Holocaust Museum’s virtual event to feature a former white nationalist

The “What You Do Matters 2020 Risa K. Lambert Chicago Virtual Event” is online, on Sept. 15

When Highland Park’s Mally Zoberman Rutkoff is honored at the “What You Do Matters 2020 Risa K. Lambert Chicago Virtual Event,” a Sept. 15 online gathering sponsored by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM), she will share the spotlight with University of Chicago graduate student R. Derek Black, the event’s keynote speaker.
On the surface of it, the two are a most unlikely pair.
Rutkoff, the daughter of Holocaust survivors, served as chair of Chicago’s Holocaust Community Services Leadership Committee. She was also the first chair of the USHMM’s Chicago Children of Survivors group and launched the National Children of Survivors programs and trips to Washington, D.C. Long involved with the Jewish elderly-first as a geriatric social worker, later as a lay leader-Rutkoff served as chair of the CJE SeniorLife and has been a longtime board member. She has also been a JUF board member and JUF Women’s Board member for many years.
Black, on the other hand, is the son of Southern Florida white nationalists, Chloe and Don Black, and the godson of David Duke, the former grand wizard of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) who continues to espouse racist, antisemitic, and neo-Nazi theories. Don Black, who was also active in the KKK and the American Nazi Party, co-hosted a white nationalist radio program with R. Derek, who fully embraced his parents’ and godfather’s beliefs in white superiority.

Read how Derek’s attendance at New College of Florida affected his beliefs here.


Founded in Sarasota in 1960, New College of Florida is the state's only legislatively designated Honors College of Florida. New College prepares intellectually curious students for lives of great achievement by providing a highly individualized education that integrates academic rigor with career-building experiences. New College offers 45 undergraduate majors in liberal arts and sciences, a master’s degree program in data science, and certificates in technology, finance, and business skills.

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