IN THE 20TH CENTURY.” Lecture at a faculty series (April 24, 1985).

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