Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Ambassador John L. Loeb jr. to Deliver "Beyond Tolerance" at the 41st Annual Herbert H. Lehman Memorial Lecture

Ambassador John L. Loeb jr. to Deliver "Beyond Tolerance" at the 41st Annual Herbert H. Lehman Memorial Lecture
March 24, 2010

The selection of Ambassador John L. Loeb Jr. to present the Herbert H. Lehman Memorial Lecture on March 25 marks the first time a descendant of the Lehman family has been invited to address this event. Lehman College has the tradition of inviting well-known speakers for the annual event and past speakers have included Israel’s Abba Eban, Kitty Carlisle Hart, chairman of the New York State Council of the Arts until her death in 2007, former U.S. Senators George McGovern, Daniel Moynihan, Albert Gore Sr. and George J Mitchell, and noted historian Arthur M. Schlesinger. Ambassador Loeb, who represented the United States in Denmark from 1981-1983 is the founder of the George Washington Institute for Religious Freedom. He will address the 41st Annual Herbert H. Lehman memorial event on the subject of tolerance.

Herbert H. Lehman, for whom the Memorial Lecture is named, was the son of one of three founders of the original investment bank, Lehman Brothers, where he worked for 30 years. He later served both as governor of New York State and as a U.S. senator, having a clear passion for business, politics, and philanthropy. A veteran of World War I, during the Second World War he was the first director of the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA) created by President Franklin Roosevelt, which provided aid to the population of the Allied nations. The work of UNRRA involved the shipment of some 18 million tons of clothing, shoes and bedding to war ravaged countries. Following the war in 1946, Lehman College in the Bronx, an arm of the City University of New York became the temporary headquarters of the United Nations with early U.N. Security Council meetings held in the college gymnasium.

Herbert H. Lehman was not afraid to stand up and speak out against political injustices of the day. In the early 1950s, he was one of the earliest opponents of Senator Joseph McCarthy and his ideologically motivated hearings of individuals suspected of communist leanings.

For former US Ambassador to Denmark, John L. Loeb Jr. the opportunity to speak on a subject of deep personal passion, “Beyond Tolerance” is not only a privilege but also a deeply satisfying personal event for he shares his ancestor’s passion for speaking out on issues of religious freedom. Ambassador Loeb has recently produced a book about the contribution of early Jewish families to the United States and is championing educational projects regarding George Washington’s early efforts to establish religious freedom in this country.

The Lecture will be held on Thursday March 25, 2010 at 11:00am in the Monroe and Rose Lovinger Theatre at Lehman College.

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