Today, our spotlight is bittersweet as we bid farewell to our friend and colleague, Chana Revell Kotzin, Ph.D. who will be moving to Missouri with her husband Daniel. The Kotzins will be joining the faculty of William Jewell College, and Chana will be teaching in a part time capacity as she completes her manuscript on Buffalo Jewish life in the post WWII era.
The Kotzin family moved to Buffalo 17 years ago. Chana served as the Director of the Jewish Buffalo Archives Project (JBAP), which created a comprehensive archives of Jewish institutional, organizational and family papers from the Buffalo and Niagara area. These collections remain publicly accessible at the University Archives of the University at Buffalo. During her tenure with JBAP, Chana wrote Jewish Community of Greater Buffalo, a fast paced photographic journey through over 150 years of Jewish life.
Chana received numerous awards for her work at JBAP including the Debra E. Berhardt Award for Excellence in Documenting New York’s Heritage, NYSA in 2010; the Ruth H. Milton E. Kahn emerging Leadership Award from the Buffalo Jewish Federation in 2011; the Temple Beth Zion Community Service Award in 2014; and the Foundation for Jewish Philanthropies Community Service Award in 2017.
Most recently, Chana has served as the coordinator of Jewish Buffalo History Center (JBHC), a public history website that launched in 2021. JBHC has enabled access to family, religious and organizational histories that have animated Jewish life in local and national spheres. In 2022, Chana created the traveling and online exhibition focused on the life of Buffalonian Hyman Arluck, better known as Harold Arlen, and in March 2023, released the online exhibition Sokolivka: Once Home, which explores family ties to the village of Sokolivka, in what was Russia, now part of present-day Ukraine.
As the Curator of the Benjamin and Dr. Edgar R. Cofeld Judaic Museum at Temple Beth Zion, Chana recently guided the museum’s managerial reorganization which launched a new immersive museum experience this past April. Fortunately for Temple Beth Zion, Chana will still assist with the museum in a remote capacity.
Temple Beth Zion will be honoring Chana tonight at 6 pm during their Shabbat Service at 805 Delaware Avenue, followed by an Oneg.
We wish Chana and her family the best of luck in their new adventure, and we say, Lehitra’ot – “see you soon” rather that goodbye!