Eyewitness to Genocide in Darfur to Speak
at Holocaust Museum Houston

HOUSTON, TX (Feb. 16, 2007) – An international expert and eyewitness to the genocide taking place in the Darfur region of Africa will address the ongoing violence in Sudan in a free public lecture at Holocaust Museum Houston this February.

Ruth W. Messinger, president of the American Jewish World Service (AJWS), in her presentation “Bearing Witness: Crisis in Darfur,” will give a first-hand account of the ongoing genocidal campaign in Darfur that has been raging since February 2003.

Messinger will speak at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 28, at the Museum’s Morgan Family Center, 5401 Caroline St., in Houston’s Museum District. Visit www.hmh.org/register.asp to RSVP for this event online.

Reflecting on her own visits to the region in August 2004 and October 2005, she will describe what must be done to stop the atrocities that have claimed more than 450,000 lives already. She will also highlight the work of AJWS and its 270 projects in more than 35 countries throughout the Americas, Africa and Asia.

Prior to taking her position as president of AJWS in 1998, Messinger worked in public service for 20 years. For 12 years, she served on the New York City Council and worked for eight years as Manhattan borough president. She was the first woman to secure the Democratic Party’s nomination for New York City mayor.

Messinger also works as a visiting professor of urban policy and politics at Hunter College. She does volunteer work, is an active member for the Society for the Advancement of Judaism and serves on the boards of several non-profit organizations, including the Surprise Lake Camp and the Jewish Funders Network and Interaction, an umbrella organization for non-profits engaged in international development and relief.

As a result of Messinger’s dedicated work to stop the genocide in Darfur, she received the Albert D. Chernin Award from the Jewish Council for Public Affairs. She has also been awarded an honorary doctorate from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. She received the 2005 Union for Reform Judaism Maurice N. Eisendrath Bearer of Light Award and is also the recipient of the Women’s Funding Network’s Changing the Faces of Philanthropy Award and the Lives of Commitment Award from Auburn Theological Seminary.

Messinger has been named one of the 50 most influential Jewish persons of the year by Forward, and was listed in the top five in 2005 and 2006.