NEWCASTLE — The Frances Perkins Center will present its seventh annual public policy forum — “Conscience and Courage: Frances Perkins and Dr. Feng Shan Ho,” which focuses on immigration and refugee policy — at 3 p.m. Sunday, April 25.

The forum will cover how Perkins and Shan Ho used their positions of public office and ingenious strategies,despite strong national government opposition, to provide tens of thousands of Jews a means of escape from the Holocaust in Europe.

Bat-Ami Zucker Contributed photo

Keynote speakers for the forum include Bat-Ami Zucker, historian and professor emerita, Bar-Ilan University, Israel; and Manli Ho, a journalist and biographer for her late father, Dr. Feng Shan Ho, consul-general of China in Vienna from 1938-40.

Dr. Judith Goldstein, executive director of Humanity in Action and FPC board member, will moderate this virtual forum.

Internationally recognized program speakers:

Zucker is author of “In Search of Refuge: Jews and United States Consuls in Nazi Germany 1933-1941,” in which she documents Perkins’ courageous and creative advocacy against strong opposition to aid entry to the U.S. of Jewish refugees escaping the Holocaust.


Manli Ho Contributed photo

Ho’s father, often hailed as “the Chinese Schindler,” issued thousands of visas to Shanghai to help Jews emigrate.

Goldstein earned her doctorate from Columbia University after writing her dissertation on “The Politics of Ethnic Pressure: The American Jewish Committee Fight Against Immigration Restriction: 1906-1917.” This work was the beginning of a sustained concentration on immigration and diversity in America and Europe. Goldstein will lead an interactive conversation with the keynotes and audience Q & A.

Judith Goldstein Contributed photo

This event is co-presented with Humanity in Action, Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine, Maine Jewish Museum, The Jewish Community Alliance of Southern Maine, Southern Maine Hillel, Bates Jewish Student Union, Bates College Harward Center for Community Partnerships, Bowdoin Hillel, and McKeen Center for the Common Good at Bowdoin College.

“The world confronted the horrors of Nazi activity before, during, and after World War II. Frances Perkins saw the devastation early on and took steps to save thousands,” said Michael Chaney, executive director of the Perkins Center, according to a news release from the center. “This program offers the kind of substantive, solutions-oriented discussion Frances Perkins herself always encouraged.”

Tickets are free, to register, visit

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