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Jackson Center sets Fixed Star Gala

Benjamin Ferencz, Chief Prosecutor for the U.S. Army at the Einsatzgruppen trial in Nuremberg and Gala honoree.

The Robert H. Jackson Center will host its Fixed Star Gala on Thursday, Sept. 10, at 6:45 p.m.

In view of the COVID-19 pandemic safety restrictions, the Jackson Center is hosting its major fundraising event virtually in 2020. Registration for the event is free.

“The Fixed Star Virtual Gala benefits the programs and initiatives we provide to our local, national, and international communities,” said Kristan McMahon, Robert H. Jackson Center president. “This is a fitting opportunity to reflect on the full measure of Justice Jackson’s influence from Chautauqua County lawyer to Chief U.S. prosecutor at the first Nuremberg trial in Germany and how that influence continues to shape and impact our world today.”

The Robert H. Jackson Center is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization that envisions a global society where the universal principles of equality, fairness and justice prevail.

Benjamin Ferencz, chief prosecutor for the U.S. Army at the Einsatzgruppen trial in Nuremberg and subject of the Netflix documentary on his life, Prosecuting Evil, will open the event at 7 p.m. and is the gala’s honoree. In his 100th year, Ferencz continues to advocate for “law, not war.”

Joyce Sechler, host gala committee co-chair, has a special connection to the work of Robert H. Jackson and the Jackson Center. She was born in a Japanese internment camp after the U.S. Supreme Court decided Korematsu v. United States, which held that U.S. citizens of Japanese descent could lawfully be held in these camps. It was Jackson who dissented from the decision.

“The emphasis on educating youth on these important points in our history and Jackson’s role in defending civil liberties plays a crucial role in ensuring history’s mistakes are not repeated,” Joyce said.

Leah Weinberg, chair of the Robert H. Jackson Center board, will co-host the gala live from the Jackson Center with McMahon. Weinberg said she hopes the gala will garner additional support for the center’s free educational programs for all ages and provide more national and international awareness of the center’s work.

“We want to showcase the relevance of Jackson’s ideas and work to all generations,” she said. “Educating people on Jackson’s views concerning civil and human rights so they can help foster conversation and bring about real change is especially important in our current social and political climates.” The broad range of programs and initiatives the Center provides will be highlighted at the gala by special guests.

To register, visit one.bidpal.net/RHJCFixedStarGala2020/welcome. Complete the registration process by clicking “Sign In” at the top right corner of the webpage and follow the instructions to sign in with email on the screen. Once signed in and an account created, attendees can donate, preview auction items and watch the gala through their secure account on Sept. 10.

A cocktail experience with Dale DeGroff will kick off the gala at 6:45 p.m. when he will create a signature cocktail especially for this event. Dale built his talents and techniques through tending at New York City’s Rainbow Room. He has won two James Beard Awards for Wine and Spirits Professional and a Life Achievement-Who’s Who in Food & Beverage Award. Guests who register before Sept. 10 will be entered to win one of five signed copies of Dale’s 2020 edition of The Craft of the Cocktail. The cocktail experience is sponsored in part by Evans Wines & Liquors.

For more information, call Marion Beckerink, Jackson Center development director, at 483-6646 or email tmbeckerink@roberthjackson.org.

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