Today is November 14, 2019 -

Jewish Federation Community-wide Joint Society Event with Rebec­ca Erbelding

Sunday, February 9, 2020 - 6:00 pm
Location TBA

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The Untold Sto­ry of America’s Efforts to Save the Jews of Europe

Amer­i­ca has long been crit­i­cized for refus­ing to give har­bor to the Jews dur­ing World War IIas Hitler and the Nazis closed in. RES­CUE BOARD tells the extra­or­di­nary unknown sto­ry of the War Refugee Board, FDR’s unpub­li­cized effort late in the war to save the remain­ing Jews.

In Jan­u­ary 1944, a young Trea­sury lawyer named John Pehle went to a meet­ing with the pres­i­dent to argue for the relief funds need­ed to help Jews escape Nazi ter­ri­to­ry. Pehle pre­vailed, and with­in days, FDR cre­at­ed the War Refugee Board, empow­er­ing it to res­cue the vic­tims of Nazi per­se­cu­tion, and put Pehle in charge.

Over the next twen­ty months, Pehle pulled togeth­er D.C. pen­cil push­ers, inter­na­tion­al relief work­ers, smug­glers, diplo­mats, mil­lion­aires, and rab­ble-rousers to run oper­a­tions across four con­ti­nents and a dozen coun­tries. They tricked Nazis, forged iden­ti­ty papers, maneu­vered food and med­i­cine into con­cen­tra­tion camps, recruit­ed spies, leaked news sto­ries, laun­dered mon­ey, nego­ti­at­ed ran­soms, and fun­neled mil­lions of dol­lars into Europe. Alto­geth­er, the War Refugee Board saved tens of thou­sands of lives.

Rebec­ca Erbelding’s first book, Res­cue Board: The Untold Sto­ry of America’s Efforts to Save the Jews of Europe, won the JDC-Her­bert Katz­ki Nation­al Jew­ish Book Award. She is a his­to­ri­an, cura­tor, and archivist at the US Holo­caust Memo­r­i­al Muse­um. Her work has been fea­tured in the New York Times, The Wash­ing­ton Post, The New York­er, and on The His­to­ry Chan­nel andNation­al Geo­graph­ic.

Dinner & Dessert Reception

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