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Program from Holocaust Survivors gathering, December 19-21, 2008



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December 19, 2008 - December 21, 2008 A Weekend Gathering of Holocaust Survivors and Their Families * * * The Venetian & Palazzo Hotel-Resort-Casino Las Vegas, Nevada Friday, December 19, 2008 STARTING FRIDAY, DECEMBER 19TH, WE WILL HAVE OUR REGISTRATION AND RECEIVE OUR ID BADGES FROM OUR CHAIRMAN EUGENE LEBOVITZ OR CO-CHAIRMAN FRED TAUCHER. AT SUNDOWN WE WILL HAVE THE HONOR AND PLEASURE TO LISTEN TO OUR NEWFOUND FRIEND, MR. LEON CHARNEY. HE WILL TO LEAD US IN A BEAUTIFUL KABLAT SHABBAT AND WE WILL GO INTO OUR DINING ROOM NEXT DOOR TO MAKE THE FRIDAY NIGHT KIDUSH. FOLLOWING THE WASHING OF HANDS, MR. MILTON MILLER WILL HONOR US WITH "MOTZI LECHEM MIN HAARETS" WITH TWO BIG BEAUTIFUL CHALLIS THAT SHOSHANAH HAS PREPARED FOR OUR SHABES MEAL. WE WILL BEGIN OUR MEAL WITH G'FILTE FISH, FOLLOWED WITH OUR VERY SPECIAL HOT CHICKEN SOUP, WITH LOKSIN AND MATZO BALLS INCLUDED. IMMEDIATELY THEREAFTER, MR. LEBOVITZ WILL REQUEST THAT MR. LEON CHARNEY LEAD US WITH SOME "ZMIROT" AND WE LOOK FOR ALL TO PARTICIPATE. THIS WILL BE FOLLOWED BY OUR KEYNOTE SPEAKER DR. MICHAEL BERENBAUM. AFTER DR. BERENBAUM'S PRESENTATION, WE WILL CONTINUE WITH OUR SHABES MEAL, STARTING WITH ROAST CHICKEN, ROAST BEEF, POTATO KUGEL, FARFEL KUSKUS, TZIMES, CHUMUS, AND FIVE DIFFERENT SALADS. THIS WILL BE FOLLOWED BY ANOTHER NOTED SPEAKER. WE WILL THEN CONGRATULATE EUGENE LEBOVITZ ON HIS 80? BIRTHDAY AND ENJOY HIS SPECIAL BIRTHDAY CAKE, ALSO PREPARED BY SHOSHANAH. FRESH FRUITS, TEA AND COFFEE WILL FINALIZE THE EVENING. ABOUT OUR KEYNOTE SPEAKER, DR. MICHAEL BERENBAUM Michael Berenbaum is a writer, lecturer, and teacher consulting in the conceptual development of museums and the content and conceptual development of historical films. He has been director of the Sigi Ziering Institute: Exploring the Ethical and Religious Implications of the Holocaust and an [adjunct] Professor of Theology at the University of Judaism. Berenbaum was the Executive Editor of the New Encyclopedia Judaica, a second edition of the monumental 1972 work that is now consists of 16 million words published in 22 volumes; more than 6 million words have been added and 14,000 reworked for the new edition of a work that the Library Journal has called "one of the top 50 reference works of the Millennium." The new EJ has been awarded the Dartmouth Medal of the American Library Association as the outstanding reference work of 2006. For several years, he 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 he served as Project Director of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, overseeing its creation. In the past he has served as the Podlich Distinguished Visitor at articles have been 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. Previously, he 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, Yale University and has served as a visiting professor at three of the major Washington area universities ? George Washington University, The University of Maryland, and American University. Berenbaum is the author and editor of at least sixteen books, scores of scholarly articles, and hundreds of journalistic pieces. Of his book, After Tragedy and Triumph, Raul Hilberg said, "All those who want to read only one book about the condition of Jewry in 1990 would do well to choose Michael Berenbaum... In his description of contemporary Jewish thought, he sacrifices neither complexity nor lucidity." Charles Silberman praised The World Must Know as "a majestic and profoundly moving history of the Holocaust... It is must reading for anyone who would like to be human in the post-Holocaust world." The Village Voice praised Anatomy of the Auschwitz Death Camp with, "The scholarship, broad and deep, makes this the definitive book on one of our century's defining horrors." Some of his recent books include: A Promise to Remember: The Holocaust in the Words and Voices of Its Survivors and After the Passion Has Passed: American Religious Consequences, a collection of essays on Jews, Judaism and Christianity, Relgious Tolerance and Pluralism occasioned by the controversy that swirled around Mel Gibson's film, The Passion. Johns Hopkins University Press has just published a second edition of The World Must Know. He is also the editor of Murder Most Merciful: Essays on the Moral Conundrum Occasioned by Sigi Ziering The Trial of Herbert Bierhoff. Among his other works are A Mosaic of Victims: Non-Jews Persecuted and Murdered by the Nazis, The Vision of the Void: Theological Reflections on the Works of Elie Wiesei, and Witness to the Holocaust: An Illustrated Documentary History of the Holocaust in the Words of Its Victims, Perpetrators, and Bystanders. He was co-editor on several works, including The Holocaust: Religious and Philosophical Implications (with John Roth), The Holocaust and History: The Known, the Unknown, the Disputed and the Reexamined (with Abraham Peck), and most recently, The Bombing of Auschwitz: Should the Allies Have Attempted It? ( with Michael Neufeld). He is the author of A Promise to Remember co-editor of Martyrdom: The History of an Idea. Saturday, December 20, 2008 SATURDAY MORNING WE WILL AGAIN HAVE THE HONOR AND PLEASURE TO LISTEN TO MR. LEON CHARNEY "DAVENING" AND DR. MICHAEL BERENBAUM'S TORAH READING. DURING THE SERVICES, MR. LEBOVITZ WILL ASK MR. LEON CHARNEY TO MAKE THE "EL MOLEY RACHAMIN" FOR EUGENE'S LATE WIFE NATALIE LEBOVITZ WHO PASSED AWAY THIS LAST APRIL. NATALIE WAS EUGENE'S BIGGEST SUPPORTER & CRITIQUE. IT WAS NATALIE WHO ADVISED EUGENE WHAT HE SHOULD AND SHOULD NOT BE DOING THE FOLLOWING YEAR AFTER EACH GATHERING. WE HOPE TO HAVE DR. MIRIAM ADELSON AND HER HUSBAND, THE BEST FRIEND OF OUR GATHERING, MR. SHELDON K. ADELSON, TO SHARE WITH US THE SPECIAL SHABBAT. AFTER DAVENING, WE WILL HAVE OUR "FAMOUS" SHABBAT FOUR-HOUR LUNCH WITH THE BEST CHOLENT EVER WITH MANY THANKS ONCE AGAIN, TO SHOSHANAH WHO FOLLOWED EUGENE'S SPECIAL WAY IN PREPARING THE SPECIAL POTS OF CHOLENT WITH FOUR DIFFERENT INGREDIENTS. BEFORE WE GET THE CHOLENT, WE WILL HAVE SHABBAT KIDUSH AND THIS TIME, DR. MICHAEL BERENBAUM WILL MAKE THE "MOTZI LECHEM MIN HARETZ." WE WILL START WITH CHOPPED LIVER, EIER MIT ZWIEBEL, G'FILTEH FISH, CHUMUS, AND MANY DIFFERENT SALADS INCLUDING AN EGGPLANT SALAD. FOLLOWING ALL THIS, WE WILL HEAR A VERY SPECIAL LADY KNOWN AS EUGENIA SAKEVYCH DALLAS, WHO WILL SPEAK ABOUT HER FIVE LIVES IN FIVE COUNTRIES, AND HER FILM SHE HELPED TO PRODUCE ABOUT THE GENOCIDE IN THE UKRAINE DURING STALIN'S REGIME. AFTER CHOLENT, MR. LEBOVITZ WILL HAVE THE HONOR TO PRESENT TWO MOTHERS THAT ARE COMING ALL THE WAY FROM JERUSALEM TO RECEIVE OUR LIFE TIME ACHIVEMENT AWARDS. WE AWARDED THE FIRST LIFE TIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD TO MR. BENJAMIN MEAD FOR HIS DEDICATION TO THE HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS AND THEIR FAMILIES. THE TWO MOTHERS WHO WILL RECEIVE THE AWARDS ARE: ? FAINA GELFAND AND ? MAZAL SASSON WE WILL PROCEED WITH THE MENTSCH OF THE CENTURY AWARD TO MR. LEON CHARNEY. IN THE EVENING, WE WILL HOLD HAVDULAH SERVICES, AND AFTERWARDS THERE WILL BE A SPECIAL SHOWING OF TWO FILMS, ONE PRODUCED BY MS. EUGENIA DALLAS AND THE OTHER BY MR. BEREMBAUM. Faina Gelfand & Mazal Sasson are joining us from Jerusalem. They have devoted the last ten years or longer to their children who were diagnosed with cancer. Their children are alive today because the Hadassah Hospital provided a iifesaving vaccine. Today this vaccine is known as M.T.H.-68. At the time, Alexander Gelfand bravely informed his mother Faina that he only had 24 hours to live and he had nothing to lose in trying this experimental vaccine of the famous Dr. Laszlo Csatary. Faina immediately gave the vaccine to her son. Since she is a doctor, she did the injection and Alexander started to improve immediately. Shortly thereafter he was taken to Budapest for ten days of special treatment. Mazal Sasson also discovered that her child Liron Sasson had the same cancer as Alexander. Liron is also alive and well due to the healing effects of the vaccine. This is a very special occasion for us to all rejoice with them and their family for their achievements. Eugenia Dallas has devoted her life to protecting and exposing the atrocities that took place in the 20th Century through the vehicle of her book, One Woman, Five Lives, Five Countries. She is trying to reach as many people as possible with her story and hopes to spread it to the public in the form of a motion picture. For many years Eugenia has been working as an activist, an author and a fine artist. She has taken part in many organizations and events that work to help the people of Ukraine. In particular, she is a relief aid manager for humanitarian aid to Ukraine. Early in her life, Eugenia went from working in the Nazi concentration camps to living the lavish life of a model. By age five she had lost her parents and was forced to beg on the streets for bread. She, along with all of Ukraine, suffered from 1932 until the end of WWII. At the end of the war, Eugenia managed to escape to Italy where her life changed drastically. She became a showgirl and a fashion model. Eugenia worked as a fashion model in Italy, Switzerland and the United States. In the US, she modeled for Neiman Marcus in Dallas, TX and Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills. Since Eugenia has lived all over the world, she has been forced to learn many different languages. She is fluent in Ukrainian, Russian, German, French, Italian and English. Currently residing in Los Angeles, Eugenia Dallas is working diligently to get her story out to the public. Leon H. Charney was born to an East European immigrant family, worked his way through Yeshiva University and Brooklyn Law School, and was admitted to the Bar in 1965. With $200 in his bank account, he launched himself into private practice and into the legal representation of sports and show biz personalities. Applying laws of creative art, he found himself in spheres of high finance and investment banking. By age 36, he had entered the world of politics. For six years he was counsel and advisor to Senator Vance Hartke of Indiana. He became involved in affairs of international politics that frequently took him on important missions abroad. These missions were the foundation of back-door channels and important contacts at the highest echelons of power. When in the Senate, Golda Meir, Prime Minister of Israel, contacted Charney and asked his help in freeing Soviet Jewish dissidents. Charney became heavily involved and successfully brought about the freedom of 1,000 people from the Soviet Union who were then allowed to go to Israel. From 1976 through 1980 Charney served as an advisor to President Jimmy Carter on the Camp David Accords. President Carter referred to Charney as "the unsung hero of the Camp David Peace Treaty." In 1986, Governor Mario Cuomo appointed Charney to the DeWind Commission that was responsible for integrating insurance, banking and financial services, studying these activities and recommending to the Governor how such activities could benefit New York State. The DeWind Commission was one of the most respected panels assembled in the United States to study these problems, having CEO's from major corporations, former Governors, former Attorney Generals and various commissioners. Mario Cuomo thereafter appointed Charney to the New York State Banking Board where he served for seven years as a Public Member. In 1986, Ezer Weizman, then Minister of Science & Technology and close friend of Charney, asked him to travel secretly to Tunisia to visit Yasser Arafat who had requested such a meeting. This meeting was held secret for a number of years and resulted as being among the first entrees into the possible peaceful resolution of the Israeli- Palestinian conflict. In 1988, Governor Cuomo appointed Leon Charney as Chairman of the New York State -Israel Economic Partnership, which he served for two years. The Partnership was formed in order to bring closer the economic relationships between the State of Israel and New York State. In 1998, Governor Pataki reappointed Charney as a member of the Partnership. In 1996, Governor George Pataki appointed Charney as a member of the New York State Dormitory Authority on which he served as a representative of the State Assembly Speaker as one of the seven representatives. Charney currently serves on the Board of Directors, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University. In 1999, Mayor Rudolf Guiliani appointed Leon Charney as Chairman of the New York -Jerusalem Advisory Committee under the auspices of The Sister City Program of The City of New York, Inc. For thirteen years, Charney has been the moderator of a Public Broadcasting program on WNYE TV, Channel 25, which is distributed nationally. "The Leon Charney Report" is a public affairs program that interviews sundry personalities from theatre to world leaders. It has also traveled around the globe televising news events. Charney is the author of "Special Counsel" and "Spy For Peace" as well as a forthcoming book entitled "The Charney Report: Confronting The Arab-Israeli Conflict." Charney has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors. Amongst his honors are three honorary doctorate degrees: 1984 - University of Indianapolis, Honorary Doctorate of Law 1999 - Dowling College, Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters, Honoris Causa; 2001 - University of Haifa, Doctor of Philosophy, Honoris Causa In addition, to mention a few other awards he has received: the "First Distinguished Alumnus Award," Yeshiva University; the "Ambassador's Award" given by the Israeli Government presented annually to an American Jew who has fostered peace and the ideals of the respective countries presented by the Israeli Ambassador to the United States; the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law's "Peace Prize" in recognition of his role on the Camp David Peace Treaty. The Central Synagogue of New York, the oldest reform congregation, honors an outstanding New York Jewish personality with its "Tikkum Olam" award. "Tikkum Olam" means "repairing the world" and the inscription on the award reads, "for repairing the world by using your television program to enlighten the public on Jewish Affairs." Charney received this award in May 1998. Charney graduated from: Yeshiva University in 1960, B.A. Degree in Economic History; Yeshiva University in 1961, B.H.L. Degree (Bachelor Hebrew Letters); Brooklyn Law School in 1964, J.D. Degree (Juris Doctor). Charney currently resides in New York City and is married to Tzili Doron; they have two boys, Mickey and Nati. Mr. Charney's Honors: ? Recipient of the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law's first "Peace Price" in recognition of his role on the Camp David Peace Treaty ?> 1999 - Honorary Doctorate - Dowling College ? 1984 - Honorary Doctorate of Law, Indiana Central University ? 1984-"Man of the Year" Award, Hineni ? 1986 Recipient of the "Man of the Year" Award - The American Friends of Jerusalem Mental Health ? "Ambassador's Award" - first recipient of this Israeli Government award which is presented annually to an American and a Jew who has fostered peace and the ideals of the respective countries. Presented by Ambassador Moshe Arad, Israeli Ambassador to the United States ? International Chairman - Jewish National Fund Peace Park, Israel ? "First Distinguished Alumnus Award - Yeshiva University ? "Man of the Year" Award, Rabbi Jacob Joseph School ? "Man of the Year" Award, Lubavitch Youth Organization ? "Man of the Year" Award, Youth Towns of Israel ? Grand Marshall - Salute to Israel Parade (for 2 years) ? Tikkun Olam Award - Given yearly by the Central Synagogue of New York, New York ? Sir Harold Actow Award, New York, New York ? 2001 - University of Haifa, Doctor of Philosophy, Honoris Causa ? Chair of the Honorary Committee of the UNESCO Chair in Intercultural and Interreligious Dialogue - University of Haifa ? Yeshiva University, Honoris Causa ? President & Chairman, American Society of the University of Haifa ? The University of Chicago, The Harris School of Public Policy, Dean's International Council * Sunday, December 21, 2008 ON SUNDAY MORNING WE ARE HAVING A CONTINENTAL BREAKFAST. EUGENE LEBOVITZ WILL THEN SHARE SOME NEWS ABOUT DR. EFRAIM & I LAN A, WHO WERE ORIGINALLY SCHEDULED TO SHOW US THEIR LATEST RESEARCH ON A SPECIAL TREATMENT THAT THE HERZOG HOSPITAL IS STARTING TO EXPERIMENT WITH IN A GROUP OF PATIENTS. NEXT WE HAVE ANOTHER SPECIAL INTRODUCTION BY MY COCHAIRMAN FRED TAUCHER WHO WILL SHOW US THE LATEST TECHNOLOGY OF SERVISION. WE WILL FINISH WITH OUR SUNDAY LATE AFTERNOON BUFFET DINNER WITH OUR SEND OFF BY EUGENE LEBOVITZ AND HE WILL SHARE HIS RECENT EXPERIENCES FROM HIS LAST TRIP TO ISRAEL.