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.
2019 marks the 31st year of The Eizenstat Family Memorial Lecture Series, now known as The Fran Eizenstat and Eizenstat Family Memorial Lecture. This prestigious event has featured three Nobel Peace Prize winners, two Pulitzer Prize winners, two United States Presidents, two United States Vice Presidents, two United States Supreme Court Justices and two Israeli Prime Ministers among other national and international eminent guests.
This year, the Fran Eizenstat and Eizenstat Family Memorial Lecture Series presents
HOURS OF FREEDOM
The Story of The Terezin Composer
Produced by The Defiant Requiem Foundation
Stuart E. Eizenstat, Board Chair
Murry Sidlin, creator and conductor
Callan White, narrator
Arianna Zukerman, soprano
Leah Wool, mezzo-soprano
Jonathan Blalock, tenor
David Kravitz, baritone
Herbert Greenberg, concertmaster
Julian Schwarz, cello
Phillip Silver, piano
Hours of Freedom Chamber Players
Hours of Freedom dramatizes music by fifteen composers imprisoned in the Theresienstadt (Terezin) Concentration Camp during WWll. Presented as nine chapters with titles including, “Hope,” “Fate,” “Longing,” and “The Eyewitness,” this concert combines music, video, and narrative to showcase works by Viktor Ullmann, Gideon Klein, Zigmund Schul, Pavel Haas, Rudolf Karel, and ten others. The compositions performed portray the agony and suffering of camp life, along with the inspiration, revelation, harmony, and hope that comes through music.
Ahavath Achim cultivates a Jewish community of purposeful belonging. We inspire and support spiritual journeys by deepening relationships with one another. We believe it is at the crossroads of our spiritual paths that life’s purpose and God might be found.
The Defiant Requiem Foundation is a non-profit organization based in Washington, DC, dedicated to preserving the memory of the prisoners in the Theresienstadt Concentration Camp (Terezin) during World War II, who, despite monumental suffering, disease and the constant presence of death, found hope and inspiration in the arts and humanities.
Ambassador Stuart E. Eizenstat has been Chair of the Foundation’s Board of Directors since 2011.
Gratefully acknowledging support from The Molly Blank Fund of The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation.
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.