Archive for the ‘Andrew Tarsy’ Category

Remembering the Cambodian Genocide: Dith Pran

April 1, 2008

The Killing Fields

The former New England director of the Anti-Defamation League, Andrew Tarsy, has surfaced with a new job. He’ll join Facing History and Ourselves, a Brookline-based group with an international mission of tolerance. Facing History runs some marvelous programs in the Boston public schools on Genocide and the Holocaust.

Tarsy also offers a meaningful and beautifully written essay on the death of Dith Pran, a survivor of the Cambodian genocide at Pran was the main character, along with journalist Sidney Shanberg, in the film The Killing Fields.

Tarsy writes: “With Pran’s death, the world has lost a witness to the worst that human beings can do. But he was not just a witness. Dith Pran’s life was a beautiful monument to human possibility that made an enormous difference and because of the movie, inspired millions. He chose to make his own survival into a tool of protest against injustice. Pran’s story of perseverance and defiance in the face of unspeakable tragedy was no less a monument and no less an inspiration than the giant temple of Angkor Wat.”

Tarsy Back At the ADL: Justice is Served

August 27, 2007

Andy Tarsy, the courageous regional director of the Anti-Defamation League, is back in his post. This is a good ending to an ugly saga.

JCRC Stands With Tarsy

August 20, 2007

How often do you read about an individual who quits a job for a moral reason? How about a person who takes an action for morality’s sake only knowing that it could mean their job? Very infrequently and almost never.

Well, we had a case of it in Boston recently. I’m late to it because I’ve been traveling. Andrew Tarsy, the regional director of the Anti-Defamation League, broke with the national leadership of his organization, over the question of the Armenian genocide. Another Jewish group in town, the Jewish Community Relations Council, admirably came out publicly in support of Tarsy.

“The Armenian genocide represented a failure of the international community to intervene aginst the worst possible crime, the destruction of a people. We must never forget the Armenian genocide and maintain our guard against those who deny its occurrence,” stated Boston’s JCRC. “In light of the current controversy between the ADL and the Armenian community, we stand by that statement and applaud the N.E. Regional chapter of the ADL and its Director, Andrew Tarsy, for their bold and unprecedented action of standing up to their national body. We stand with them and in support of the local Armenian community which has always recogznied the Holocaust and been with us each and every year to commemorate it.”

Tarsy is a highly talented lawyer and communal leader in Boston. He showed his chops early on when, shortly after he joined the ADL’s regional office as its civil rights director, he made sure to attend the South Patrick’s Day breakfast in South Boston, where we first met. This showed a willingness to travel outside the normal Jewish confines of Brookline and Newton and a desire to really get to know the town. Boston and the world has not seen the last of him.

I must add that I am deeply concerned about the blow-back from this incident, which goes far beyond the confines of our city.