“Memory! Memory! ” was the tattoo of Ambassador Stuart Eizenstat’s discourse at the 56th Leo Baeck Award Dinner and Lecture at the Center for Jewish History.
He was presented with the Leo Baeck Medal by Michael Blumenthal a past Chief White House Domestic Policy Advisor (1977-1981) and (1993-2001) Deputy Secretary of the Treasury now CEO of the Jewish Museum in Berlin who dubbed Eizenstat “a poster boy for unusually able public officials.” In his hour long address: “The Future of Jews: How Global forces are impacting the Jewish People, Israel and its Relationship with the United States” Eizenstat covered divestment and boycott of Israel, revival of Jewish life in Germany, plight of the world’s 500,000 Holocaust survivors — many below the poverty line and anti-Semitism in the Moslem world…and more.
Special Representative of the President and Secretary of State on Holocaust-Era issues during the Clinton administration, Leo Baeck Institute Director William Weitzer singled him out as “One of our most effective advocates for Holocaust victims and their heirs.”
Among his distressing anecdotes, Eizenstat recalled a British acquaintance he met in Israel telling him that one of her daughters — a teacher — was advised by her principal not to let her students know she was Jewish and was told by her professor at Bristol University: ‘Isn’t it odd that no Jews were killed in the 9/11 attack.’” My instant reaction was to remember my friend Herman Sandler a president of the American Friends of the Israel Philharmonic who perished on 9/11.