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Black Tie International:
FASPE Ethical Leadership Awards
Photos by: 
Kristin Goehring
Reverend Joseph Michael McShane, S.J., President of Fordham University accepts the 2014 FASPE Award for Ethical Leadership on behalf of Blessed Bernhard Lichtenberg (posthumously) from Peter John Sacripanti, Chairman of McDermott Will & Emery LLP
Reverend Joseph Michael McShane, S.J., President of Fordham University accepts
 the 2014 FASPE Award for Ethical Leadership on behalf of Blessed Bernhard Lichtenberg (posthumously) from Peter John Sacripanti, Chairman of McDermott Will & Emery LLP


 Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics

Presented 2014 Ethical Leadership Award on October 6th

at the Museum of Jewish Heritage

Audi and Blessed Bernhard Lichtenberg honored; Randy Cohen
 guest speaker


Fred Marino, FASPE Executive Steering Committee Member, Debbie Bisno, Steering Committee Member, Dr. David G. Marwell, Director of the Museum of Jewish Heritage
Fred Marino, FASPE Executive Steering Committee Member, Debbie Bisno,
Steering Committee Member, Dr. David G. Marwell, Director of the Museum of Jewish Heritage


New York, NY— FASPE, an innovative international program that explores the history of the Holocaust as a way to teach contemporary ethics in professional fields, gave the first annual FASPE Ethical Leadership Awards at an dinner on October 6 at the  Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust in New York. Nearly $500,000 was raised, and more than 190 guests attended the event, including a number of faculty and alumni who shared their experiences about the long-term impact of FASPE programming.

The event reflected FASPE’s mission to bridge historical issues and contemporary concerns.  In particular, the evening honored the historical figure, Blessed Bernhard Lichtenberg, who demonstrated a high regard for ethics when challenged by events in his time; and, Audi, whose commitment to corporate social responsibility and proven ethical behavior has benefitted the community at large.

Headlining the Award dinner was Anthony Kronman, former Dean of Yale Law School, and Randy Cohen, the original Ethicist of the New York Times Magazine, who respond to ethical questions posed by several FASPE alumni in the audience.  Father Joseph M. McShane, S.J., President of Fordham University, accepted the award in honor of Blessed Bernard Lichtenberg. Floris Dreesman, Head of Audi Brand Strategy, accepted the award for Audi. 

For the past five years, the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics (FASPE), which operates under the auspices of the Museum of Jewish Heritage, has offered a unique historical lens to engage business, journalism, law, medical, and seminary students in an intensive course of study that is focused on contemporary ethics in their professions. More than 250 FASPE Fellows have been granted an all-expenses-paid trip to New York, Germany, and Poland to learn about the role of their chosen profession in Nazi Germany, and use that historic background as a launching point to explore the ethical issues facing those in their field today. 

“By educating students about the causes of the Holocaust and the power of their chosen professions, FASPE seeks to instill a sense of professional responsibility for the ethical and moral choices that the Fellows will make in their careers and in their professional relationships,” said C. David Goldman, founder of FASPE.  

David Marwell, Executive Director of the Museum of Jewish Heritage explained, “This inaugural dinner and the FASPE Ethical Leadership Award mark a significant milestone in our work.   FASPE has now been in operation for five years and counts more than 250 young professionals among its alumni.  With this dinner, FASPE seeks to broaden its footprint and reach a larger circle of professionals with a message about the importance of ethical behavior among the leaders of
 civil society.”

Bernhard Lichtenberg (Honoree) was born on December 3, 1875. A German Roman Catholic priest and theologian who died while in Nazi custody, Lichtenberg has been beatified by the Catholic Church and awarded the title of Righteous Among the Nations for his unyielding opposition to the persecution of Jews and the mentally ill in Nazi Germany.  Well aware that his actions could lead to his imprisonment and death, he continued preaching and publishing in support of Jews and other victims of Nazi oppression. Lichtenberg was arrested in 1941 and sentenced to two years in prison for his “abuse of the pulpit” and “insidious activity.” He was later offered freedom in exchange for his silence, but refused to remain quiet and was sent to the concentration camp at Dachau. On November 5, 1943, while awaiting deportation, the 67-year-old Lichtenberg fell ill and died.

Audi (Honoree) delivered a record number of cars last year and is one of the best-known automobile manufacturers in the world.  Audi’s growth has come alongside its commitment to corporate responsibility, believing that responsible action and the power of innovation are equally crucial to its success.  Audi demonstrated this in 2014 when it published a comprehensive historical inquiry into the actions of its forerunner, Auto Union, under National Socialism. Audi has also anchored in its strategies the principle of sustainability for all its products and processes, placing CO2-neutral mobility as its long-term goal. With the combination of its newly formalized Corporate Responsibility Department, the publication of its historical report, and its exemplary environmental concerns, Audi has demonstrated that it takes seriously its responsibility for both the past and the future.



The Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics, run under the auspices of the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, is an innovative set of programs for professional school students – preparing for careers in business, law, medicine, journalism, and the clergy – that examine contemporary ethical issues, using the Holocaust, and the role the specific professions played in Nazi Germany, as a launching point and backdrop.

The FASPE experience offers a more intensive and meaningful exploration into ethics than is available in any classroom-based course in graduate school.  FASPE immerses students in history by taking them to the sites where Nazi-era executives, doctors, lawyers, journalists, and clergy worked, and where the consequences of their actions unfolded.  It invokes the power of place as a pedagogical tool to emphasize the importance of ethical behavior among professionals today.

Fellows participate in seminars with leading scholars and professionals.  They also visit sites such as: the House of the Wannsee Conference, where lawmakers laid plans for the “Final Solution;” the Deportation Memorial “Track 17,” one of the train platforms where Berlin’s Jews were forced to board trains heading to camps; and Auschwitz-Birkenau where over one million were murdered and atrocious medical experiments took place. To view a video, and specific topics that FASPE fellows will study in the individual programs, visit

FASPE was piloted in 2009 and is a non-denominational program engaging participants of all faiths.  Twelve to fifteen Fellows from each discipline are chosen annually, through an international application process.  FASPE works in cooperation with the Center for Holocaust Studies at Jagiellonian University, Krakow; the Haus der Wannsee-Konferenz, Berlin; and the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, Oświęcim, Poland. The initial curricula were designed in partnership with leading scholars from Yale Medical School, Yale Law School, Columbia School of Journalism and Georgetown University.

Lead support for FASPE is provided by C. David Goldman, Frederick and Margaret Marino, and the Eder Family Foundation. Additional support is provided by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany and other generous donors.


About the Museum of Jewish Heritage—A Living Memorial
 to the Holocaust


The Museum’s exhibitions educate people of all ages and backgrounds about the rich tapestry of Jewish life over the past century—before, during, and after the Holocaust.  Current special exhibitions include A Town Known as Auschwitz, and Against the Odds: American Jews & the Rescue of Europe's Refugees, 1933-1941. It is also home to the award-winning

Keeping History Center, an interactive visitor experience, and Andy Goldsworthy’s memorial Garden of Stones. The Museum offers visitors a vibrant public program schedule in its Edmond J. Safra Hall and receives general operating support from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.




joyce brooks, gerard mckeon.  photo by:  rose billings

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