The Annual Fran Eizenstat & Eizenstat Family Memorial Lecture Series

The Eizenstat Lecture is an annual, free public event featuring well-known speakers addressing current and thought-provoking issues. Past speakers include national and international political, legal and economic leaders such as Wolf Blitzer, Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, Henry Kissinger, Madeleine Albright, Shimon Perez, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Joseph Lieberman, Al Gore, Alan Dershowitz, Paul Dundes Wolfowitz and Herman Wouk.

2018 marks the 30th installment of the Eizenstat Lecture. Established in 1987 by former Ambassador to the European Union, Stuart Eizenstat, to honor the memories of his family members, the Lecture features distinguished world figures speaking on national and international topics. Mr. Eizenstat served in key positions in President Jimmy Carter’s administration, including Chief Domestic Policy Adviser and Executive Director of the White House Domestic Policy Staff, and in President Bill Clinton’s administration, including Deputy Treasury Secretary, Under Secretary of State for Economic, Business and Agricultural Affairs, and Undersecretary of Commerce for International Trade. Mr. Eizenstat currently heads the international practice of the law firm Covington & Burling in Washington, D.C.

Our 2018 Guest: Mona Golabek

Mona Golabek is the daughter of Lisa Jura, a child prodigy born in Vienna, Austria, who came to England as a young teenage refugee in 1938 as part of the Kindertransport rescue operation. Her father, Michel Golabek, was a French resistance fighter, who received the Croix de Guerre. Mona’s grandparents died at Auschwitz.

Inspired and taught by her mother, Mona became a concert pianist. Appearances at the Hollywood Bowl, the Kennedy Center, Royal Festival Hall, with major conductors and orchestras worldwide, the Grammy nominee and prolific recording artist has been the subject of several documentaries including Concerto for Mona with conductor Zubin Mehta.

Her mother is the subject of Ms. Golabek’s acclaimed book, The Children of Willesden Lane. The book, now in its 24th printing, has been translated and published in French, Italian, German, Hebrew, and Polish.

In 2012, Mona made her debut at the Los Angeles Geffen Playhouse in The Pianist of Willesden Lane, adapted from the book. The production, directed by Hershey Felder, has been acclaimed by critics and audiences across America, with recently sold-out theatrical runs in New York and London. Ms. Golabek has received Best Actress Nominations from the New York and Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle.

Ms. Golabek founded the Hold On To Your Music Foundation. With the help of the Milken Family Foundation, Facing History and Ourselves, and the Annenberg Foundation, she created educational resources for the book that have been adopted into school curricula across America and the globe. At year’s end, more than 500,000 students and families will have experienced the WILLESDEN READ – the educational mission, spearheaded by the non-profit, that is devoted to spreading the message of her mother’s story.

Tuesday on “City Lights with Lois Reitzes”
Oct 30, 2018

29:05: Pianist and author Mona Golabek discussed her book The Children of Willesden Lane with Lois. She tells the story of her mother being saved on the Kindertransport – a rescue effort in the months before the outbreak of World War II, in which the United Kingdom took nearly 10,000 Jewish children from Eastern Europe.

Stuart Eizenstat

Stuart Eizenstat, a native of Atlanta and lifelong member of Ahavath Achim Synagogue, currently heads Covington & Burling’s international practice. He has practiced law more than 30 years in Atlanta and Washington.

Ambassador Eizenstat has held a number of key positions during his decades of government service. From 1977 to 1981, he was President Jimmy Carter’s Chief Domestic Policy Adviser and Executive Director of the White House Domestic Policy Staff. In the Clinton Administration, he was Deputy Treasury Secretary, Under Secretary of State for Economic, Business and Agricultural Affairs, and Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade, as well as Ambassador to the European Union from 1993 to 1996. He received the highest departmental awards for his service from Secretary of State Christopher, Secretary of State Albright, and Secretary of the Treasury Summers.

Much of the recent interest in World War II issues and justice for Holocaust survivors and the memory of the Holocaust, is as a result of his work. In 1978, he recommended to President Carter the creation of a Presidential Commission of the Holocaust, chaired by Eli Wiesel, which led directly the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. During the Clinton Administration, he served as Special Representative of the President and Secretary of States on Holocaust Issues. In this capacity, he led two landmark U.S. reports on the role of Switzerland and other neutral countries during the War; and led negotiations that produced major agreements with the Swiss, Germans, Austrians, French, and Central European governments for bank accounts, slave and forced labor, insurance policies, Nazi-looted art, worth more than $8 billion to Holocaust victims and their families and other non-Jewish victims of Nazi persecution. He published a book on these events, “Imperfect Justice: Looted Assets, Slave Labor and the Unfinished Business of World War II” (2003) which has been translated into German, French, Czech and Hebrew. He has also published a book, “The Future of the Jews: How Global Forces are Impacting the Jewish People, Israel and its Relationship with the United States” (2012). Ambassador Eizenstat is now working on a book on a comprehensive assessment of the Carter Administration, which will be published in 2018.

During the first term of the Obama Administration, he served as Special Adviser on Holocaust Issues to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, negotiating, among other things, the 47-nation Terezin Declaration of Looted Assets and a $50 million agreement with the Lithuanian government. During the second term of the Obama Administration, he held the same position for Secretary of State John Kerry, during which he successfully negotiated a $60 million agreement with the French government for deportees and their families on the French railway during World War II. Since 2009, he has led the negotiating team for the Jewish Claims Conference and has negotiated more than $2 billion in additional benefits with the German government, including for flight victims, home care for needy Survivors around the world, and a new Child Survivors program. He is co-chair of the Jewish People’s Policy Institute, a Jerusalem-based think tank, dealing with strategic issues facing Israel, the U.S.-Israel Relationship and the Diaspora. HE also chairs the Defiant Requiem Foundation, which sponsors concerts in the U.S. and the world over honoring a Jewish prisoner chorus in the Theresenstadt concentration camp (Defiant Requiem: Verdi at Terezin), and a new concert honoring Jewish composers who wrote original musical scores at Theresenstadt, called “Hours of Freedom”. The Defiant Requiem documentary, recognizing the artistic revolution at Theresenstadt received Emmy nominations in 2014 as Best Full Length Documentary and Best Script.

He has received eight honorary doctorate degrees from universities and educational institutions, and some 75 awards and citations, including the Legion of Honor from France, and high civilian awards from Israel, Germany and Austria. A chair in his name has been created in modern Jewish History and Culture at his alma mater, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In May, 2017, he received Tel Aviv University’s highest award.

Ambassador Eizenstat received his J.D. from Harvard University in 1967. He served as a law clerk for the Honorable Newell Edenfield of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. Prior to entering law school, Mr. Eizenstat earned an A.B., cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, in political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He and his late wife, Frances Eizenstat, have two sons, and eight grandchildren from Jay and Jessica and Brian and Erin.