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Meet the Winkelmans. Again.

Michael Barnes, Out & About

Staff Writer
Austin 360

‘We cannot detach ourselves from the past," Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel said. "But we do not live in the past."

The great man spoke of many wise and puzzling things during the Anti-Defamation League dinner at the Four Seasons Hotel. He linked memory, culture, beauty, respect and family.

Children seemed to be on his mind. The three children killed in Toulouse, France. The three children who joined their parents on the Austin stage this night to accept, along with their parents, the Maislin Humanitarian Award.

Those would be Alex, Eli and Jacob Winkelmen, the children of Suzanne and Marc Winkelman. You may have first encountered this Austin family through the American-Statesman article "Meet the Winkelmans." They haven't changed much since, other than to accomplish more.

"I have seen many people honored," their friend Wiesel said. "But never a family."

They weren't the only ones lionized inside the packed ballroom. Also commemorated: Audrey and Raymond Maislin, longtime Houstonians who moved here to be near grandchildren, then founded the Austin chapter of ADL — the country's youngest — a decade ago.

Introducing them was Abraham Foxman, the ADL national director who lived as a child in Nazi-occupied Poland and was protected by a non-Jew. He's been one of the forces behind expanding the ADL anti-hate umbrella beyond Judaism.

Whole Foods Market earned the Torch of Liberty Award. The company's Jim Sud spoke powerfully about his company's dedication to broad-based respect and previewed an addition to the ADL's No Place for Hate campaign.

Community of Respect is a tolerance program for the workplace that several Austin companies already have adopted.

Much credit for the evening's liveliness goes to ADL Austin Council chairwoman Sherrie Frachtman and ADL Austin community director Karen Gross.