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Lawrence J. Ramer, chairman of the board of trustees of Lafayette College, has received a major award from the Government of Germany for advancing German-Jewish relations.

Ramer, a 1950 graduate of Lafayette, was awarded the Large National Decoration of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany at the 94th annual dinner of the American Jewish Committee (AJC) last month in Washington, D.C. The award was presented to Ramer by Johannes Rau, Germany’s president. It is the highest honor that Germany bestows on individuals other than heads of state.

Ramer is chair of the Lawrence and Lee Ramer Center for German-Jewish Relations. Founded by Ramer in 1992 in Washington, D.C., and housed in Berlin since February 1998, the Ramer Center is the first American Jewish organization to establish a full-time, permanent presence in Germany. It seeks productive ways to come to terms with the past and learn the lessons that will allow Jews and Germans to work and live together for the better of all humanity.

U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright addressed the 1,200 guests at the dinner, as did Goren Persson, the prime minister of Sweden, and Rau.

Ramer, the president of Ramer Equities, Los Angeles, Calif., has been a Lafayette trustee since 1976 and chairman of the board since 1992. He is associate chair of the board of trustees of the AJC and a member of its national board of governors. The AJC’s mission is to safeguard the welfare and security of Jews in the United States, in Israel, and throughout the world; to strengthen the basic principles of pluralism around the world, as the best defense against anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry; and to enhance the quality of American Jewish life by helping to ensure Jewish continuity and deepen ties between American and Israeli Jews.

Categorized in: Academic News