BOONE—Rabbi Andrew Baker will speak on “Combating Anti-Semitism in a Changing Europe: Confronting Old Demons and New Threats” March 25 at 7 p.m. in Belk Library and Information Commons Room 114 at Appalachian State University. His talk is sponsored by the university’s Center for Judaic, Holocaust, and Peace Studies as part of its Spring Semester Forum Speaker series. The public is invited to attend.
Baker is director of International Jewish Affairs for the American Jewish Committee (AJC). In this position, he is responsible for maintaining and developing AJC’s network of relationships with Jewish communities throughout Diaspora and addressing the accompanying international issues and concerns.
He has been a prominent figure in addressing Holocaust-era issues in Europe and in international efforts to combat anti-Semitism.
In January 2009, he was appointed the personal representative of the Organization for Security and Co-Operation in Europe’s (OSCE) Chair-in Office on Combating Anti-Semitism and has been reappointed in each successive year. In this position, he has been in the forefront addressing the problems of a resurgence of anti-Semitism. He has played an active role in confronting the legacy of the Holocaust.
He is a vice president of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims against Germany, the Jewish umbrella organization that has worked on restitution issues for over half a century. In 2003 he was awarded the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Merit (First Class) by the president of Germany for his work in German-Jewish relations.
He was a member of government commissions in the Czech Republic and Slovakia that were established to address the claims of Holocaust Victims, and is a founding member of the National Historical Commission of Lithuania. He currently serves as co-chairman of the Lithuanian Good Will Foundation, established in 2012 to administer communal compensation payments.
In 2006 the president of Lithuania presented him with the Officer’s Cross of Merit for his work, and in 2012 he was awarded the Lithuanian Diplomacy Star. For similar work he was awarded the Order of the Three Stars by the president of Latvia in 2007. He helped the Romanian government establish a national commission to examine its Holocaust history and served as one of its founding members. For this work he was awarded the National Order of Merit (Commander) by the president of Romania in 2009.
About Appalachian State University
As the premier public undergraduate institution in the state of North Carolina, Appalachian State University prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The Appalachian Experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and to embrace diversity and difference. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian is one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System. Appalachian enrolls more than 19,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.
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