Noted Holocaust Expert to Present Schusterman Lectures

Dr. Deborah E. Lipstadt, an expert in modern Jewish and Holocaust studies, will present Oklahoma Baptist University’s eighth annual Schusterman Lectures in Jewish Religious History and Tradition on March 29 and 30.

The noted educator, consultant and historian will speak on “Contemporary Antisemitism: How Real is the Danger?” at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 29. She will present a lecture on “Holocaust Denial: An Assault on Truth and Memory” at 10 a.m. Friday, March 30. Both presentations will be in rooms 218-220 of OBU’s Geiger Center for University Life. Admission is free and the public is invited to attend the lectures.

Lipstadt is director of the Rabbi Donald A. Tam Institute for Jewish Studies and serves as Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish and Holocaust Studies at Emory University in Atlanta, Ga.

Lipstadt represented President George W. Bush as a member of the official American delegation to the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. She served as an historical consultant to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, helping to design the museum section dedicated to the American Response to the Holocaust. President Clinton appointed her to two consecutive terms on the United States Holocaust Memorial Council. From 1996-99 she served as a member of the U.S. State Department Advisory Committee on Religious Freedom Abroad. In this capacity, she worked with a small group of leaders and scholars in advising Secretary of State Madeline Albright on matters of religious persecution abroad.

Lipstadt has taught at the University of Washington, UCLA and Occidental College in Los Angeles. She was a visiting professor at the Gregorian Pontifical University in Rome during the spring of 2006. She received her bachelor’s degree. from City College of New York and her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Brandeis University.

She is frequently called upon by the media to comment on matters of Jewish interest. She has appeared on the BBC, CNN, 60 Minutes, The Today Show, Good Morning America, National Public Radio’s Fresh Air, and PBS’s Charlie Rose Show. She is a frequent contributor to and is widely quoted in a variety of newspapers and magazines, including the Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Atlanta Constitution, Baltimore Sun, New York Times, Time, Newsweek, London Times, London Daily Telegraph, and Chicago Tribune.

Lipstadt has received numerous teaching awards including Emory’s student government association’s award for being the teacher most likely to motivate students to learn about new and unfamiliar topics. The Forward named her number two on its list of the “Forward Fifty,” the 50 top Jewish news makers for the year 2000. She is the 2005 winner of the Al Chernin Award given by the Jewish Council for Public Affairs to the person who best exemplifies protection of the First Amendment. Previous recipients include Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Alan Dershowitz, and Stu Eisenstat.

Her book, History On Trial: My Day In Court With David Irving, is the story of her libel trial in London against David Irving, who sued her for calling him a Holocaust denier and right wing extremist. Editors at ranked her work the fourth-best history book of 2005. The London Daily Telegraph noted that the trial had “done for the new century what the Nuremberg tribunals or the Eichmann trial did for earlier generations.” Lipstadt also has written Denying The Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory, and Beyond Belief: The American Press and the Coming of the Holocaust.

The annual Schusterman Lectures are intended to foster an understanding and appreciation of Jewish culture and tradition among OBU students and faculty and to cultivate awareness of Jewish contributions to religious, ethical, and philosophical thought.

The Schusterman Lectures are made possible by an annual grant from Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation of Tulsa. The Schusterman Family Foundation is a philanthropic organization which provides assistance to non-sectarian charitable organizations dedicated to enhancing the quality of life in Tulsa, Oklahoma, especially in the areas of education, child development, and community service. The foundation also supports programs that seek to enrich and expand Jewish communities in the United States, Israel and the former Soviet Union.