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Eleanor Roosevelt and the Fate of the Jews

At 1 p.m. on Monday, June 17, the Jewish Federation of the Berkshires presents the program "Eleanor Roosevelt and the Fate of the Jews, 1933 to 1945," with John F. Sears, Ph.D.  Open to the public, and at a cost of $3, the program, for all ages, will be held at Congregation Knesset Israel, 16 Colt Road, Pittsfield

Sears' presentation will reflect that because of her keen interest in refugee issues and her unusual role as both insider and outsider in the Roosevelt administration, no figure of the 1930s and 40s provides a better lens for examining America's failure to respond adequately to the events leading up to the Holocaust - and to the Holocaust itself - than Eleanor Roosevelt.

Among questions Sears will examine:
How did one of the greatest humanitarians of the 20th century respond to the Nazi persecution of the Jews?
What was Roosevelt's relationship to the men and women who led efforts to assist German and Eastern European refugees to escape from Europe?
How did Roosevelt as journalist, speaker, wife of the President, and friend of Under Secretary of State Sumner Welles seek to support refugee efforts?
How successful were Roosevelt's efforts with regard to refugees?

Sears will examine the frustrations, successes, and failures of Roosevelt's work on behalf of refugees and her understanding of the obstacles that often blocked the possibility  of rescue.  He will also discuss her related campaign to address the inequality, discrimination, and violent injustice within America that undermined the credibility of democracy in its critical competition with Fascist ideology.

John F. Sears, an independent scholar with a secial interest in Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, has taught at Tufts, Boston University, and Vassar College as well as serving as the Executive Director of the Roosevelt Institute in Hyde Park, New York and as Associate Editor of the Eleanor Roosevelt Papers.  Sears is currently working on a book about Eleanor Roosevelt and the Jews. 

For further information, please call Nancy Maurice Rogers, Program Director, at 413-442-4360, ext. 15.