IHRD virtual event will focus on the importance of moral leadership: January 25

by Maxine Fischbein

(AJNews) – On January 25, the Calgary Jewish Federation Holocaust and Human Rights Remembrance and Education department will team up with the Calgary Public Library, along with the Jewish Federation of Edmonton and the Edmonton Public Library to welcome a virtual presentation by Susan Eisenhower, author of How Ike Led: The Principles Behind Eisenhower’s Biggest Decisions.

Susan Eisenhower, a respected policy analyst, business consultant, educator, speaker and writer whose specialties include national security, leadership and related strategic issues, will speak about what her grandfather – Dwight Eisenhower – saw in the concentration camps and what antisemitism looks like today.

She has written a compelling story,” said Jared Shore, former co-president of Calgary Jewish Federation and the moderator of the online event.

In 1945, General Eisenhower famously stated, “Get it all on record now… somewhere down the road of history some bastard will get up and say that this never happened.”

“Dwight Eisenhower had the foresight at an emotionally charged time to say we need to document this for the future. That compulsion was so important and has proven even more important as time marches on,” Shore told AJNews.

Also compelling are Susan Eisenhower’s insights into the leadership style of her grandfather, the heart and soul of her book, published in 2020 to national and international acclaim.

“The book speaks to who he was as a leader,” said Shore, from Ike’s military leadership to his presidency of Columbia University, his command of NATO and, eventually, his service as president of the United States between 1953 and 1961.

“We cannot take leadership for granted,” said Shore. “People we count on for moral leadership have utterly failed.”

In the pages of her book, Susan Eisenhower paints the picture of a man to whom character mattered.  Billed as “part leadership book, part history, and part memoir,” it gives insight into a man who, while a Republican, was uniquely non-partisan, always aiming for middle ground.

Susan Eisenhower has described her grandfather as fearing the time when “…extremes on the left and the right would dominate the public space.”

These eerily prescient insights are reason enough to register for the talk by Susan Eisenhower, whose exploration of her beloved grandfather’s legacy is a much-needed tonic in a world that is more and more given to extremes and less and less discerning when it comes to leadership.

“The relevance today is so apparent,” says Shore. “We as Canadians need to be aware of and concerned about matters of leadership. Expectations of our leaders is something this talk will shed some light on.”

Never Again: International Holocaust Remembrance Day with Susan Eisenhower takes place virtually on January 25 from 7:00-8:30 pm MST.

The event kicks off a fourth season of Holocaust programming organized by the Holocaust and Human Rights Remembrance and Education department of Calgary Jewish Federation and presented by the Calgary Public Library in partnership with the Jewish Federation of Edmonton and the Edmonton Public Library.

The program is generously supported by the Isadore and Florence Burstyn Memorial Fund, the KSW Holocaust Education and Commemoration Endowment Fund, and donors to the Human Rights and Holocaust Education Fund at the Calgary Public Library Foundation. Click here to register.

There are other important dates to save for events taking place within the Alberta Jewish community.

The Calgary Jewish Federation Holocaust and Human Rights Remembrance and Education department and Calgary Public Library proudly present historian and New York Times-bestselling author Max Wallace at the Central Library on March 7 taking place at the Central Library in Calgary.

Wallace, a Canadian, is the author of In the Name of Humanity: The Secret Deal to End the Holocaust.

“Wallace reveals an incredible story involving the secret negotiations of an unlikely trio—a former fascist President of Switzerland, a courageous Orthodox Jewish woman, and a Finnish osteopath—to end the Holocaust, aided by clandestine Swedish and American efforts. He documents their efforts to deceive Himmler, successfully prevent the extermination of hundreds of thousands of Jews during the last months of the Second World War, and thwart Hitler’s plan to take “every last Jew” down with the Reich. These are revelations that will help rewrite the history of the Holocaust and the Second World War.”

Find out about the role Recha Sternbuch, an inspiring Swiss Orthodox woman, played in rescuing thousands of Jews and preventing the extermination of many more toward the end of World War II.

Watch for more information about this event at www.jewishcalgary.org and in future issues of AJNews.

From March 21 through mid-July, Here to Tell: Faces of Holocaust Survivors will be on exhibit in Edmonton at the Art Gallery of Alberta.

This compelling exhibit, featuring evocative black and white photographs and biographies of Alberta-connected Holocaust survivors, was first shown in Calgary at the Glenbow at the Edison in Calgary from May to July, 2023. A curated portion of the original 161 subjects will be available for viewing at the Art Gallery of Alberta, including survivors who made Edmonton their home.

Accompanying the exhibit will be the eponymous documentary film produced by Marnie Bondar and Dahlia Libin, the visionaries behind the Here to Tell project. Having documented more than 200 Calgary-connected survivors, Here to Tell will be reaching out to survivors and their descendants in Edmonton so as to add their images and stories to the historical record.

For more information about Here to Tell, including the hardcover book, go to www.heretotell.com.

In May 2024, Violins of Hope will be coming to the National Music Centre at Studio Bell in Calgary, culminating with a very special performance on May 15 by the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra.

 The Calgary Jewish Federation Holocaust and Human Rights Remembrance and Education department has partnered with Studio Bell and the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra to bring the Violins of Hope to Calgary this spring. A private collection owned by father and son violin makers Amnon Weinstein and Avshi Weinstein, the Violins of Hope include some 76 string instruments that were donated or purchased from survivors and descendants or plucked from the ruins of ghettos and concentration camps and later repaired and restored.

“All instruments in this collection have a common denominator: they are symbols of hope and a way to say: remember me, remember us. Life is good, celebrate it for those who perished, for those who survived. For all people.”

The Violins of Hope will be exhibited at Studio Bell for 10 weeks, during which visitors can see the instruments, learn their histories and listen to their haunting and hopeful sounds.

On May 15, the CPO will play the violins in a “musical journey from Holocaust to hope” conducted by Juliane Gallant and personally narrated by Avshi Weinstein.

These precious instruments are a powerful means by which to share music and history while engaging in remembrance. They will surely maximize the impact of this year’s Holocaust Education Symposium which will be taking place at Studio Bell.

Stay tuned for information about Violins of Hope at www.jewishcalgary.org and www.studiobell.ca.

For tickets to the CPO Violins of Hope Concert on May 15, go to Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra – Violins of Hope


Maxine Fischbein is a Local Journalism Initiative Reporter.

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