Earlier this month, the Simon Wiesenthal Center hosted its annual Humanitarian Award Dinner in what would prove to be the organization’s most successful event to date. The awards dinner attracted hundreds of prominent local and international public figures, and raised an astounding $1.6 million for the Center’s ongoing commitment to global leadership and humanitarian work.
The annual Humanitarian Award Dinner is an opportunity to reflect on the progress made by the Simon Wiesenthal Center and its supporters, but as honoree New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo pointed out, there is still much work that needs to be done to eliminate anti-Semitic attitudes worldwide. Governor Cuomo described the Wiesenthal Center as “a living memorial to the memory of a great man,” championing Simon Wiesenthal as a shining example of how strength and perseverance can emerge from a tragedy as horrific as the Holocaust. Despite the groundbreaking work that the Center has done to confront global anti-Semitism, hate, and terrorism, attendees of the awards dinner all agreed that much work lies ahead.
Since 1977, the Simon Wiesenthal Center has existed as a global Jewish rights organization that “promotes human rights and dignity, stands with Israel, defends the safety of Jews worldwide, and teaches the lessons of the Holocaust for future generations.” Named for Simon Wiesenthal, an inspiring humanitarian and Holocaust survivor, the Center has been following the philosophy of “leadership with a global reach” for decades.
During this year’s Awards Dinner, the 2013 Simon Wiesenthal Center Humanitarian Award was presented to Kenneth Jacobs, Chairman and CEO of Lazard. Dinner chair Nelson Peltz also introduced the Center’s Distinguished Service Award to Governor Cuomo, who spoke passionately about an ongoing commitment to creating tolerance in New York and abroad.
For more information about Simon Wiesenthal and the Center’s decades of humanitarian work, visit the organization’s official website.