On Thursday, May 1, Hadassah Lieberman, the daughter of Holocaust survivors and the wife of Senator Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut, will speak at Colby College in Waterville. Lieberman will deliver the annual Berger Lecture on the Holocaust and discuss her family’s historic journeys, from the concentration camps of Europe to the presidential campaign trail. The event will begin at 7 p.m. in Wadsworth Gymnasium of the Alfond Athletic Center. It is open to the public and free of charge.
Lieberman was born in 1948 in a Czechoslovakian refugee camp to Rabbi Samuel and Ella Wieder Freilich. Her mother survived the Dachau and Auschwitz concentration camps. Her father, drafted into a Jewish slave labor camp, organized the escape of 20 men during a forced march toward Auschwitz in 1945. In 1950 Lieberman’s family fled Eastern Europe and established themselves in Gardner, Mass., where Samuel became the community rabbi.
Lieberman is a member of the Auschwitz Jewish Center Foundation, which memorializes victims of the Holocaust. She was a member of the United States delegation to the commemoration ceremonies marking the liberation of Auschwitz. She has participated in international forums on environmental and socioeconomic issues in Eastern Europe.
Lieberman graduated from Boston University in 1970 with a degree in government and dramatics. She received a master’s degree in international relations and American government from Northeastern University in 1971. She has worked as a member of the American Committee for Shaare Zedek Medical Center, director of an independent consulting firm dedicated to expanding domestic and international awareness of non-profit organizations, a senior associate at APC Associates, a senior program officer at the National Research Council and director of policy, planning and communications for Pfizer Pharmaceuticals.
The Berger Lecture Fund was endowed in 1993 by Robert Berger and Patricia Downs Berger ’62 to promote Holocaust studies at Colby.