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YIVO to Host Panel Discussion on Madoff Affair

PRESS NEWS : For immediate release
Media inquiries : Elise Fischer
tel. 212-294-6131
e-mail :

Other inquiries : Harold Steinblatt
tel. 917-606-8293
e-mail :
YIVO Institute for Jewish Research
15 West 16th Street - New York - NY - 10011
[New York City - 08 January 2009]  The YIVO Institute for Jewish Research will present a panel discussion titled "Madoff: A Jewish Reckoning" on Thursday, January 15, at 7:00 pm. The sheer magnitude of Bernard Madoff's crimes and his apparent preference for fleecing Jews and Jewish institutions have left many of his co-religionists wondering, "Where did this man come from?" YIVO's Board of Overseers has convened a panel of distinguished scholars, businessmen and philanthropists from the community to answer this and other salient questions.

The Panel

Simon Schama One of the pre-eminent narrative historians of our time, the Columbia University professor is a prolific author whose works include Rembrandt's Eyes and Two Rothschilds and the Land of Israel. Among his many areas of expertise is the longstanding and complex relationship between Jews and capitalism.

Michael Walzer The internationally renowned political and moral philosopher, a professor emeritus at the Institute of Advanced Study at Princeton, is co-editor of the quarterly Dissent. He has thought deeply about the practical application of Jewish ethics in a modern economy.

William Ackman A member of the Board of Overseers at YIVO and the former Chairman of the Jerusalem Foundation, the C.E.O. of the hedge fund Pershing Square Management is a businessman/philanthropist par excellence. He has played an active role in calling to account on Wall Street public firms guilty of criminal business practices.

Michael Steinhardt The pioneer hedge fund manager founded Steinhardt, Fine, Berkowitz & Co. in 1967, which quickly made him a Wall Street icon. Co-founder of the hugely successful "Birthright Israel" program and chairman of The Steinhardt Foundation for Jewish Life, he is equally revered in another sphere--as one of the foremost Jewish philanthropists of our time.

Mort Zuckerman The publisher of the Daily News, editor-in-chief of U.S. News & World Report and major real estate investor is intimately acquainted with the Madoff case--as a victim. Active in Jewish communal life, Zuckerman is a past chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations and has advised Israeli prime ministers and American presidents on matters of Middle East policy.

The YIVO Institute for Jewish Research is dedicated to the history and culture of Ashkenazi Jewry and to its influence in the Americas. It is the world’s preeminent resource center for East European Jewish Studies; Yiddish language, literature, and folklore; the Holocaust; and the American Jewish immigrant experience.