Lauren Embrey Honored At Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center For Education And Tolerance’s 2017 Hope For Humanity Dinner

A crowd of 970 gathered at the Fairmont Hotel on Tuesday, October 24, for the Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center For Education and Tolerance‘s 2017 Hope For Humanity dinner. The guests, including Lynn and Allan McBee, Bobby Lyle, Thear Suzuki, Frank Risch, and Carol and Don Glendenning, were there to celebrate the evening’s honoree, philanthropist Lauren Embrey. But they were also there to raise some money, revel in the new Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum (it broke ground in October), and enjoy a wonderful kosher meal.

The dinner—Lolla Rosa and Frisee Salad, Seared Scottish Salmon, and Lemon-scented Kosher Cheesecake—had everyone in a convivial mood, especially after the gracious welcome by event Co-chairs Sarah Losinger and Trea C. Yip. Sarah and Trea pointed out that the new museum— which will take the facility’s square footage from 6,000 square feet to nearly nine times that, and more than double the number of annual visitors, to 200,000—will help the nonprofit impact attitudes in a positive way and change behaviors through education. The new museum is scheduled to open in 2019.

Florence Shapiro, the group’s board chair, gave a brief talk, suggesting that “there must never be a time that we fail to fight injustice”—to thunderous applause. Flo gave way to Mary Pat Higgins, the nonprofit’s president and CEO, who preceded a nicely produced video tribute to Lauren. In it, Larry James noted how Embrey has “grappled with her privilege,” and Dr. Rick Halperin said, “If there was something called human cloning, she should be cloned.”

Then it was time to present the 2017 Hope for Humanity Award to Lauren, a nationally known philanthropist and advocate for gender and racial equality. The President and Philanthropic Visionary of the Embrey Family Foundation, Embrey put belief into action in 2006 when she and her sister, Gayle, founded the Embrey Human Rights Program at Southern Methodist University. It offers the only bachelor’s degree in human rights education in the South. The evening’s honoree also supports organizations with people-centered missions, as well as a variety of artistic projects tackling social injustices that often go unnoticed or undiscussed. Summed up Lauren: “Each one of us can be part of the solution.”

MySweetCharity Opportunity: Hope For Humanity Dinner

Sarah Losinger (File photo)

According to Hope for Humanity Dinner Co-Chair Sarah Losinger,

Each year, the Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance honors local Dallas/Fort Worth Holocaust survivors and pays tribute to an Upstander whose actions personify the Museum’s mission to teach the history of the Holocaust and to advance human rights to combat prejudice, hatred, and indifference. Net proceeds from this inspirational evening directly support the important work the Museum does throughout the year.

Both at home and across the world, our community has witnessed many acts of violence where hatred and prejudice prevailed. The Museum’s commitment to fighting hatred has never been more important than it is today.

Lauren Embrey (File photo)

Education is at the heart of the Museum’s mission. In 2016, the Museum shared the lessons of the Holocaust and other genocides along with the costs of hatred and fear of the differences between us with more than 83,500 visitors, almost half of whom were students. The Museum inspires students to become “Upstanders.” Upstanders speak out and stand up against acts of prejudice, hatred, and indifference.

On Tuesday, October 24, at the Fairmont Dallas, the Museum will honor Lauren Embry for her tireless and inspirational work in human rights. As one of the nation’s most influential philanthropists and advocates for gender and racial equity, Lauren reveals her heart by generously sharing her time, talent, and spirit with the city she has called home her entire life, Dallas. Lauren believes that every day provides a new opportunity to be the meaningful change we desire to see in the world.

2017 Hope For Humanity*

The dinner’s honorary co-chairs include Rebecca Bruder, Kelly Hoglund Compton, Rebecca Fletcher, Carol and Don Glendenning, Dr. Rick Halperin, Helen LaKelly Hunt and Harville Hendrix, Lynn and Allan McBee, Karol Omlor, Frank Risch, Barbara Glazer Rosenblatt and Joanne and Charles Teichman.

Please join my Co-Chair Trea C. Yip and me for a memorable and inspiring evening of hope.

* Graphic provided by Hope 
For Humanity Dinner


JUST IN: Plans Revealed For Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center For Education And Tolerance’s Capital Campaign

Frank Risch is a very busy fellow. He’s headed up the search for the Communities Foundation of Texas CEO. The buzz is that the decision on Brent Christopher’s successor should be announced soon.

Now, word just arrived from the Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance that Frank is co-chairing the “Building a Foundation of Hope” capital campaign to raise the remainder of the $61M for building a 50,000-square-foot museum that will be “a new permanent home in the West End Historic District. The new museum will be named Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum.”

Frank Risch (File photo)

Frank Risch (File photo)

Mary Pat Higgins (File photo)

Mary Pat Higgins (File photo)

The museum “has already raised two thirds of the funds it needs to start construction, which will take about two years to complete. More than $43 million has been raised.”

According to Museum President/CEO Mary Pat Higgins, “At a time when Texas leads the nation in the number of active hate groups, and the Dallas community is still healing from the July 7th attack on local law enforcement officers, the most violent and hateful act against law enforcement officers since 9/11, we believe the mission of the new Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum is more important than ever.”

Mary Pat explains that due to running out of space in the current rented facility, the museum was “limited in the number of visitors we can see at one time, and many schools and thousands of students are not able to visit as their class sizes are too large for our current museum. We have been forced to move many of our events to other venues. These are all wonderful problems to have, but we urgently have to address our community’s need for education surrounding the history of the Holocaust and it’s all too relevant lessons. This need has led our board to unanimously approve the ‘Building a Foundation of Hope’ capital campaign to create the new Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum.”

Built in the parking lot near Houston Street and the DART Rail corridor, the new museum will feature new exhibit galleries on human rights and American ideals, a 250-seat theater, new classrooms, an expanded library and archive, modern technology throughout, a special reflections and memorial area for visitors and much more.

So far capital campaign donors have included:

  • $10,000,000: Ann and Nate Levine
  • $3,000,000-$4,999,999: Carol and Steve Aaron
  • $1,000,000-$2,999,999: Edward and Wilhelmina Ackerman Family Foundation, Alon USA Energy Inc., Janet and Jeffrey Beck, The Brown Family, Cinemark, Cynthia and Robert Feldman, Funk Families, Estate of Lilian Furst, Glazer Family, Lisa and Neil Goldberg, Sherry and Kenny Goldberg, Dot and Basil Haymann, The Hirsch Family Foundation, Helen and Frank Risch, Simmons Sisters Fund, Donna and Herbert Weitzman and Peggy and Mark Zilbermann

JUST IN: Monuments Men Foundation’s Robert Edsel Presents Precious Artifacts To The Dallas Holocaust Museum This Morning

Florence Shapiro and Robert Edsel

Florence Shapiro and Robert Edsel

This morning Monuments Men Foundation Chairman of the Board Robert Edsel was all mic-ed up alongside Holocaust Museum Board Chair-Elect Florence Shapiro at the Museum behind a table. On the other side of the table was a line-up of TV cameras and photographers and spectators. On the table were a very worn book and an aged menorah that were the center of attention because they were treasures of World War II and, thanks to the Monuments Men Foundation, were being presented to the Museum.

Made famous thanks to Robert’s Monuments Men book and the movie, the Foundation has taken up the cause to return such art, cultural objects, and documents to their rightful owners and/or provide for their preservation.

Monuments Men album and seven-branch menorah

Monuments Men album and seven-branch menorah

The seven-branch menorah was “a souvenir” brought to the States by a World War II vet. Considered truly unique because of its “having only seven branches, it resembles the one lit by Kohanim (priests)at the Holy Temple during Biblical times in Jerusalem. It is a symbol of the Jewish people and the State of Israel. The commonly seen nine-branch menorah, called in Hebrew ‘Chanukiyyah,’ is used during the Jewish holiday of Chanukah.”

According to Robert, “The Monuments Men Foundation is pleased that after some 70 years, this menorah will now have a permanent and appropriate home at one of our city’s most important cultural institutes, the Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance. Now, after a very long journey, it will serve future generations as an ever-present reminder of the horrors inflicted on humanity by Adolf Hitler and the Nazis.”

As for the book, it was actually an album “containing 46 tipped-in photographs showing daily work activities of the Monuments Men at the Offenbach Archival Deport, one of three principal collecting points for cultural treasures and works of arts looted by the Nazis during World War II.”

Monuments Officer Captain Isaac Bencowitz, who had been the director of the Offenbach Archival Depot, presented the album to Monuments Man Corporal Rouben Sami for his efforts. Despite its condition, five Monuments Men have been identified in the photos including Monuments Officer Lt. Col. Richard Howard, who was the third director of the Dallas Museum of Art.

Robert Edsel displaying the Monuments Men album

Robert Edsel displaying the Monuments Men album

As Robert carefully opened the book, he explained, “The Foundation is also excited that the album of photographs documenting the work of the Monuments Men in identifying and returning some of the millions of objects stolen during the war will reside at the Museum.”

As the press conference concluded and the microphones were removed, Robert shared news of another sort with Florence. Not only had he gotten married, but the newlyweds were expecting a baby in August.

Holocaust Museum Board Announces Florence Shapiro As Chair-Elect And Adds Nicholas Pournader To Membership

Just because Florence Shapiro is no longer worried about running for office, it doesn’t mean she’s sitting at home doing jigsaw puzzles. Heck, no!

Florence Shapiro (File photo)

Florence Shapiro (File photo)

The former Texas State Senator, former Plano City Councilman and former Plano mayor has been busier than ever helping nonprofits by serving on such boards as Communities Foundation of Texas, AT&T Performing Arts, Simmons School of Education and Human Development and the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Engagement at the University of Texas to mention a few.

But one board holds a very personal place in her priorities. It’s the Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance. The reason? Florence’s parents were Holocaust survivors.

Not surprising, her involvement with the Museum has led to her serving as the vice president of the board of directors. Word has just arrived that she will serve as Chair-Elect of the board eventually succeeding Chair Stephen Waldman in 2017.

Another change in the board’s make up is the addition of businessman Nicholas Pournader as a member.

Mary Pat Higgins (File photo)

Mary Pat Higgins (File photo)

According to Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance President/CEO Mary Pat Higgins, “We are so pleased to welcome these new additions to our board and look forward to Senator Shapiro’s and Mr. Pournader’s leadership and insights in the continued development of our museum. Their backgrounds and breadth of knowledge will be invaluable as we grow the museum and build a new permanent home.”

BTW, this is a great time to visit the Museum. Ground Zero 360 just opened earlier this month. It’s a “powerful opportunity to pay tribute to the first-responders and the victims of 9-11.” Thanks to funding by Communities Foundation of Texas, D/FW-area first responders will be admitted free-of-charge.

Bloomberg Philanthropies Provides $200,000 Grant Over Two Years For Holocaust Museum/Center For Education And Tolerance

The Bloomberg Philanthropies recently shared the love and money with still another Dallas nonprofit. In addition to Dallas Contemporary, the Dallas Holocaust Museum Center for Education and Tolerance was also a recipient of a Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Arts and Innovation Management (AIM) grant for $200,000 over two years.

Mary Pat Higgins (File photo)

Mary Pat Higgins (File photo)

According to the Museum’s CEO Mary Pat Higgins, “We are grateful to have been invited to participate in this exciting program and selected as a recipient of the AIM grant. It will help us continue to expand our reach, engage new audiences and better teach our community the moral and ethical responses to prejudice.”

The two-year program will provide $100,000 the first year and will require the grantee organization to participate in the AIM Training Program and “to secure matching funds equivalent to 20% of the annual grant sum, reach 100% board member participation in fund raising and sustain up-to-date records in the Cultural Data Project (CDP).” If the requirements are fulfilled, an additional $100,000 will be provided in the second year.

The AIM grant program is by invitation only and involves only six cities — Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Plans call for the museum to participate in the AIM Training Program’s first seminar, “The Cycle and Artistic Planning,” on Wednesday, June 24.

MySweet2014Goals: Mary Pat Higgins

Mary Pat Higgins*

Mary Pat Higgins*

According to Dallas Holocaust Museum’s President/CEO Mary Pat Higgins,

“The Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance opens its doors 361 days a year. Through its exhibits, speakers, docents and pre-recorded audio guides, it educates children and adults about the dangers of bigotry and hatred. Against the darkness of the Holocaust, which led to the near annihilation of 6 million Jewish people and 5 million others – Roma, Senti, homosexuals and people with mental or physical infirmities – the Museum sheds light on how each of us can say, ‘never again’ and stand by that promise. The Museum had record attendance in 2013, with almost 57,000 visitors, setting the bar high for increased growth in visitors, exposure, events and collaborative opportunities in 2014.

“The current space that the Museum occupies is almost too small to host the thousands of school children that visit each school year in very large groups.  We are eager to begin building a new building on land we’ve purchased near the current location.  However, first we must continue growing our footprint and expanding our brand though out DFW, North Central Texas, southern Oklahoma and Louisiana.  We will continue to offer rich programming that brings together special exhibits, academics and witnesses of inhumanity, but also the survivors, liberators and rescuers—those who foster our hope for humanity.

“Yes, our goals for 2014 are aggressive.  However, as an organization that has thrived for 30 years—this is our thirtieth anniversary year—we have an important legacy to carry forward. We must reach more people in our community with the lessons learned from the Holocaust and the dangers of indifference, intolerance, and denial. We must continue to tell this story.”

* Photo provided by Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance

A Reason To Appreciate Today And Every Day Despite The Hassles

Let’s think back. Let’s think way back. Before you were born. Let’s go back 70 years. It was a time before there was an Internet. It was a time when radio was pretty hi tech. But it was a time when great-grandparents were either facing concentration camps or they were trying to decide whether to enter a war.

It’s sorta hard to imagine children who considered just surviving to be a gift.

Let’s not visit the guilt-factor universe, but let’s be grateful for the blessings that we have. In some cases, they may be minuscule, but they are far better than an entire generation that placed a precious value on every sunrise.

If you want to really appreciate the celebration of what we have today, you might want to attend the Dallas Holocaust Museum’s Kindertransport exhibit. It continues through February with speakers like Charlotte Decoster on Thursday, January 16, and Magie Furst on Sunday, February 2. Admission is a mere $5 for non-members of the museum.

Round Robin October 16: Hope For Humanity And Urban Revival Patron Parties And CCB’s Circle Of Angels Dinner

Things were just starting to ramp up Wednesday, October 16, all around town with events saluting the underwriters and patrons for upcoming events. It’s always nice to see major supporters receive a pat on the back in advance.

Janet and Jeff Beck

Janet and Jeff Beck

Hope For Humanity Patrons Party

Janet and Jeff Beck’s collection of art ranges from a handmade, coin-laden headdress from a remote village in Thailand to a Peter Max Statue of Liberty and everything in between. But they all share a common denominator — each has a story behind its acquisition.

Headdress from Thailand

Headdress from Thailand

The Becks opened their Addison showplace for the patrons of the October 30th Hope for Humanity Dinner benefiting the Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance.

Don and Carol Glendenning, Mary Pat Higgins and Hylton Jonas

Don and Carol Glendenning, Mary Pat Higgins and Hylton Jonas

Hylton Jonas, who’s chairing the museum’s board, and CEO Mary Pat Higgins revealed that they were undertaking some very big projects.

First they will be focusing on education, both about the Holocaust and working with students on how to respond to hatred and prejudice.

Second, they’re in the initial stages of planning and designing a new, larger facility. Presently their exhibition space is 2,500 square feet. Plans call for a 10,000-square-foot exhibition area inside a 50,000-square-foot building. Whereas the organization hosts 50,000 visitors annually now, their plan projects the new facility handle 450,000 each year.

Hylton and Mary Pat stressed that in addition to the Holocaust, the focus would be on human and civil rights and other forms of genocide.

Currently in the “pre-silent” phase, they’re analyzing fundraising capabilities. Have they selected a site for the new building? Not yet, but they’re working with California designer Michael Berenbaum, who is well-known for his work creating similar facilities.

Urban Revival Underwriters Party

Margaret Keliher and Mina Cunningham

Margaret Keliher and Mina Cunningham

Over in Preston Hollow it was a case of little houses in a big house to benefit many houses. Cameron and Clay Smith hosted the underwriters party for the November 7th Urban Revival benefiting the Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity.

While Crayton Webb stood by the window talking with Lester Keliher and looking out the window for wife Nikki to arrive, Margaret Keliher joined Mina Cunningham on a couch, with a display of designer birdhouses on a nearby table. Each one had its own unique look and just hinted at the collection that will be auctioned off at the Trinity Groves fundraiser.

Birdhouses

Birdhouses

In the kitchen Darin Kunz revealed that DIFFA is changing directions slightly for the 2014 gala. Yes, Simona Beal will be the honorary chair, but the March 29th black tie fundraiser will take place at the Omni Dallas Hotel. As for the November 7th Dallas Holiday Wreath Collection fundraiser, it will be held at Dallas Market Hall.

Circle of Angels Dinner

Caren Kline thanking guests in the Pecan Room

Caren Kline thanking guests in the Pecan Room

Closer to downtown Dallas, the annual Crystal Charity Ball Circle of Angels dinner was underway at Old Parkland’s Pecan Room in the Nurses Quarters. Before settling down to an out-of-this-world seated supper (First course — roasted beet salad with herb garlic goat cheese, marcom almonds with green apple vinaigrette; main course — 44 Farms Black Angus tenderloin with savory granola, lemon-basil risotto and squash with madeira sauce; Dessert — Espresso bittersweet chocolate pate with white chocolate ice cream) by Cassandra, the crowd filled the magnificent room. With its marvelous collection of paintings and collectibles, the two-story Pecan Room with its huge fireplace is simply fabulous.

But it’s not accessible to just anyone. Those whose offices are within the campus are able to access it. In this case, thanks to Crow Family Holdings’ Anne Raymond, the CCB was able to hold the dinner for the mega-buck supporters for the area children’s fundraisers.

Laura and Jason Downing

Laura and Jason Downing

Minnie Caruth

Minnie Caruth

CCB Chair Caren Kline was front and center thanking those assembled, especially Deloitte, which underwrote the evening. Graciously accepting her thanks, Deloitte’s Jason Downing reminded the guests that over the years CCB had raised more than $105M for area children’s nonprofits.

Marilyn Augur

Marilyn Augur

Christi Urschel

Christi Urschel

Nancy Dedman and Brad Kelly

Nancy Dedman and Brad Kelly

The evening’s guests included Neiman Marcus Downtown GM Jeff Byron, who talked about the prepping of the store for the upcoming holidays with the famed window displays. .  Carol and Don Glendenning, who had been at the Hope for Humanity patron party. . .Robin and Don Conlon, who was recovering nicely from shoulder surgery; Minnie Caruth sans husband Bill, who was in the final stages of reviewing grant requests for the next day’s Caruth Foundation meeting; Annette and Harold Simmons, Claire and Dwight Emanuelson, Christi and Hal Urschel, Marilyn Augur, Connie and Chris O’Neill, Nancy and Gene Carter, Aileen and Jack Pratt, Leslie and Bryan Diers, Nancy and Robbie Briggs, Katherine and Key Coker, Mary Claire Finney, Nancy Dedman and Brad Kelly,and Craig Kennington and his mother Dorothy Kennington.

Hylton Jonas To Chair The Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center For Education And Tolerance Board

Hylton Jonas

Retired business executive Hylton Jonas has been named chairman of the board of the Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance.

A board member since 2005, Hylton has a personal involvement in the devastation of the Holocaust. The family of his wife, Veronique, were victims of this tragic period in modern history. Her parents, many aunts and uncles were deported from their homes on the Island of Rhodes and imprisoned in 1944 at Auschwitz, where they died. In honor of the 1,407 Jews who were deported from the Island of Rhodes and died, the Jonas’s erected a memorial on the island listing the names of each victim.

According to outgoing board chairman Thomas Halsey, “Hylton is logically the next person to lead the DHM/CET. He shares a passion for the Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance’s mission, and brings the business and financial expertise necessary to advance our mission.”

Photo provided by the Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance