Annual Kristallnacht Commemoration

Bob Morgenthau headshot

The 18th Annual Kristallnacht Commemoration

"Henry Morgenthau and Franklin Roosevelt: friendship, politics, bureaucracy, and the creation of the War Refugee Board"

Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2023 | 7 p.m.
Ahmanson Auditorium, University Hall 1000
Loyola Marymount University

Bob Morgenthau is a trustee of the Museum of Jewish Heritage - a Living Memorial to the Holocaust. He has become a student of the Holocaust and the Armenian Genocide, focusing on the roles his grandfather and great-grandfather played in each.

Bob holds a BA in English from Amherst College. On his way to a career in publishing, he got lost and found himself on Wall Street in 1982. He has been a partner of Lazard Freres & Co, founder of NorthRoad Capital Management, and is currently a principal of Spears Abacus Advisors, a wealth management firm. He is also a director of the Police Athletic League in New York City.

This event is free and open to the public, but please be sure to RSVP. 

General Information

Hosted by the Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts and the Jewish Studies Program at Loyola Marymount University, the annual Kristallnacht Commemoration honors the victims of Kristallnacht, or "The Night of Broken Glass," which took place in 1938. In one night, Nazi-orchestrated violence killed 92 Jews, arrested more than 25,000 others and destroyed 200 synagogues and thousands of Jewish homes and businesses.

“Kristallnacht is recognized as the start of the Holocaust. It is remembered as a way to honor the dead and teach younger generations about the injustice that occurred." - Holli Levitsky, director of Jewish Studies.

Past Events

  • ‌From Hitler’s Munich to American Exile: German Jews and the Realities of Forced Migration, 1933–1945

    Date: Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022

    Flight and Expulsion are phenomena that have inscribed themselves with evocative power into the history of the last 100 years. Seeking to advance our understanding of the often traumatic, life-altering experiences of forced migration, this lecture focusses on the individual experience of Jews fleeing Nazi Germany. Moreover, using personal accounts of German Jews that illustrate both the personal difficulties associated with the decision to emigrate and the struggles of each individual upon arrival abroad, the importance of (auto-)biographical sources for scholarly analysis of the complexities of Jewish emigration from Nazi Germany in particular and forced migration movements in general is highlighted.


    • A candle lighting ceremony in remembrance of the Night of Broken Glass.
    • Andrea A. Sinn, Elon University


    • Academy for Jewish Religion California




  • ‌2021: Transhumanism & The Nazi Quest for the Master Rac

    Date: Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021

    Preimplantation genetic diagnosis, stem cell research, and other new medical techniques promise to help us avoid disease and other disabilities and extend life. How, if at all, is this different from the Nazi effort to create the master race?


    • A candle lighting ceremony in remembrance of the Night of Broken Glass.
    • Rabbi Elliott Dorff, Rector and Distinguished Service Professor of Philosophy at American Jewish University.
    • Musical highlights by Professor William R. Washington, Director of the LMU Gospel Choir and AJR/CA Cantorial student, Kelly Cooper.


    • Academy for Jewish Religion California




  • ‌2020: Voices of Hope, Acts of Kindness: Mutual Assistance in the Holocaust

    Date: Monday, November 9, 2020


    • A candle lighting ceremony in remembrance of the Night of Broken Glass.
    • Voices from our community including David Silberklang, senior historian in the International Institute for Holocaust Research, Yad Vashem, LMU students' reflections, and an invocation by Michael Engh, S.J., chancellor, LMU. 
    • A community slideshow with family photographs of loved ones affected by the Holocaust.
    • A performance of 'Or Chadash,' composed by Amy Robinson Katz and sung by members of the AJR and LMU communities.


    • Academy for Jewish Religion California
    • Yad Vashem

    Read the News Story Here

    View the 2020 Kristallnacht Program Here

    Event Recording:

  • ‌2019: Human Rights and Refugee Policies: The Voyage of the SS St. Louis

    Date: Tuesday, November 5, 2019
    Location: Ahmanson Auditorium, University Hall


    • A candle lighting ceremony in remembrance of the Night of Broken Glass.
    • Screening of the documentary film, "Complicit," along with its corresponding poster exhibit.
    • Discussion and Q & A with Robert M. Krakow, creator and producer of "Complicit," and Thomas Jacobson, surviving passenger of the SS St. Louis.
    • A student-curated exhibition, in collaboration with the David Labkovski Project, showcasing Holocaust art and information.
    • Father Alexei Smith, director of ecumenical and interreligious affairs for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, was honored with the LMU President’s Award.


    • Loyola Law School
    • CSJ Center for Reconciliation and Justice
    • LMU History Department
    • LMU Theological Studies Department

    View the Photo Gallery Here

    Read the BCLA News Story Here

  • ‌2018: Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor: A Conversation with Yossi Klein Halevi

    Date: Tuesday, October 30, 2018
    Location: Roski Dining Room, University Hall


    • Candle Lighting by Rabbi Laura Owens of the Academy for Jewish Religion California and Renee Florsheim, associate dean of LMU's College of Business Administration
    • Musical Performance by Cantor Stephanie Kupfer of the Academy for Jewish Religion California
    • Lecture by renowned American-born Israeli author and journalist, Yossi Klein Halevi


    • The Martin Gang Institute for Intergroup Relations
    • The Academic Engagement Network
    • The Academy for Jewish Religion California
    • The Academy of Catholic Thought and Imagination
    • University Synagogue
    • Jewish Life at LMU
    • The Peace and Justice Studies Program at LMU
    • The Journalism Program at LMU

    View Photo Gallery Here

    Read the Bellarmine News Story Here

  • ‌2017: Transforming the Shards

    Date: Monday, November 6, 2017
    Location: Roski Dining Room, University Hall


    • Candle Lighting by Harry Lester, Honored Holocaust Survivor
    • Lecture by Rabbi Zachary Shapiro
    • Photo Exhibit of "A Celebration of Life," by Clifford Lester, capturing the strength and soul of Holocaust survivors through portraiture


    • The 1939 Society
  • ‌2016: How One Man Tried to Stop the Holocaust

    Date: Monday, November 7, 2016
    Location: Roski Dining Room, University Hall, Loyola Marymount University


    • Candle Lighting by Michael Zelon, Honored Holocaust Survivor
    • Film Screening of "Jan Karski & the Lords of Humanity," directed by Slawomir Grunberg
    • Special guest Mariusz M. Brymora, Consul General of Poland in Los Angeles
    • Panel Response by Slawomir Grunberg, Director of "Jan Karski & the Lords of Humanity"; and Edward Gaffney, Professor of Law, Valparaiso University


    • The 1939 Society
    • The Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Los Angeles
    • The LMU School of Film and Television
    • The LMU History Department
  • 2015: Bearing Witness through Music: Songs of Heartbreak, Yearning and Celebration

    Date: Monday, November 9, 2016
    Location: Roski Dining Room, University Hall


    • "El Male Rachamim," by Robyn Littleworth, LMU Theatre Arts Major '12; and Challen Wellington, LMU Dance Major '16
    • Candle Lighting by Fela Gipsman, Honored Holocaust Survivor
    • Musical Concert with Vanya Green Assuied and Yuval Ron


    • The annual LMU Interfaith Forum
    • The Martin Gang Institute
    • The Lily Faculty Seminar
  • 2014: "Against All Odds, Change is Possible"

    Date: Tuesday, November 4, 2014
    Location: Roski Dining Room, University Hall, Loyola Marymount University


    • Dr. Bernd Wollschlaeger, author of “A German Life: Against All Odds, Change is Possible,” whose book describes his struggle growing up in the shadow of his Nazi officer father. He eventually converted to Judaism, emigrated to Israel and served in the Israel Defense Forces as a medical officer.


    • The 1939 Society
  • 2013: "Oy Vifil Yorn...? How long has it been...?" Song, Commentary, and Prose in Yiddish and English

    Date: Tuesday, November. 12, 2013


    • Cantor Jennifer Bern-Vogel and Pianist Tova Morcos

    Date: Thursday, November 8, 2012


    • Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, renowned author and speaker.