Deborah Lauter, leading civil and human rights activist, has been named Executive Director of The Olga Lengyel Institute for Holocaust Studies and Human Rights (TOLI).

Ms. Lauter brings a distinguished career in nonprofit and government service. In 2019, she was appointed to create and lead the New York City Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes, the first of its kind in the U.S. Prior, she served in leadership positions at the Anti-Defamation League for 18 years, including as Senior Vice President, where she oversaw the organization’s programs on civil rights as well as Holocaust and anti-bias education.

“We are delighted that Deborah will join TOLI as Executive Director,” said Mark Berez, TOLI President. “She brings passion, commitment, and decades of experience to support our mission of Holocaust education for teachers and students. Deborah will provide strategic vision and leadership to develop and grow our programs in the coming years.”

TOLI was established as anonprofit organization in 2014 (its educational programs began in 2006). Its programs empower teachers to use the lens of the Holocaust to engage students to think critically about the consequences of prejudice, discrimination, and hate. Over 3,500 educators have participated in TOLI seminars throughout the U.S. and Europe, teaching future generations about the importance of individual and social responsibility to ensure “Never Again.”

“I am honored and excited to lead TOLI at a time when there is a vital need for its programs,” said Ms. Lauter. “Holocaust education requires more than teaching historical facts; educators need the skills and a pedagogy to make lessons relevant to today’s students. At a time when knowledge of the Holocaust is diminishing and antisemitism, extremism and polarization are rising, I can think of no more important work for this next chapter of my career.”

Ms. Lauter is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, and received her J.D. from Cardozo School of Law. A native Californian who lived a number of years in Atlanta, she now resides in Brooklyn, New York, where she is active in civic affairs. Deborah will assume her new responsibilities on August 1, 2022.

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For more information about The Olga Lengyel Institute for Holocaust Studies and Human Rights (TOLI), please contact

TOLI is located at 58 East 79th Street in Manhattan. (get directions)