BRADENTON -- Holocaust survivor and author Thomas Hecht will give a lecture on Islamic imperialism Sunday at the Al Katz Center in Bradenton.
Hecht, of Longboat Key, is founder and CEO of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies in Israel, which has served as adviser to every Israeli administration for more than20 years, according to the news release.
"Dr. Hecht's talk is extremely timely," said Beverly Newman, co-director at the center. "He has a decades long research of this movement ... trying to build a little tiny country, the state of Israel, being surrounded by individualisms who wasn't to destroy the state of Israel."
Hecht is the author of
"Czech Mate," where he accounts his life on the run from the Nazis until he ultimately settled in Canada, having been rejected for entry by the United States. Today, Hecht splits his time between his home in Canada and Longboat Key.
The Al Katz Center, 5710 Cortez Road, Bradenton opened in November 2012 to afford year-round Jewish learning for the community, support for Israel and advocacy for elders in trauma and involuntary guardianships throughout the United States.
"I will talk about the history of Islamic imperialism throughout the years from the days to the Ottoman Empire and even before that," Hecht said. "We had such a large migration of Muslim refugees to Europe and it's interesting they are not going to their Arab countries but to Western Europe."
Events begin at 11 a.m. Sunday with the dedication of the 150-year-old Sephardic Torah, followed by Hecht's lecture at 1 p.m. Afterward, Hecht will take questions.
"He is just absolutely remarkable," Hecht said. "His life is just extraordinary."
Following Hecht's lecture, brunch will be served and renowned pianist Eleonora Lvov will perform at 2 p.m. Lvov, daughter of Boris Lvov, renowned pianist and teacher at the Moscow and Stuttgart Conservatoriesk, will perform her concert completely from memory, said Newman.
The lecture and kosher brunch costs $12.
Jessica De Leon, Herald law enforcement reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7049. You can follow her on Twitter @JDeLeon1012.