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Press Release:


FAU’s Center for Holocaust and Human Rights Education Holds Kick-Off Reception

Center Seeks to Establish Endowment

            BOCA RATON, FL (June 3, 2009) – Florida Atlantic University President Frank T. Brogan ’81, Mrs. Courtney Brogan and Dr. John Pritchett, university provost and chief academic officer, recently hosted a reception at the Eleanor R. Baldwin House for FAU’s Center for Holocaust and Human Rights Education.  More than 140 invited guests were in attendance at the event that showcased the Center and raised awareness of the need to establish an endowment that would guarantee the Center’s perpetuity.     

The evening was planned by the Center’s advisory committee, including Connie Packman, chair; and members Nancy Dershaw, Gerry Golden, Anita Hoffer, Linda Medvin, Shirley Solomon and Cantor Ann Turnoff.   The reception was attended by prominent local philanthropists, public officials, organization members and representatives of Holocaust survivor groups.   Music was graciously provided by George Brown, Boca Raton deputy city manager.

            Founded 13 years ago, the Center prepares primary and secondary educators to comply with the 1994 Holocaust Education Bill, a Florida state mandate that requires that each and every school teach a unit annually about the history of the Holocaust.   The Center has expanded its focus to include all genocides and human rights struggles, including those of the past 60 years, such as the genocides that occurred in Cambodia, Kosovo, Rwanda and currently the Sudan and Darfur.

            As home to one of seven centers in the state, FAU hosts the only center exclusively dedicated to providing both professional development programs for teachers and classroom resources for teachers and students.   An integral part of FAU’s public service mission, the Center serves 348 schools in seven of Florida’s counties, and today trains approximately 500 teachers annually in Broward, Palm Beach, Martin, Indian River, St. Lucie, Okeechobee and Glades counties.

            In 2008, the Center felt the effects of the state’s economic shortfall and faced the possibility of closure.   In an amazing six-week effort, legislators, private citizens, charitable foundations and organizations came together to raise enough funds to keep the Center functioning through June 2010.

During the reception, Packman spoke about the desire to establish an endowment, one that would sustain and expand the Center’s essential role in the region.  “Private endowment gifts are eligible for matching gift programs through the state and through the FAU Foundation’s matching gift program for academic initiatives,” said Packman.  “Until an endowment fund is established, the committee will continue the work of funding annual programs.”

            To make a gift to help support the important work of the Center, visit   For more information, contact Dr. Rose Gatens at 561-297-2929 or

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