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Jews and human rights to be focus of 10th annual Rothschild Lecture

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Jewish historian James Loeffler, author of "Rooted Cosmopolitans: Jews and Human Rights in the Twentieth Century," will deliver the 10th Annual Rothschild Lecture at Emory on Nov. 15.

Jewish historian James Loeffler, author of the recent book, “Rooted Cosmopolitans: Jews and Human Rights in the Twentieth Century,” will deliver the 10th Annual Rothschild Lecture at Emory University at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 15, in the Oxford Road Presentation Auditorium, 1390 Oxford Rd., followed by a reception and book signing. Admission is free.

Loeffler’s lecture, sponsored by the Tam Institute for Jewish Studies and American Jewish Committee Atlanta, will explore the stories of several Jewish founders of international human rights, following them from the prewar shtetls of Eastern Europe to the postwar United Nations. The journey includes the Nuremberg and Eichmann trials, the founding of Amnesty International, and the United Nations resolution of 1975 labeling Zionism as racism.

As in his critically acclaimed book, Loeffler, the Jay Berkowitz Professor of Jewish History at the University of Virginia, will challenge long-held assumptions about the history of human rights and offer a new perspective on the roots of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. 

The lecture also will commemorate the centennial of Morris B. Abram, a Georgia-born attorney, civil rights leader and human rights activist, whose papers are housed at Emory’s Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library.

As part of the commemoration of the Abram centennial, the Rose Library also will present a “show and tell” of several items from the Morris B. Abram Papers on Friday, Nov. 16, at 11:30 a.m. on the 10th floor of Woodruff Library. For complete information, visit the Tam Institute website at

The Rabbi Jacob M. Rothschild Lecture memorializes the late rabbi, civil rights activist and spiritual leader of The Temple, Atlanta’s oldest Jewish congregation. Each year the Rothschild Lecture features a distinguished speaker on a topic related to social justice and Judaism.

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