“Growing up in suburban America in the 1970s and ’80s, I didn’t think at all about what had happened in Nazi Germany all those decades before,” said The New Yorker‘s Susan Glasser at ICWA’s fall dinner at the Cosmos Club in Washington, DC on November 10. “Kristallnacht was not part of my frame of reference… It did not in any way seem relevant to the present, never mind the future. And yet here we are.”

The keynote speaker went on to lay out some of the major challenges facing American liberal democracy around the world, presenting the room of some hundred guests with the starkest of questions raised by the US presidential election next year and its staggering potential consequences.

It was a fabulous evening, which included the feting of returning Istanbul-based Syrians-in-exile fellow Joshua Levkowitz, who had reported about his fellowship at George Washington University’s Elliott School earlier in the day, and a gathering of fellows—current, past and future—trustees and old and new friends.