Tag Archive: Distinguished Speaker Series

Feb 08

Spring 2016: Distinguished Speaker Series Announcement

The Labor Relations and Employment Law Society is thrilled to announce our Distinguished Speaker Series for the spring, 2016 semester. Specific details of the various speaking events will be made available in the coming weeks, as we approach the event dates. In the meantime, be sure to mark your calendars for the following dates:

  • On Wednesday, March 9, the General Counsel of the New York Giants, William J. Heller, will be coming in the evening to speak about the inner workings of professional sports organizations, from the perspective of a legal professional, along with a discussion of his specific role as General Counsel of the Giants.
  • On Thursday, March 10, prominent Labor Arbitrator Robert Douglas, and his son, will revisit Griggs.
  • On Monday, March 14, Commissioner Robert Linn of the New York City Mayor’s Office will be speaking in the atrium and holding a Q&A session.
  • On Thursday, April 14, Chairman Mark Gaston Pearce of the National Labor Relations Board.

As mentioned above, specific details will follow, but we are exciting to be hosting this outstanding slate of speakers this semester.

Oct 03

With Courage We Shall Fight – Distinguished Speaker Series at St. John’s

Ralph S. Berger and Albert S. Berger sign copies of their book, With Courage We Shall Fight, a memoir of their parent's lives as Jewish  Resistance Fighters

Ralph S. Berger and Albert S. Berger sign copies of their book, With Courage We Shall Fight, a memoir of their parent’s lives as Jewish Resistance Fighters

On October 2, 2013, the Distinguished Speaker Series at St. John’s welcomed Ralph S. Berger and Albert S. Berger, editors of the book With Courage We Shall Fight, a primary source about the incredible survival story and fight against the Nazis by their parents, Murray “Motke” and Frances “Fruma” Berger. The event was sponsored by the Jewish Law Students Association (and co-sponsored by: The Catholic Law Students Association, The Center for Labor & Employment Law, The Journal OF Civil Rights and Economic Devlopment and the Student Bar Association).

The brothers lectured on the incredible story of their parents, Motke and Fruma, before, during and after World War II. Motke and Fruma met as members of the “Bielski Brigade” a group of Jewish resistance fighters who saved over 1200 Jews from Nazi concentration camps. The Bielski Brigade was depicted in the movie “Defiance” with Daniel Craig. With Courage We shall Fight is a memoir written in prose and poetry which tells the story of Motke and Fruma and those that they met during their time with the Partisans.

As Ralph Berger said, their parent’s mission was to pass on the story of those who had died during the war, because the only way to remember them would be to share their story with others. The stories told by the brothers left the audience with chills. The title of the book came from a line of Fruma’s poems. Another of Fruma’s poems, “The Little Orphan” was read during the presentation by Josephine McGrath ’15.

Hearing the brothers speak about their parents and their experiences was a powerful history lesson and way to make sure that their bravery will never be forgotten. Ralph Berger recounted the story of a woman who came up to the brothers at a Bar Mitzvah, years after the war in California. She had recognized Murray Berger’s sons and told them that their father had carried her and her son out of ghetto during the war. The impact that the Partisans had would never be forgotten by those they had saved; and the brothers learned part of their father’s history that they had never heard before. Those in attendance were privileged to hear about the Partisans and this important chapter in history.

The book is a primary account of the Holocaust and the Jewish Partisan’s fight for vengeance against the Nazis. Copies of With Courage Shall We Fight are available from the publisher, the Museum of Jewish Heritage, and from Amazon.com. All proceeds are donated to support Holocaust education.

Thank you to all who joined us for this great event!

Samantha Kimmel '15 speaks with Ralph S. Berger

Samantha Kimmel ’15 speaks with Ralph S. Berger