KEYNOTE SESSIONS

Keep checking back for additional programs, speakers, and schedule details! 

Programs listed on Eastern Time

PRE-EVENT SESSION

WHY? The Holocaust Explained

Dr. Peter Hayes

introduced by Dr. Miriam Klein Kassenoff

Tuesday, May 4 - 10:00am (ET)

Hear an exploration of the origins of one of the most tragic events in human history, from a world-renowned Holocaust historian.

Dr. Peter Hayes holds degrees from Bowdoin, Oxford, and Yale and was from 1980 to 2016 Professor of History and German and from 2000 to 2016 Theodore Zev Weiss Holocaust Educational Foundation Professor at Northwestern University in the U.S. His publications have won several prizes and been translated into French, German, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Slovak, and Spanish. His works on the Holocaust include not only the one on which his lecture is based, but also How Was It Possible? A Holocaust Reader and The Oxford Handbook of Holocaust Studies, which he edited with John K. Roth.  From 2014 to 2019, he chaired the Academic Committee of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Also an award-winning teacher, he lectures widely on German and Holocaust history in the United States and abroad.

OPENING KEYNOTE

Justice, Justice Shall You Pursue

Justice Rosalie Silberman Abella & Professor Irwin Cotler

interviewed by Robert Fife

Tuesday, May 4 - 11:00am (ET)

An up-close and personal interview with international human rights experts, Justice Rosalie Abella and Professor Irwin Cotler.

Justice Rosalie Abella was born in a DP camp in Germany in 1946 and her family came to Canada as refugees in 1950. Justice Abella was appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada in 2004. She is the first refugee, the first Jewish woman and the first child of Holocaust survivors appointed to the Supreme Court in Canada. She is an international expert on human rights law, holds 39 honorary degrees and is a passionate speaker about the role the Holocaust has played in her life. She was elected to the Royal Society of Canada in 1997, to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2007, and to the American Philosophical Society in 2018. In 2020, she was awarded the Knight Commander‘s Cross of the Order of Merit by the President of Germany. “You cannot be born in the shadow of the Holocaust to two Jews who survived it, without an exaggerated commitment to the pursuit of justice.” -Justice Abella

Professor Irwin Cotler is a former Member of Parliament (1999 to 2015), Minister of Justice, Attorney General of Canada, Professor of Law at McGill University (and director of its Human Rights Program), recipient of eleven honorary doctorates, Officer of the Order of Canada, and Past President of the Canadian Jewish Congress. Irwin has served on the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and its sub-Committee on Human Rights and International Development, as well as on the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights. In 2000, he was appointed special advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs on the International Criminal Court. He is considered an expert on international law and human rights law.

Robert Fife is The Globe and Mail's Ottawa Bureau Chief.  He is the former Ottawa Bureau Chief of the National Post and CTV National News and host of CTV's Question Period. He has won numerous awards for his investigative journalism. He broke the SNC-Lavalin affair that led to resignations of two senior cabinet ministers, a top lieutenant to the prime minister and the Clerk of the Privy Council. Mr. Fife set the political agenda in 2012-2014 when he uncovered the Senate expense scandal that resulted in the resignation of Stephen Harper’s chief of staff Nigel Wright and significant reform of Senate expenses. This year, Maclean’s Magazine named Mr. Fife as one of the country’s 50 most powerful people.

Holocaust Denial & Distortion:

Marginalization, Half-Truths, and Lies

Professor Yehuda Bauer

interviewed by Yoni Berrous

Tuesday, May 4 - 12:00pm (ET)

Seventy-five years after the end of WWII and the Shoah, these events remain a crucial part of human discourse, used to promote, or negate, specific political ideologies, even being abused to support expressions of antisemitism.  World-renowned Holocaust scholar Professor Yehuda Bauer will explore the dangerous phenomenon of Holocaust distortion, including the differences between blatant denial and manipulative misrepresentations.  Professor Bauer will address the many forms these take across ideological and political divides and highlight the threat that Holocaust denial and distortion constitute to civilized society.

Professor Yehuda Bauer is Professor Emeritus of History and Holocaust Studies at the Avraham Harman Institute of Contemporary Jewry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Academic Advisor to Yad Vashem. Bauer is fluent in Czech, Slovak, German, Hebrew, Yiddish, English, French, and Polish. He was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia in 1926. His family migrated to Israel in 1939. After completing high school in Haifa, he attended Cardiff University in Wales on a British scholarship. Upon returning to Israel, he joined Kibbutz Shoval and began his graduated studies at Hebrew University. He received his PhD in 1960 for a thesis on the British Mandate of Palestine. The following year, he began teaching at the Institute for Contemporary Jewry at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He was the founding editor of the Journal of Holocaust and Genocide Studies. Bauer has written numerous articles and books on the Holocaust and on Genocide. In 1998, he was awarded the Israel Prize, the highest civilian award in Israel and in 2001 he was elected a member of the Israeli Academy of Science. Bauer has served as advisor to the Task Force for International Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance, and Research, and as senior advisor to the Swedish Government on the International Forum on Genocide Prevention.  

We, The Liberated

Holocaust Survivors Hedy Bohm, Pinchas Gutter, Nate Leipciger & Dr. Miriam Klein Kassenoff 

Tuesday, May 4 - 1:00pm (ET)

Holocaust survivors share their memories of liberation, what freedom means to them & what they want the next generation to know.

Hedy Bohm was born in 1928, in Oradea, Transylvania, and was an only child to Ignacz, a master cabinet maker, and Erzsebet, a homemaker. In May of 1944, Hedy and her family were sent to the Oradea ghetto, and from there, she was deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau. She was then selected for forced work detail at an ammunition factory and shipped to Fallersleben, Germany in August 1944. Hedy was liberated by American forces in April 1945. Hedy returned to Romania, where she reunited with cousins, and married her husband, Imre. They were able to escape to Prague, where an aid organization arranged for this group of Hungarian orphans to obtain visas to Canada. They arrived in Halifax, Canada in August 1948. In 2015, Hedy was an eyewitness at the famous trial of Oskar Groening in Germany. Hedy speaks to student groups to inspire them to "rock the boat" and "make a difference," and to be continuously grateful for their family, education, and Canadian citizenship. ​

Pinchas Gutter was born in Lodz, Poland. Pinchas and his family were incarcerated in the Warsaw Ghetto, and subsequently sent to the death camp, Majdanek, where Pinchas' father, mother, and twin sister were murdered. Pinchas endured the slave work and horrors of various concentration camps, including Buchenwald. Near the end of the war, Pinchas was forced on a death march from Germany to Czechoslovakia, and barely survived. He was liberated by the Russians on May 8, 1945, and taken to Britain with other children. Pinchas later spent many years living in South Africa, and then immigrated to Canada where he continues to reside. Pinchas divides his time between speaking out against the Holocaust, volunteering as a chaplain, and serving as an honourary full-time Cantor in the Kiever Shul.​

Nate Leipciger was born in 1928, in Chorzow, Poland. He survived the camps of Auschwitz-Birkenau, Fünfteichen, Gross-Rosen, Flossenbürg, Leonberg, Mühldorf am Inn and Waldlager. Nate and his father were liberated in May 1945 and came to Canada in 1948, where he chaired the Toronto Holocaust Remembrance Committee, and became an executive member of the Canadian Jewish Congress National Holocaust Remembrance Committee. Nate was also a member of the International Council to the Museum of Auschwitz-Birkenau for fifteen years, has been an educator on March of the Living trips to Poland and Israel for fifteen years, and recently accompanied Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during his visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau. Nate has visited Kenora, Ontario to meet with Elders and Chiefs, and to speak to First Nations high school students. Nate's memoir, "The Weight of Freedom", was recently published by the Azrieli Foundation.​

Dr. Miriam Klein Kassenoff (organizer & moderator) is a child Holocaust Survivor, Liberation75 committee member, education specialist for Holocaust Studies at Miami-Dade County Public Schools, an appointee to the Florida Education Commissioner's Holocaust Task Force, and the Director of the Summer Teacher Institute on Holocaust Studies at the University of Miami School of Education. Miriam has studied at Yad Vashem; the International Center for Holocaust Studies in Jerusalem. In October, 2019, Miriam was honoured in Pittsburgh with The Lifetime Achievement Award, presented by Classrooms Without Borders in commemoration of the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting. She was recently chosen as one of the Outstanding Pioneer Women in Miami-Dade County, and was given the Professional Educator of the Year Award. She was also awarded the Florida Holocaust Museum Holocaust Educator of the Year, the Haitian Holocaust Refugee Project's Tikkun Olam Award, the Miami-Dade Women's History Coalition as a Woman of Impact Award, and was given special tribute by the Florida House of Representatives. 

Free to Wait: Refugees & Returning to Life

Dr. Elizabeth Anthony, Dr. Adara Goldberg, Dr. Joanna Sliwa, Jody Spiegel

Tuesday, May 4 - 2:00pm (ET)

Explore memoirs of survivors, who found themselves liberated but not free, as they tried to decide where to live and waited to immigrate. “Free to Wait: Refugees & Returning to Life” will explore the challenges that Jewish Holocaust survivors, young people and adults, faced immediately after World War II. Jody Spiegel will amplify the voices of Holocaust survivors through the reading of excerpts from memoirs. Dr. Joanna Sliwa will focus on children in postwar Krakow, Poland, and how they experienced liberation and struggled to resume their lives. Dr. Elizabeth Anthony will discuss the decisions of survivors about returning to Vienna, Austria, and how expectations and reality shaped their lives. Dr. Adara Goldberg will examine the immigration and integration of survivors in Canada and the role of organizations in facilitating the adaptation of refugees into their new home. 

Dr. Elizabeth Anthony is the Director of Visiting Scholar Programs at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies. Anthony was co-editor of Freilegungen: Spiegelungen der NS-Verfolgung und ihrer Konsequenzen, Jahrbuch des International Tracing Service, the 2015 Yearbook of the International Tracing Service, which also included her article, “Sexual Violence as Represented in the ITS Digital Archive.” She has published chapters in Lessons and Legacies Volume XII (2017); The Future of Holocaust Memorialization: Confronting Racism, Antisemitism, and Homophobia through Memory Work (2015); and the Nürnberger Institut für NS-Forschung und jüdische Geschichte des 20. Jahrhunderts Jahrbuch 2010. Anthony’s book, The Compromise of Return: Viennese Jews after the Holocaust, is forthcoming with Wayne State University Press in May 2021. She received her PhD in history at Clark University in 2016, and also holds a Master of Social Work from the University of Maryland and a Bachelor of Arts in economics from St. Mary’s College of Maryland. Among a number of fellowship awards, Anthony was the recipient of a Fulbright research grant (Austria) and a Mandel Center research fellowship.

Dr. Adara Goldberg is the Director of the Holocaust Resource Center and Diversity Council on Global Education and Citizenship at Kean University (Union, NJ). Since earning her doctorate in Holocaust History at Clark University (2012), Dr. Goldberg has held fellowships at Hebrew University and Stockton University, and served as education director for the Vancouver Holocaust Education Center. Recipient of the Marsid Foundation Prize at the 2016 Western Canada Jewish Book Awards,Dr. Goldberg’s book, Holocaust Survivors in Canada: Exclusion, Inclusion, Transformation, 1947–1955(2015), represented the first comprehensive analysis of the resettlement and integration experiences of 35,000 Holocaust survivors and their families in postwar Canada. Recent contributions include: "Making Present the Past: Canada's St. Louis Apology and Canadian Jewry's Pursuit of Justice," in Kuehne and Rein, eds., Agency and the Holocaust: Essays in Honor of Debórah Dwork (2020), and “‘He’ll make a good companion for my son:’ War Orphan Adoption in Postwar Canada,” in Kangisser Cohen and Ofer, eds., Starting Anew: The Rehabilitation of Child Survivors of the Holocaust in the Early Postwar Years (2020).Her current research projects explorethe phenomenon of post-genocidal familial reconstruction, and the role of national apologies in collective memory.

Dr. Joanna Sliwa is Historian at the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany (Claims Conference). Her own research focuses on the Holocaust in Poland and on Polish Jewish history. Joanna has taught at Kean University and Rutgers University, and served as an educator in teacher training programs on the Holocaust. She has worked as a researcher, translator, and consultant for projects ranging from academic texts to websites, films, TV programs, and exhibits. Joanna’s first book, Jewish Childhood in Kraków: A Microhistory of the Holocaust will be published by Rutgers University Press in fall 2021. The book has received the 2020 Ernst Fraenkel Prize from the Wiener Holocaust Library. Joanna is working on a new book, Counterfeit Countess: The Jewish Mathematician Who Rescued Poles during the Holocaust, co-authored with Dr. Elizabeth (Barry) White, a senior historian at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.  

Jody Spiegel is the Director of the Holocaust Survivor Memoirs Program at the Azrieli Foundation. After Osgoode Law School, Jody joined the program at its inception and has worked with her team to publish over 115 survivor stories including many award-winning publications. She is the Executive Producer of Re:Collection, an interactive experience that invites users to explore the first-hand  accounts of Holocaust survivors and the Azrieli Series of Short Films, which features stories and  animated excerpts from memoirs written by Canadian Holocaust survivors. Jody has been a Canadian delegate of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) since 2014, representing Canadian expertise in areas of pedagogy, first person accounts and Holocaust distortion in the classroom. She will chair the Education Working Group of the IHRA in 2022.

A Conversation with Elisha Wiesel and Lisa LaFlamme

Elisha Wiesel & Lisa LaFlamme

Wednesday, May 5 - 12:00pm (ET)

“My father never forgot. The things he saw stayed with him all the days of his life. He lived to speak of them to me, and to my children. My father was a witness.” - Elisha Wiesel

Elisha Wiesel is the only child of Holocaust survivor, professor, author, and Nobel Laureate, Elie Wiesel. In this program, Elisha will reflect on the legacy passed onto him by his father, who is often referred to as "the witness for the 6-million murdered Jews." A successful American businessman, Elisha has organized fundraisers for Good Shepherd Services, an after-school program charity in Brooklyn, since 2013; participated in the March of the Living; spoken at many relevant venues including the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the Museum of Jewish Heritage; and spoken out against various global human rights violations. 

Lisa LaFlamme is the Chief News Anchor and Senior Editor of "CTV National News with Lisa LaFlamme." She has interviewed Bill Gates, Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Prince Harry, and more. Lisa has covered every Canadian Federal election since 1997, every Olympics since 2008, and both recent Royal Weddings at Buckingham Palace. In addition to multiple awards for broadcasting and journalism, Lisa has received an honorary doctorate (University of Ottawa), and an honorary Doctor of Laws degree (Wilfrid Laurier University & University of Windsor). She is the recipient of the Order of Ontario, was awarded the Distinguished Canadian Award from the University of Ottawa, and was named Officer of the Order of Canada (O.C.). Lisa mentors young journalists living in conflict zones as a volunteer for Journalists for Human Rights, travels to remote areas to promote child rights and end poverty as an ambassador of PLAN International, and advances educational opportunities for Afghan women with Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan.

Love & Sex Across Holocaust Generations

Dr. Eva Fogelman & Esther Perel

Wednesday, May 5 - 1:00pm (ET)

How past traumatic experiences affect new intimate relations from therapists, experienced in working with Holocaust families. 

 

Sexual and emotional violation of men and women was rampant during the Holocaust. Being stripped, shaved and forced to parade in the nude were just some of many dehumanizing acts in concentration camps. Women were subjected to various forms of rape in the camps, in the woods, and by liberators. Men were also forced to perform sexual acts in order to survive. After the Holocaust, survivors began new intimate relationships and marriages. In many Holocaust survivor families there was silence about sexuality, previous marriages and children. How did past traumatic experiences affect these new love relations? What messages did children and grandchildren of survivors receive and how did this impact their own intimate relations? Join Esther Perel and Dr. Eva Fogelman, who will draw from their experiences in working with Holocaust families to explore these deeply personal and important issues. 

Dr. Eva Fogelman, PhD, is a pioneer in the field of group therapy for multi-generational Holocaust survivors. She is a psychologist in private practice in New York City who specializes in treating generations of the Holocaust and related historical traumas. Eva's subjects of research include post-traumatic stress disorder and other psychological impacts of the Holocaust on Survivors (including Child Survivors) and second & third generation descendants of Survivors. Eva's research has also focused on morality, altruism, persecution, and coping with extreme conditions of terror including sexual abuse, and she specializes is assisting couples and families in complicated relationships. Eva is currently working on a book titled "Living with Ghosts: Post-Holocaust Generations Mourn."

Psychotherapist and New York Times bestselling author Esther Perel is recognized as one of today’s most insightful and original voices on modern relationships. Fluent in nine languages, she helms a therapy practice in New York City and serves as an organizational consultant for Fortune 500 companies around the world. Her celebrated TED talks have garnered more than 20 million views and her international bestseller Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence became a global phenomenon translated into 25 languages. Her newest book is the New York Times bestseller The State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity (HarperCollins). Esther is also an executive producer and host of the popular podcast Where Should We Begin?

How Being a 3G has Impacted My Life

Brooke Goldstein, Tamir Goodman & Rob Rinder

Wednesday, May 5 - 2:00pm (ET)

The personal journeys of grandchildren of Holocaust survivors and the inspirational intergenerational connections that inspired them

Brooke Goldstein is a New York City-based human rights attorney, author, and award-winning filmmaker. She serves as Executive Director of The Lawfare Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness about and facilitating a response to the abuse of Western legal systems and human rights law. Brooke is also the founder and director of the Children’s Rights Institute (CRI), a nonprofit organization whose mission is to track, spotlight, and legally combat violations of children’s basic human rights around the world. CRI has a special focus on the state-sponsored indoctrination and recruitment of children to become suicide-homicide bombers, child soldiers, and human shields. Brooke’s award-winning documentary film, The Making of a Martyr, uncovers the illegal, state-sponsored indoctrination and recruitment of Palestinian children for suicide-homicide attacks. Brooke is a regular commentator on FOX News and has been featured in several media, including CNN, The New York Sun, Swindle Magazine, Defense Technology International, and on WABC News Talk Radio.

Tamir Goodman, dubbed by Sports Illustrated magazine as the "Jewish Jordan", is a former American-Israeli basketball player. After playing basketball for the Talmudical Academy of Baltimore in 11th grade, he was ranked 25th-best high school player in the country, with an average of 35.4 points per game. He accepted a scholarship from Towson University. Goodman then moved to Israel and signed a 3-year contract with Maccabi Tel Aviv in 2002. He played for Giv'at Shmuel for the 2002–03 season and Elitzur Kiryat Ata in the 2003–04 season. He returned to Giva't Shmuel for the 2005–06 season. In this program, Tamir Goodman will share three stories from his personal journey as a Jewish professional basketball player and how he overcame three challenges throughout his career in using inspiration from the life of his grandmother, who raised him. 

Rob Rinder is a barrister turned writer and broadcaster.  In 2014, while still a practising Barrister, he began starring in his reality court show Judge Rinder, now in it’s 8th series; and uses his legal knowledge working in the media to make the law more accessible and understandable to the public regularly appearing on shows such as This Morning and Good Morning Britain. Alongside Judge Rinder, Rob has also presented shows including Judge Rinder’s Crime Stories and The Rob Rinder Verdict as well as hosting his own BBC Radio 5Live series Raising the Bar aiming to demystify the legal system. His participation in series 15 of Who Do You Think You Are? retraced the story of his Holocaust survivor Grandfather and received critical acclaim. Following this Rob embarked on an emotional journey exploring further his own family’s Holocaust stories resulting in a 2-part documentary My Family, the Holocaust and Me. Along with his screen work Rob has published Rinder’s Rules which provides a thorough guide to everyday legal issues including sections on jargon-busting, consumer rights and common mistakes. He is also a columnist for The Sun and the London Evening Standard newspapers.

Antisemitism: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Dr. Marcy Gringlas, Secretary General Hannah Lessing, Marilyn Sinclair & Viviane Teitelbaum

Wednesday, May 5 - 7:00pm (ET)

Dr. Marcy Gringlas is co-founder and President of Seed The Dream Foundation, and the daughter of two Holocaust Survivors.. Seed the Dream Foundation grew out of their family's long-standing commitment to education. Dr. Gringlas has been a member of the USC Shoah Foundation Board of Councilors and Vice Chair of its Next Generation Council. She earned a Bachelor of Music from Indiana University, an MA from Columbia University, and a PhD in developmental psychology from Temple University. Dr. Gringlas retired as faculty in the Pediatrics Department at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She serves on the board of The Baldwin School as a member of the executive committee, and was previously on the board of the Anti-Defamation League, chairing the Bearing Witness Program; Steppingstone Scholars, Inc., chairing the Program Committee; and Children’s Crisis Treatment Center.

Hannah M. Lessing has been Secretary General of the National Fund of the Republic of Austria for Victims of National Socialism since 1995. She has also headed the General Settlement Fund since 2001 and the Fund for the Restoration of the Jewish Cemeteries in Austria since 2010 – three Funds carrying out their work in remembrance of the victims. Hannah Lessing is Co-Head of the Austrian delegation to the “International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance” (IHRA). Since March 2011, she has been Austria’s representative on the International Committee of the Auschwitz Foundation and Member of the Board of the Documentation Centre of Austrian Resistance. In 2001, as a member of the Austrian delegation headed by Ambassador Sucharipa, Hannah Lessing participated in the negotiations on compensation issues conducted by Under-Secretary of State Stuart Eizenstat, which led to the signature of the Joint Statement in Washington in 2001. Following this Agreement, the General Settlement Fund for Victims of National Socialism was established in 2001 in order to achieve a comprehensive resolution to open questions of compensation for victims of National Socialism. Established in order to express the moral responsibility of the Republic of Austria towards victims of National Socialism, the National Fund carries out a range of activities related to matters of restitution and compensation and the conveyance of historical awareness. Hannah Lessing has lectured extensively on the work of the three Funds, as well as in connection with national and international commemoration activities regarding the Holocaust.

Marilyn Sinclair is the Founder of Liberation75: Global Gathering of Holocaust Survivors, Descendants, Educators and Friends. Marilyn is the Past Chair of the Neuberger Holocaust Education Centre (Toronto), Co-Founder and past Co-Chair of the Dialogue for Descendants (D4D) initiative for children of Holocaust survivors, and past Co-Chair of UJA Federation’s Yom HaShoah Committee and is on the board of Canadian Jewish Holocaust Survivors and Descendants (CJHSD). She is also a member of the Next Generation Council of the USC Shoah Foundation and the NGC Task Force. In May 2017, she was appointed as one of two Canadian representatives to the Claims Conference Board and is a member of the Control Committee. In 2016, she chaired the first Canadian Study Group to Poland for Forum for Dialogue. She holds a B.Sc. and MA and is a graduate of the Rotman School of Management Jewish Communal Leadership program. Marilyn is CEO of All About Words and Secretariat Central. She was named one of Canada’s Top 100 Women Entrepreneurs by Profit Magazine and her company was named “Best of the Best” by Prism Magazine. She was recently awarded the BMO Celebrating Women: Community and Charitable Giving Award and the Community Volunteer Award (UJA Federation of Greater Toronto).

Viviane Teitelbaum is a member of the Regional Parliament of Brussels since 2004, where she  is active in social and health affairs, environment, gender equality and the fight against racism, antisemitism, sexism, and homophobia. As former Deputy to the Mayor in the municipality of Ixelles, she was in charge of urban planning, environment, economic development, and public cleaning. In charge of finances for 5 years she has implemented the first gender budgeting in a Belgian municipality. She is the past President of the European Women’s Lobby (EWL) elected in that position from 2012 to 2016 and of the French Council of Women in Belgium that she chaired from 2010 to 2018. She is currently the cofounder and chair of the Observatory of Violence Against Women. She holds a licence in Journalism from ULB (Brussels) and a Master’s degree in International Relations, from the University of Southern California (USA). She is a writer who has published ten books (including on Antisemitism and World War II), and is co-author of different collective publications and books (including a Glossary of feminism).

"In Every Generation, They Wish to Destroy Us:" Antisemitism and Anti-Israelism as Factors in Jewish Identity

Dr. Deborah Lipstadt

interviewed by Dr. Naomi Azrieli

Thursday, May 6 - 12:00pm (ET)

Dr. Deborah E. Lipstadt, Dorot professor of Holocaust Studies at Emory University in Atlanta, has published and taught about the Holocaust for close to 40 years.  The author of six books and numerous articles, she is probably most widely known because of the libel lawsuit brought against her (1996) by David Irving for having called him a Holocaust denier. Irving then was then arguably the world’s leading denier. ​After a ten-week trial in London (2000), in an overwhelming victory for Professor Lipstadt, the judge found Irving to be a “neo-Nazi polemicist” who “perverts” history and engages in “racist” and “anti-Semitic” discourse. The Daily Telegraph (London) described the trial as having "done for the new century what the Nuremberg tribunals or the Eichmann trial did for earlier generations."  The Times (London) described it as "history has had its day in court and scored a crushing victory." According to the New York Times, the trial "put an end to the pretense that Mr. Irving is anything but a self-promoting apologist for Hitler." The movie Denial, starring Rachel Weisz and Tom Wilkenson, tells the story of this legal battle. Professor Lipstadt’s book, Antisemitism: Here and Now, was published in January, 2019.  In addition to an American edition, the book will be published in the UK, Germany, Czech Republic, and Israel.​ Professor Lipstadt was an historical consultant to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and helped design the section of the Museum dedicated to the American Response to the Holocaust.

Naomi Azrieli is Chair and CEO of the Azrieli Foundation. In this capacity since 2002, she has overseen the growth of the foundation into the largest public foundation in Canada. She has been the strategic driver behind numerous initiatives, programs and partnerships including: the Azrieli Neurodevelopmental Research Program and the Future Leaders in Canadian Brain Research Program (with Brain Canada), the CIFAR  Azrieli Global Scholars Program, the Azrieli Adult Neurodevelopmental Centre and the Azrieli Centre for Neuro-Radiochemistry both at CAMH, the Joint Canada-Israel Health Research Program (in partnership with CIHR, IDRC and ISF), the Azrieli Centre for Autism Research at the Montreal Neurological Institute, the Azrieli Fellows Program and the Holocaust Survivor Memoirs Program (for which she is Publisher and Senior Editor). She is also President of Canpro Investments Ltd., a real estate company with interests in Canada and the United States and is a Director on the Board of the Azrieli Group Ltd., a publicly traded real estate company (TASE: AZRG). Naomi Azrieli holds a DPhil from the University of Oxford, a Masters from Columbia University and a BA from the University of Pennsylvania. In 2018, she received an honourary LLD from McGill University.  She serves on the boards of several national and international scientific, academic and cultural institutions. Naomi Azrieli was awarded France’s Legion of Honor (rank: Chevalier) in 2013. Born in Montreal, she has lived and worked in the US, UK and France, and now resides in Toronto with her husband and three children.

The Holocaust, Genocides, Human Rights & Universal Lessons

Professor Irwin Cotler, Professor Payam Akhavan & Naomi Kikoler

Thursday, May 6 - 1:00pm (ET)

Irwin Cotler is a former Member of Parliament (1999 to 2015), Minister of Justice, Attorney General of Canada, Professor of Law at McGill University (and director of its Human Rights Program), recipient of eleven honorary doctorates, Officer of the Order of Canada, and Past President of the Canadian Jewish Congress.​ In 2000, he was appointed special advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs on the International Criminal Court. As an international human rights lawyer, Irwin served as counsel to former prisoners of conscience Nelson Mandela in South Africa, Jacobo Timmerman in Latin America, Muchtar Pakpahan in Asia, as well as other well known political prisoners and dissidents. ​Irwin was chief counsel to the Canadian Jewish Congress at the Deschênes Commission of Inquiry on War Criminals, and is on the Board of Advancing Human Rights (NGO), a member of MEMRI's Board of Advisors, an Honorary Member of the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation, and a member of the Advisory Board of the Genesis Prize Foundation.​ In 2003, Prime Minister Paul Martin appointed Irwin to Cabinet as Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada. As Minister of Justice, Irwin tabled Canada's first-ever National Justice Initiative Against Racism.​ In 2013, Irwin was chosen to represent the Liberal Party of Canada at the Funeral of Nelson Mandela in deference to the work he did for and with Nelson Mandela in fighting Apartheid.

Payam Akhavan SJD (Harvard) is Senior Fellow at Massey College and Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, with prior appointments at McGill, Oxford, Paris, and Yale.  He is a Member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration, formerly a UN prosecutor at The Hague for the Yugoslav and Rwanda genocide trials, and counsel before the European Court of Human Rights, the International Criminal Court, and the International Court of Justice, including the Rohingya genocide case against Myanmar. He is also Senior Fellow and Canadian Co-Chair of the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights and Co-Founder of the Iran Human Rights Documentation Centre.  He delivered the 2017 CBC Massey Lectures and his book "In Search of a Better World: A Human Rights Odyssey" became the non-fiction bestseller in Canada.  He is the recipient of the 2021 Human Rights Award of the Law Society of Ontario.

Naomi Kikoler is the director of the Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide. As the Center’s deputy director she led Center’s policy engagement with the United States government and work on Bearing Witness countries, including undertaking the documentation of the commission of genocide by ISIS. Previously she developed and implemented the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect’s work on populations at risk and efforts to advance R2P globally and led the Centre’s advocacy, including targeting the United Nations Security Council. Prior to joining the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect in 2008, she worked on national security and refugee law and policy for Amnesty International Canada. She has also worked for the UN Office of the Special Advisor on the Prevention of Genocide, the Office of the Prosecutor at the UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, and the Brookings-Bern Project on Internal Displacement at the Brookings Institution, and she worked as an election monitor in Kenya with the Carter Center. She has been an adjunct professor at the New School University and is the author of numerous publications, including the US Holocaust Memorial Museum's 2015 report, Our Generation is Gone: The Islamic States Targeting of Minorities in Ninewa, the 2013 Nexus Fund series on the emerging powers and mass atrocity prevention, and the 2011 report Risk Factors and Legal Norms Associated with Genocide Prevention for the UN Office on the Prevention of Genocide and the Jacob Blaustein Institute. She is a graduate of McGill University’s Faculty of Law, Oxford University, where her masters thesis was on the Rwandan genocide, and the University of Toronto. She is a board member of the Canadian Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, the Free Yezidi Foundation, is a Fellow at the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies, and was called to the Bar of Upper Canada.

Holocaust Denial, Distortion, Minimization, and Glorification

Dr. Michael Berenbaum & Mark Weitzman

introduced by Dr. Tsipy Gur

Thursday, May 6 - 2:00pm (ET)

 

Dr. Michael Berenbaum is a writer, lecturer, and teacher consulting in the conceptual development of museums and the development of historical films. He is director of the Sigi Ziering Institute: Exploring the Ethical and Religious Implications of the Holocaust at the American Jewish University (formerly the University of Judaism) where he is also a Professor of Jewish Studies. In the past he has served as the Weinstein Gold Distinguished Visiting Professor at Chapman University, the Podlich Distinguished Visitor at Claremont-McKenna College, the Ida E. King Distinguished Professor of Holocaust Studies at Richard Stockton College for 1999–2000 and the Strassler Family Distinguished Visiting Professor of Holocaust Studies at Clark University in 2000. For three years, Michael was President and Chief Executive Officer of the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation. He was the Director of the United States Holocaust Research Institute at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and the Hymen Goldman Adjunct Professor of Theology at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. From 1988–93, Michael served as Project Director of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, overseeing its creation. He also served as Director of the Jewish Community Council of Greater Washington, Opinion‑Page Editor of the Washington Jewish Week and Deputy Director of the President's Commission on the Holocaust where he authored its Report to the President. He has previously taught at Wesleyan University and Yale University. Michael was the conceptual developer on the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Educational Center in Skokie, conceptual developer and chief curator of the Belzec Memorial, conceptual developer on the Memoria y Tolerancia in Mexico City, and historian to the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia. He is currently working on the Memorial Museum to Macedonia Jewry in Skopje, the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum, and others.

Mark Weitzman is the Director of Government Affairs for the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, architect of IHRA's adoption of the Working Definition of Antisemitism, and lead author of IHRA's Working Definition of Holocaust Denial and Distortion. Mark is an expert on trends in antisemitism, and is a winner of the 2007 National Jewish Book Award for best anthology for "Antisemitism, the Generic Hatred: Essays in Memory of Simon Wiesenthal," which he co-edited and contributed to. Mark is a member of the advisory panel of "Experts on Freedom of Religion or Belief" of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), Co-Chair of the Working Group on International Affairs of the Global Forum on Antisemitism, participant in the program on Religion and Foreign Policy of the Council on Foreign Relations, board member and former Vice-President of the Association of Holocaust Organizations, member of the official Jewish-Catholic Dialogue Group of New York, and previous member of the advisory board of the Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy at Yale University.

Founders of the Second Generation Movement

Helen Epstein, Dr. Eva Fogelman & Menachem Rosensaft

moderated by Kati Marton

Thursday, May 6 - 5:00pm (ET)

On June 19, 1977, Helen Epstein’s NY Times Magazine cover story “Heirs of the Holocaust,” was read by more than 2,000,000 people.  The interviewees verbalized what many children of Holocaust survivors were feeling but did not know how to articulate.  Eva Fogelman and Bella Savran’s awareness groups for 2G were featured; they would be replicated across the world in the next decade.  Menachem Rosensaft along with others spearheaded an international network.  We will discuss how these three voices catapulted into a movement. 

Helen Epstein is a journalist and the author, editor and/or translator of ten books . They include the Holocaust trilogy Children of the Holocaust, Where She Came From: A Daughter’s Search for Her Mother’s History (Nalezena Minulost) and The Long Half-Lives of Love and Trauma (O Cem Se Nemluvi). She translated Heda Kovaly's Under a Cruel Star into English and recently edited her late mother's memoir Franci's War.

Dr. Eva Fogelman is a pioneer in the field of group therapy for multi-generational Holocaust survivors. She is a psychologist in private practice in New York City who specializes in treating generations of the Holocaust and related historical traumas. Eva's subjects of research include post-traumatic stress disorder and other psychological impacts of the Holocaust on Survivors (including Child Survivors) and second & third generation descendants of Survivors. Eva's research has also focused on morality, altruism, persecution, and coping with extreme conditions of terror including sexual abuse, and she specializes is assisting couples and families in complicated relationships. Eva is currently working on a book titled "Living with Ghosts: Post-Holocaust Generations Mourn."

Menachem Z. Rosensaft is associate executive vice president and general counsel of the World Jewish Congress, and teaches about the law of genocide at the law schools of Columbia and Cornell Universities. He is the founding chairman of the International Network of Children of Jewish Holocaust Survivors, and is the author of Poems Born in Bergen-Belsen (Kelsay Books, 2021). 

Kati Marton is a best-selling author. From 2003-2008, Kati chaired the International Women’s Health Coalition. From 2001-2002, Kati was Chief Advocate for the Office of the Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict at the United Nations. From 2000-2011, she was a member of the board of Human Rights Watch. Kati is currently a director and former chair of the Committee to Protect Journalists.

The Future of Memory

Dr. Kori Street

Friday, May 7 - 10:00am (ET)

How USC Shoah Foundation is using new technologies to tell the stories of survivors & to keep Holocaust memory alive.

Dr. Kori Street is the Senior Director of Programs and Operations at USC Shoah Foundation. She came to the Institute in 2011 from Mount Royal University, where she was an Associate Professor and served as Chair of Entrepreneurship, Nonprofit Studies, International Business and Aviation in the Bissett School of Business. After completing a Masters in the History of Education and Gender/Feminism at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education/University of Toronto, Dr. Street received her PhD in history from the University of Victoria in 2001. Her focus was military and social history, an interest fueled by her four years of service in the Canadian Armed Forces. Her current research interests include the scholarship of teaching and learning, the Canadian home front in the First World War, and the Holocaust. She completed a major web-based project with a colleague in the Department of Humanities on the "Black Donnelleys" with the Great Unsolved Mysteries in Canadian History group. The website engages students in the study of history using inquiry-based learning models and won the MERLOT Award for innovation in 2008 and the Pierre Berton Award in 2009. Dr. Street’s current work is focused on the preservation and educational use of Holocaust survivor testimonies. This focus has also resulted in work with national and international committees on Holocaust education, remembrance, and research as well as an examination of Holocaust imagery in the Harry Potter books and films. Continuing the focus on education, her other areas of research are problem-based learning and the integration of information literacy into the classroom. In recognition of her teaching, scholarship and service record, Dr. Street won the Mount Royal University Distinguished Faculty Award in 2011.

Combatting Online Hate & Antisemitism

MP Josh Burns, Michal Cotler-Wunsh, MP Anthony Housefather, MP Marty Morantz & Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz

moderated by Michael Mostyn

Sunday, May 9 - 12:00pm (ET)

A discussion about increasing online antisemitism and online hatred, responses to this serious problem, and current efforts taking place across the globe to combat it. Speakers are all members of the Inter-Parliamentary Task Force to Combat Online Antisemitism, which includes legislators from Canada, Australia, Israel, the UK, and the USA. The Task Force's goals include the adoption and publication of transparent policies related to hate speech, raising awareness about antisemitism on social media platforms and its consequences, and holding social media platforms (e.g. Twitter, TikTok, Facebook, Google) accountable. 

Josh Burns is an Australian politician. Representing the Australian Labor Party, he was elected as a member for the Division of Macnamara in Melbourne in 2019. Josh's grandmother came to Australia as a Jewish refugee from Nazi Germany.

Michal Cotler-Wunsh is an Israeli politician. She served as a Member of the Knesset for the Blue and White party from 2020-2021. She serves as Chair of the Special Committee on Drug and Alcohol Use, Chair of the Subcommittee on Israel-Diaspora Relations, and as a member of the Foreign Affairs and Defense, Law, Children’s Rights, Women’s Rights, Immigration and Integration Committees, and Foreign Affairs Subcommittee. Michal is also the Chair of the Canada-Israel Friendship Group, the Knesset’s Official Representative on Matters Related to the International Criminal Court (ICC), and the Chair of Knesset’s Caucus for Ethiopians in Israel.

Anthony Housefather is a Canadian politician, representing the Liberal Party. He is the Member of Parliament representing the riding of Mount Royal on the island of Montreal. From 2015 to 2019, Anthony served as the Chair of the Justice and Human Rights Committee. Following the 2019 election, he was named the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Labour. From 2015 to 2019, he was the Chairman of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights. 

Marty Morantz is a Canadian politician, representing the Conservative Party. He represents Winnipeg's Charleswood-St. James-Assiniboia-Headingly riding. In previous years, Marty served on the boards of Shalom Residences Assisted Living, the Jewish National Fund, the Jewish Federation (CJA) Charitable Allocations Committee, and many others. 

Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz is an American politician serving as the US Representative from Florida's 23rd congressional district. She was first elected to congress in 2004, and is a member of the Democratic Party. Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz is also a former Chair of the Democratic National Committee, and a national campaign co-Chair for Hillary Clinton's 2008 run for president.

Michael Mostyn is the Chief Executive Officer of B’nai Brith Canada and oversees the organization’s programming and advocacy initiatives. He also served as an official member of the Canadian Delegation to the International Task Force on Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research. Michael was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012, in recognition of his community service to Canada. 

Imperfect Justice: Restitution & Lessons for the Future

Ambassador Stuart Eizenstat

Sunday, May 9 - 1:00pm (ET)

Understand what restitution has been provided for Holocaust Survivors and families of victims & the work that remains to be done

Ambassador Eizenstat is a senior member of Covington & Burling LLP’s international practice.  He has held key senior positions in four U.S. administrations, including chief White House domestic policy adviser to President Carter (1977-1981); U.S. Ambassador to the European Union, Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade, Under Secretary of State for Economic, Business and Agricultural Affairs, and Deputy Secretary of the Treasury in the Clinton Administration (1993-2001).  He was also a member of the White House staff for President Johnson (1967-1968). Much of the interest in providing belated justice for Holocaust victims and other victims of Nazi tyranny during World War II came from his leadership of the Clinton Administration as Special Representative of the President and Secretary of State on Holocaust-Era Issues. His book, President Carter: The White House Years, has been favorably reviewed by The New York Times, The Washington Post, National Review, Moment Magazine, and many other publications. Ambassador Eizenstat has received nine honorary doctorate degrees from universities and academic institutions.  He was awarded high civilian awards from the governments of France, Germany, Austria, Israel and Belgium, Secretaries of State Warren Christopher and Madeleine Albright, and Secretary of Treasury Lawrence Summers.  He grew up and was educated in the public schools of Atlanta.  He is a Phi Beta Kappa, cum laude graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and of Harvard Law School. He and his late wife, Fran, have two sons and eight grandchildren.

The Claims Conference: Global Initiatives for Survivors and a Look to the Future

Greg Schneider & Gideon Taylor

Sunday, May 9 - 1:15pm (ET)

Gregory Schneider was appointed Executive Vice President of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany (Claims Conference) in 2009. A passionate advocate for Holocaust survivors, he joined the Claims Conference in 1995 as an assistant to the then Executive Vice President, becoming Director of Allocations and Chief Operating Officer. Mr. Schneider has overseen the creation and implementation of several Claims Conference individual compensation payment programs for Jewish victims of Nazism. Chief among these was the Program for Former Slave and Forced Laborers, which paid $1.6 billion to 173,000 Holocaust survivors in 87 countries, the result of distributing and processing applications in eight languages, working with hundreds of local organizations worldwide that assisted applicants, and helping document tens of thousands of claims that otherwise would have been deemed ineligible. Mr. Schneider also guided the creation of many additional programs to compensate victims such as the victims of Nazi medical experiments, former refugees to Switzerland, survivors of the Nazi occupation of Budapest, first-ever one-time payments to Nazi victims in the former Soviet Union, child survivors, and Kindertransport survivors.

Gideon Taylor was elected President of the Claims Conference in 2020.  Mr. Taylor previously served as Executive Vice President of the Claims Conference as well as Associate Executive Vice President at the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), the overseas humanitarian arm of the American Jewish community. He directed rescue operations in Syria and Yemen and coordinated activities in Ethiopia. He also oversaw JDC’s International Development Program, which implemented major disaster relief, and development programs in Africa, the Middle East and Europe. He subsequently managed the global program and the $250 million budget of the organization. Originally from Ireland, Mr. Taylor is a law graduate of Trinity College in Dublin and received his master’s degree in law from Oxford University. He is admitted as an attorney in the State of New York, Ireland and the United Kingdom. In 2013, Mr. Taylor became pro bono Chair of Operations of the World Jewish Restitution Organization (WJRO), representing world Jewry in pursuing claims for the recovery of Jewish properties seized during the Holocaust in Eastern Europe. His work ensured the passage of legislation regarding heirless Jewish property in Serbia, former Jewish communal property in Romania and Latvia, and social welfare payments for Holocaust survivors from Poland.

CLOSING KEYNOTE

Spark of Inspiration: The Hard-Fought Hope of Dr. Ruth Westheimer

Dr. Ruth Westheimer

interviewed by Dr. Stephen D. Smith

Sunday, May 9 - 2:00pm (ET)

In testimony, films, books and even graphic novels, Dr. Ruth Westheimer, an orphan of the Holocaust, works feverishly to share her story of escape and survival, now more than ever at age 93. Why? What must students of all ages today know about lessons from the past? Time for Dr. Ruth’s answers of a lifetime in this keynote conversation with Stephen Smith, Finci-Viterbi Executive Director of USC Shoah Foundation and UNESCO Chair on Genocide Education.

Dr. Ruth Westheimer is a psychosexual therapist who helped to pioneer the field of media psychology with her radio program, Sexually Speaking, a live, one-hour show airing at 10 PM on which Dr. Ruth, as she became known, answered call-in questions from listeners.  Soon it became part of a communications network to distribute Dr. Westheimer's expertise which has included television, books, newspapers, games, home video, computer software and her own website. She has hosted several series on the Lifetime Channel and other cable television networks from 1984 to 1993 and is the author of 45 books on sex and sexuality. Her father was taken away by the Nazis a week after Kristallnacht, or the Night of Broken Glass, in 1938. Westheimer's mother and grandmother decided that Germany was too dangerous due to the tension and Nazi violence growing, so in January 1939 they sent Westheimer on the Kindertransport to Switzerland. Her father was killed in the Auschwitz concentration camp in 1942. Her mother was killed during the Holocaust, but there is no specific information about her death, or about how and when she died.  In 1950, Westheimer moved to France, where she studied and taught psychology at the University of Paris. In 1956, she immigrated to the United States, settling in Washington Heights, Manhattan.. Westheimer earned an M.A. degree in sociology from The New School in 1959 and an Ed.D. degree from Columbia University in 1970. After receiving her Ed.D., she briefly worked for Planned Parenthood and this experience encouraged her to continue studying human sexuality. She went on to work as a postdoctoral researcher for Helen Singer Kaplan at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. She continued to work there as an adjunct associate professor for five years. She also taught at Lehman CollegeBrooklyn CollegeAdelphi UniversityColumbia University and West Point. By 1983, Dr. Ruth's show was the top-rated radio show in the area, and in 1984 NBC Radio began syndicating it nationwide as the Dr. Ruth Show. She began hosting several television programs on the Lifetime TV network. During the 1980s "Dr. Ruth" became a household name. She still lives in the "cluttered three-bedroom apartment in Washington Heights where she raised her two children and became famous" to be near the two synagogues of which she is a member, the YMHA of which she was president for three years, and a "still sizable community of German Jewish World War II refugees." Dr. Ruth speaks English, German, French, and Hebrew.

Dr. Stephen D. Smith is the Finci -Viterbi Executive Director of USC Shoah Foundation, and holds the UNESCO Chair on Genocide Education. Smith founded the UK Holocaust Centre in Nottinghamshire, England and cofounded the Aegis Trust for the prevention of crimes against humanity and genocide. Smith has served as a producer on a number of film and new media projects, including Dimensions in Testimony, and the VR project The Last Goodbye. In recognition of his work, Smith has become a member of the Order of the British Empire and received the Interfaith Gold Medallion. He also holds two honorary doctorates, and lectures widely on issues relating to the history and collective response to the Holocaust, genocide, and crimes against humanity.

ABOUT LIBERATION75 

Liberation75 is the world's largest international event to mark the 75th anniversary of liberation from the Holocaust.

Join thousands of others as we commit to fighting antisemitism and continuing Holocaust education and remembrance.

Have a question? Contact info@liberation75.org or call 905-415-3917, Ext. 225. For media inquiries, please contact marilyn@liberation75.org.

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