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T. William & Patricia Ayers Global Tipping Points - Confronting Genocide and Antisemitism: Identifying the Warning Signs

  • Thursday, March 30, 2023
  • 6:00 PM


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T. William & Patricia Ayers Global Tipping Points Series

Confronting Genocide

and Antisemitism:

Identifying the Warning Signs

March 30, 2023

6:00 - 7:00 pm 

Portsmouth Public Library

“The history of man is the history of crimes, and history can repeat. So information is a defense. Through this we can build, we must build a defense against repetition.” - Simon Wiesenthal, Holocaust Survivor

The past becomes prologue if societies do not learn the right lessons and take preventative action. With plenty of examples throughout history, the world has ample evidence on what leads to a genocide in all of its forms, yet there are at least a dozen current genocide emergencies in the world today, as defined by Genocide Watch.

Join the NH Fulbright Association and the World Affairs Council of NH, in partnership with the Lantos Foundation and the Portsmouth Public Library, for a important discussion with Dr. David Livingstone Smith, Professor of Philosophy at the University of New England. Audience members will discuss the warning signs of an impending genocide and what can societies, communities, and individuals do to prevent the attempted eradication of a people. Discussions will also focus on the recent global rise of antisemitism, the dangers of communities denying genocides, and what the international community can do to amplify support for ending genocides.

About the Speakers

David Livingstone Smith received his PhD in philosophy from the University of London, Kings College. He is author of ten books, and numerous articles. His book Less Than Human: Why We Demean, Enslave and Exterminate Others (2011) was awarded the Anisfield-Wolf award for nonfiction. He has given numerous presentations and public lectures in the US and Europe. David is an interdisciplinary scholar, whose work is cited not only by philosophers, but also historians, legal scholars, psychologists, anthropologists, and others. David has been interviewed and cited on numerous occasions in the national and international media and was a guest at the 2012 G20 economic summit, where he spoke about dehumanization and mass violence.

Peggy Shukur serves Interim Regional Director of ADL New England where she is engaged in all aspects of ADL’s mission to “stop the defamation of the Jewish people, and to secure justice and fair treatment to all”. She is actively involved with ADL New England’s program delivery, community relations, and advocacy initiatives across Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont, with an emphasis on developing community partnerships and initiatives that advocate for justice, equity and fair treatment for everyone. She also leads incident response, staff development, board engagement, strategic planning and community-based efforts in our collective fight against hate and antisemitism.

Peggy joined ADL in October 2019 following a career as a corporate lawyer, including serving as Chief Legal Officer of a global software and services company. She is actively involved with ADL New England’s advocacy, community outreach and partnerships, board engagement, strategic planning and education efforts in our collective fight against hate and antisemitism.

Rabba Kaya Stern-Kaufman joined Temple Israel in Portsmouth as spiritual leader/Rabbi in July 2020. She is dedicated to the development of meaningful Jewish community rooted in our Jewish wisdom traditions and focused on contemporary needs for tikkun olam — repairing the world. Before moving to Portsmouth, she served as interim rabbi at synagogues in New England from 2016-2019. Rabba Kaya is the founder of Rimon: Resource Center for Jewish Spirituality, where she served as executive director & spiritual leader from 2012 to 2016.

Prior to her work in the Jewish community, Rabba Kaya worked as a clinical social worker with families and children and as a professional feng shui consultant. Rabba Kaya Stern-Kaufman was ordained at the Academy for Jewish Religion, a non-denominational, pluralistic seminary in Yonkers, N.Y., in 2011. She holds a BA in Psychology and an MA in social work from New York University.

About the Moderator

Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett serves as President of the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice, established in 2008 to continue the legacy of her father, the late Congressman Tom Lantos, who served as Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and was the only Holocaust survivor ever elected to the US Congress.

Congressman Lantos was the founder of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus and was widely acknowledged as one of our nation’s most eloquent and forceful leaders on behalf of human rights and justice.

Under her leadership, the Lantos Foundation has become a distinguished and respected voice on key human rights concerns ranging form advancing rule of law globally and fighting for Internet freedom in closed societies, to combating the persistent and growing threat of antisemitism and Holocaust denial.

Dr. Lantos Swett is the former Chair and Vice Chair of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) and teaches Human Rights and American Foreign Policy at Tufts University. She currently serves as Co-Chair of the Board of the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK) and the Budapest based Tom Lantos Institute. Dr. Lantos Swett also serves on the Advisory Board of UN Watch, the annual Anne Frank Award and Lecture, and the Warren B. Rudman Center for Justice, Leadership and Public Policy. She serves as Co-Chair of the International Religious Freedom Summit, which held its inaugural gathering in 2021.

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