Each year, the foundation “Elysium – between two continents” presents its Erwin Piscator Award to individuals whose work reflects the legacy of the humanitarian and politically aware German theatre director. The foundation, headed by Artistic Director Gregorij H. von Leïtis, works for the enhancement of artistic and academic dialogue between the United States and European, particularly German-speaking, countries. This year’s recipient of the Honorary Erwin Piscator Award 2010 in memory of Maria Ley Piscator was Executive Director of the Leo Baeck Institute (LBI), Carol Kahn Strauss.
Consul General Horst Freitag introduced Ms. Kahn Strauss at the awards ceremony on March 2, speaking to her outstanding leadership of the Leo Baeck Institute as well as to her own personal achievements. His laudatory words had a particular resonance given the German Consulate General’s longstanding relationship with the Leo Baeck Institute and its importance in German-American relations.
Ms. Kahn Strauss’s ability to reach a variety of audiences, spanning entire generations, is one of her greatest strengths, noted Consul General Freitag, such as in her regular contact with young interns and trainees from the Consulate General through their visits to the Leo Baeck Institute. Her dynamic leadership of LBI has made her an indispensable partner to the German Consulate General for the promotion of understanding of and education about the German-speaking Jewry.