Seattle Chapter Hadassah presents Dr. Deborah Lipstadt as the keynote speaker at its May 3 Gala for Giving honoring Lucy Pruzan.
Professor Lipstadt is Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish and Holocaust Studies at Emory University in Atlanta where she directs the Institute for Jewish Studies. Her 1993 book, Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory is the first full-length study of those who attempt to deny the Holocaust.
The book was also the focal point of a recent libel trail in London, where a Holocaust denier, David Irving, sued her for calling him a Holocaust denier and right wing extremist. The judge found Irving to be a holocaust denier, a falsifier of history, a racist, an anti-Semite and a liar. Lipstadt’s decisive victory was described by the Daily Telegraph (London) as having “done for the new century what the Nuremberg tribunals or the Eichmann trial did for earlier generations.”
Historical consultant to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Lipstadt helped design the section of the museum dedicated to the American response to the Holocaust. She was appointed by President Clinton to a second term on the United States Holocaust Memorial Council and chairs the museum’s Education Committee.
Lipstadt has been called upon by members of Congress to consult on political responses to Holocaust denial. From 1966 through 1999, she served as a member of the State Department Advisory Committee on Religious Freedom Abroad and advised then Secretary of State Madeline Albright on matters of religious persecution abroad. Media and Jewish interest groups frequently request her expertise.
She received her Ph.D. from Brandeis University and taught at UCLA and Occidental College in Los Angeles prior to going to Emory. But Seattlites fondly remember Dr. Lipstadt teaching at the University of Washington during the early days of the Jewish Studies program. Staff and colleagues remember her as a gifted instructor whose popular classes grew in size from year to year. She reached out, took a personal interest in those around her, was very accessible and delighted all with her sense of fun.
Hadassah’s Gala for Giving to be held at 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 3, at the Sheraton Seattle Hotel and Towers. For reservations call 425-401-9338.