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U.S. Holocaust Museum Chicago lunch: Rahm Emanuel, Deborah Lipstadt, Leo, Betty Melamed

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below, release from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum...


Chicagoans Diane and Hal Gershowitz to be Honored at Museum's

Largest Fundraising Event; Mayor Emanuel to Speak

CHICAGO - Leo and Betty Melamed will Chair the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum's 2011 Risa K. Lambert Chicago Luncheon, the largest fundraising event for the nation's memorial to the Holocaust. Chicagoans Diane and Hal Gershowitz will be honored for their dedicated support of the Museum locally and nationally since its inception. Terry Duffy and Craig Donohue, of CME Group are the Corporate Co-Chairs

The Gershowitzs' have been actively involved with the Museum for more than 20 years. Appointed by two presidents to the United States Holocaust Memorial Council, the Museum's governing body, Hal has served in a number of leadership roles and was instrumental in establishing the Museum's genocide prevention initiative, the Committee on Conscience. Diane was a driving force behind the creation of the Chicago luncheon that annually attracts more than 2,000 Chicagoans. This flagship event has featured leading figures in education, entertainment, the arts and politics, including Oprah Winfrey, Liev Schreiber, Daniel Liebskind, and many others. This year's keynote speaker, author, scholar and the world's leading authority on Holocaust denial, Deborah Lipstadt will be joined by Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel.

"The Committee on Conscience is a crucial component of the Museum. We wanted to build an institution that would not only remember the past, but also protect the future. The Museum acts as a moral voice whenever and wherever it witnesses the potential of genocide," said Leo Melamed, Holocaust survivor, Luncheon Chair, Chairman Emeritus of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and early supporter of the Museum. "Hal also saw the importance of such an initiative and was an early advocate of the Committee on Conscience. His unwavering support has been immeasurable."

The luncheon will be held at noon on Monday, November 7, at the Chicago Sheraton Hotel and Towers. To purchase tickets or to inquire about sponsorship opportunities, contact the Museum's Midwest Regional Office at 847-604-1924 or by email at Media inquiries should be directed to Jackie Berkowitz at 202-488-2637 or

A living memorial to the Holocaust, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum was created to inspire leaders and citizens to confront hatred, prevent genocide, and promote human dignity. Federal support guarantees the Museum's permanent place on the National Mall, and its far reaching educational programs and global impact are made possible by generous donors. For more information, visit


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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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