Rabbi Talk: The Untold Story of the Lehman Family and its Aid to Jewish Refugees, 1933-1945

Event details

  • Tuesday | November 9, 2021
  • 7:30 pm
Rabbi Talk at 7:30 p.m. with Rabbi Lance J. Sussman, Ph.D.
Meeting ID: 893 0412 8482
Call into the discussion: +1 929 436 2866

Join us for our next Rabbi Talk: Tuesday, November 9th, 2021 at 7:30PM on Zoom

Karen Franklin, Director of Family Research at the Leo Baeck Institute in New York and a consultant for the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust.

Karen S Franklin is currently an exhibit researcher at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York and Director of the Lehman Family Rescue Activities Project. Karen is co-chair of the Board of Governors of JewishGen, a past president of the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies and past chair of the Council of American Jewish Museums. She was recently appointed to the Advisory Board of the European Shoah Legacy Institute. Karen is a vice-chair of the ICOM (International Council of Museums) Committee of Memorial Museums. In May of 2012, she received the International Service Citation from ICOM-US, ICOM’s highest honor, in recognition of her contributions to international cooperation among museums and scholars in the field of Holocaust-era property restitution. In 2019, she received the Lifetime Achievement Award of the IAJGS. 

The Untold Story of the Lehman Family and its Aid to Jewish Refugees, 1933-1945

The Mayer Lehman Charity Fund facilitated the rescue and support of almost 200 European Jews prior to the Holocaust, many of them Lehman family members. Established by the Lehman family, The Mayer Lehman Charity Fund was named for one of the three German immigrant brothers, Mayer Lehman (1830-1897), who founded the investment bank that would later become Lehman Brothers.

Karen Franklin’s illustrated lecture will explore the activities of the family and, in particular, the efforts of New York Governor Herbert H. Lehman, who worked tirelessly, both politically and personally, to support the rescue efforts (including enlisting the personal assistance of President Franklin D. Roosevelt). She will share stories about the experiences of those who were aided, and how she used genealogical research to identify how they were related and what happened to their descendants.

The Lehman family initiatives will be one of several featured in Brothers’ Keepers: American Jewish Rescuers opening in March 2013 at The Museum of Jewish Heritage: A Living Memorial to the Holocaust in New York.

New York Governor Herbert H. Lehman and the Lehman family facilitated the immigration and support of well over 100 Jewish refugees from Europe. They were called upon because of the power of the Governor’s office, access to funding and influence. The family worked through a family foundation, the Mayer Lehman Charity Fund. Nonetheless, even the Lehmans could not overcome powerful European political and bureaucratic forces, and American immigration obstacles. 

Join us for this enlightening program which will include stories of several families rescued by the Lehmans, including one in which President Franklin D. Roosevelt personally interceded.