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Andrew Tarsy to Speak at Northeastern University’s Holocaust Awareness Lecture

Former New England Regional Director of the Anti-Defamation League and leader on the issue of recognizing the Armenian Genocide

Hosted by Northeastern University’s Holocaust Awareness Committee, the 16th annual Robert Salomon Morton Lecture will welcome Andrew Tarsy for a unique talk on the subject of genocide.. Titled, “The Power of Words: Why the Term ‘Genocide’ Matters So Much 60 Years after It Became an Internationally Recognized Crime,” Tarsy’s lecture is open to the public on March 19, from 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. in 10 Behrakis Center.

The former New England Regional Director of the Anti-Defamation League, Tarsy is a leader on the issue of recognizing the Armenian Genocide. In 2007, he spoke about the need to recognize the murder of the Armenians in 1915 as “Genocide”. As a result, Tarsy was named to the Jewish Daily Forward’s “Forward 50” list which honors the 50 most influential people in American Jewish life. He was also recognized by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly as a 2007 “Lawyer of the Year.”

Tarsy formerly served as a trial attorney in the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice and as a lawyer in private practice focusing on civil rights litigation. Throughout a career built around advocacy and education, he has worked with communities of diverse backgrounds, raising public consciousness about discrimination and hate violence, and building bridges of understanding across differences. Tarsy has trained police and university administrators, collaborated with high school students and teachers, formed coalitions of diverse clergy from many different religions, and drawn significant attention to the bigotry that he believes has infected the nation’s conversation about immigration.

The annual lecture, hosted by the Holocaust Awareness Committee, honors Robert Salomon Morton. Born in 1906 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, Morton was educated in the school of the Orthodox Synagogue, Kahal Adath Jeshurun. He was a personal target of Nazi persecution in the years leading up to the Second World War. A particularly harrowing experience in 1934 convinced him that he had no choice but to apply for emigration to the United States and arrived in Boston three years later. For many years Morton and his wife, Sophie, were caretakers and caterers of the Hillel Foundation at Harvard University.

It was during Morton’s time at Hillel that a chance meeting at a barbershop brought him together with Bill Giessen, Northeastern Professor of Chemistry and Mechanical Engineering, then a post doctoral fellow at MIT who had grown up and was educated in Germany during and following the Nazi period. The long-time friendship and ongoing conversation that resulted from this meeting helped to foster a sense of discovery between the two men. The annual Morton Lecture has been created as a way of memorializing a personality which embodied a spirit of reconciliation and understanding.

For more information please contact Samantha Fodrowski at 617-373-5427 or at

About Northeastern

Founded in 1898, Northeastern University is a private research university located in the heart of Boston. Northeastern is a leader in interdisciplinary research, urban engagement, and the integration of classroom learning with real-world experience. The university’s distinctive cooperative education program, where students alternate semesters of full-time study with semesters of paid work in fields relevant to their professional interests and major, is one of the largest and most innovative in the world. The University offers a comprehensive range of undergraduate and graduate programs leading to degrees through the doctorate in six undergraduate colleges, eight graduate schools, and two part-time divisions. For more information, please visit

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