600 Peachtree Battle Ave. NW
Atlanta, Georgia 30327
What is the Eizenstat Family Memorial Lecture?
Ambassador Stuart Eizenstat created the Eizenstat Lecture Series as a distinct way to remember his father, Leo, who died in 1986. Eizenstat came up with the idea of a lecture series after learning that Michael Bloomberg, now the Mayor of New York, held an annual lecture in honor of his mother. Eizenstat created the annual lecture, with distinguished world figures, on topics of interest to the Jewish and general communities, at Ahavath Achim, his late parents’ congregation in Atlanta. In this way, each year Eizenstat’s father is remembered.
Leo Eizenstat’s attachment to the Ahavath Achim Synagogue was very special. The synagogue was an important part of his life. He was so proficient in reading from the Prophets (the "Haftorah") that he was affectionately called the "pinch hitter", because he could be asked at the last minute to read. His brother, Berry, was his partner in the wholesale shoe business for some 40 years after World War II. Berry was also very learned and versed in Jewish traditions, and likewise a bulwark of the AA. When he died a few years after Stuart’s father, Stuart renamed the lecture series the Leo and Berry Eizenstat Memorial Lecture.
Stuart’s mother Sylvia and Aunt Bess were the mainstays of the Eizenstat Lecture series, working diligently to ensure their success. After the death of his aunt and then his mom, who died in April 2007 at the full age of 93, Stuart renamed the lecture series the Eizenstat Family Memorial Lecture.
With the exception of 2008, this annual lecture has become the major event in the Atlanta Jewish community. The Eizenstat Family Memorial Lecture series has had four Nobel Peace Prize winners, two United States Presidents, two seated Supreme Court Justices, one Pulitzer Prize winner, and other distinguished speakers.
Former Eizenstat Lecture Speakers: