Published On: Thu, Feb 2nd, 2023

Julie Peyton Honored at U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum ‘What You Do Matters’ 30th Anniversary South Florida Dinner in Boca Raton

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum hosted its “WhatYou Do Matters 30th Anniversary South Florida Dinner on January 24th at Boca West Country Club Raising nearly $1.5 million, a record for this event. More than 600 guests attended the sold-out event chaired by Vero Beach resident Marilyn Wallach including over three dozen Holocaust survivors, along with dignitaries, community leaders, philanthropists, educators, and students.

Delray Beach resident Julie Peyton, national patron and regional ambassador for the Museum, received the Museum’s National Leadership Award in recognition of her indelible mark in educating and building national and global understanding of the atrocities of the Holocaust and other genocides. In addition to attending Museum events across the country and every Days of Remembrance event at the Museum for the last decade, Julie participated in the Museum’s 2019 delegation to Rwanda and 2022 delegation to Argentina to learn first-hand about the genocides and lesser-known atrocities that occurred in those countries.

“I’m involved with the Museum because of what it represents,” stated Julie Peyton in her award acceptance remarks. “Through its vast educational initiatives, it teaches about the dangers of unchecked hatred and the power of individuals. And through the tremendous work of the Museum’s Simon-Skodjt Center for the Prevention of Genocide, it teaches that the crime of genocide does not discriminate – even though genocide is about discrimination, these crimes can happen to anyone. And right now, there are genocides and crimes against humanity happening all around the world.”

With a sharp focus on genocide prevention, CNN Senior Legal Analyst Elie Honig moderated a discussion at the dinner entitled Fleeing Atrocities: Witness Perspectives. The panel featured two witnesses of genocide and mass atrocities nearly 80 years apart: Holocaust survivor Louise Lawrence-Israëls and Rohingya genocide in Burma witness Wai Wai Nu, along with Naomi Kikoler, director of the Museum’s Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide. 

“The Museum is a constant reminder that although the world always changes, human nature never does,” stated Robert Tanen, director of the Museum’s Southeast region. “Social media has enabled outrageously explicit expressions of antisemitism to become a daily occurrence. Whether from politicians, athletes, entertainers, the media, or other people of influence – antisemitic rhetoric continues to increase in its frequency, visibility, and intensity. We are seeing it right here in our community, our home ground. A swastika projected on a building. Antisemitic flyers on cars and yards. White supremacists invading college campuses.”

“There is only one antidote for this kind of hatred: education,” continued Tanen. “And educating is what the Museum is uniquely qualified to do, and must do, over the next 30 years. We will protect truth, unlock the power of Holocaust history, and ensure its relevance to new generations.”

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