In Memory of Gail Hirsch Rosenthal

A Message from President Joe Bertolino:

It is with profound sadness I share that Stockton University has lost one of its most ardent leaders, Gail Hirsch Rosenthal, director of the Sara and Sam Schoffer Holocaust Resource Center. Gail passed away this morning, leaving behind an enduring legacy of passion and devotion to ensuring the stories of resilience and rescue during the Holocaust are told. 

Gail RosenthanlUnder Gail’s careful guidance for more than three decades, the Holocaust Resource Center grew to become the thriving resource and educational hub it is today, the largest in New Jersey and internationally recognized.  

Gail played a key role in developing the Holocaust and Genocide Studies minor and the Master of Arts in Holocaust and Genocide Studies. Stockton University now offers more undergraduate courses on Holocaust and Genocide Studies than any other academic institution in the world, according to Yad Vashem, The World Holocaust Remembrance Center in Jerusalem. 

Through her connections to the local Jewish community, what began as a single closet housing oral histories of local Holocaust survivors grew to include two classrooms, an exhibit room and the Holocaust Survivors of South Jersey Research Room. The original room, now named the Gail Hirsch Rosenthal room, opened in 1990. 

Gail was instrumental in raising significant funds and building strong partnerships in support of the Center, helping to ensure its long future, including: 

  • The Schimmel and Hoogenboom Righteous Remembrance Room and Exhibition, funded by Leo Ullman, and opened in 2019. 
  • University of Southern California Shoah Foundation sharing the Dimensions in Testimony Interactive Biography Program of Holocaust survivor Ed Mosberg with the Center, the only one of its kind in an educational center. 
  • Claire’s Classroom, funded by Norman and Micki (Kosden) Massry in honor of their mother, opened in 2023. 
  • The Holocaust Survivors of New Jersey Research Room, funded by Leo Schoffer, opened in 2023.  

Gail and Professor Michael Hayse led 12 student and community study tours to Europe and to Israel to visit sites related to the Holocaust and Jewish history. These were life-changing for many students and have also cultivated strong bonds with the local community including Holocaust survivors and their children, Second Generation after the Shoah. 

These trips also helped to cement the HRC’s connections to other important institutions around the world, including Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., the Jewish Museum of New York City and University of Southern California Shoah Foundation, Jewish Foundation for the Righteous, Facing History & Ourselves, and the New Jersey Commission on Holocaust Education among others. Stockton University is known throughout the world largely due to the work of Gail and the Holocaust Resource Center. 

Gail was pivotal in securing private philanthropic support for student scholarships. More than $100,000 in scholarships is awarded annually to Stockton students studying Holocaust and Genocide Studies thanks to her work. She continued teaching courses and working directly with students. 

Gail was a tireless advocate and oversaw more than 200 events this year alone, all sponsored by the Holocaust Resource Center, reaching nearly 18,000 individuals. 

May her memory be a blessing.  

Services are planned for Sunday, Oct. 15, at 10 a.m. at Beth El Synagogue, 500 North Jerome Ave., Margate, NJ. An obituary will follow. Read more from Gail's colleagues about her impact and contributions.

With deepest sympathy, 

President Joe Bertolino