On May 23rd, we celebrated an important moment in Tanenbaum’s history, our 25th Anniversary Gala: Peace Made Possible. In an evening highlighted by moments of profound reflection and celebration, we fortified our commitment to justice – and to never, ever forget.
The evening began with a moment of silence to remember victims of another random act of terror, in Manchester. Then founder and president Dr. Georgette F. Bennett was recognized as an Inspiration Circle honoree and she introduced 11 other friends and supporters who’ve helped Tanenbaum grow from a one-woman initiative to a vibrant, internationally-in-demand organization. The applause couldn’t even be held back as His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, Geron of America was honored, along with Angelica Berrie, Ted Childs, Ilan Kauftal, Howard Milstein, Amelia and Adebayo Ogunlesi, Dr. Leonard S. Polonsky CBE, Dr. Ariella Riva Ritvo-Slifka, Judy Thompson, Scottie Twine and Maz Zouhairi.
Our Corporate Bridge Builder Award went to the Libra Group and was accepted by its Chairman and CEO, George Logothetis. Libra Group is a diverse international business with a commitment to giving back embedded in its culture. It’s latest philanthropic venture is the HOME Project which is dedicated to providing shelter and support for refugees, especially unaccompanied children in Greece. Everyone listened intently as Logothetis spoke about the HOME Project’s impact so far and how crucial it is to ensure people’s beliefs and sources of hope are respected and “oxygenated with dignity.”
Former UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon received the 2017 Rabbi Marc H. Tanenbaum Award for the Advancement of Interreligious Understanding. By video, he described the rise of terrorism as one of the world’s greatest threats, and spoke to the urgent need for humanity to remain committed to peace. Our 2017 Adam Solomon Award for Excellence was awarded to Lycée Français de New York, a bilingual school that teaches respect, because today’s students will be tomorrow’s leaders.
Later in the evening, Michael Bornstein, author of Survivors Club, powerfully introduced 2017 Media Bridge Builder Awardee Soledad O’Brien. He quietly shared recollections as a Holocaust survivor and later how he was “ruthlessly bullied” as a student in post-WWII Germany for being Jewish. As Soledad O’Brien concluded in her speech, “Peace is made possible when we don’t stop working at it. We celebrate tonight, and tomorrow we’ll get back to work.”
And now, we’ll do just that.
Joyce S. Dubensky
P.S. Our gala raffle winner for 2017 is Sam Matino of Concordia, Inc.! Thanks again to all who participated, see you next year!
- Nadine Augusta, Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion & Corporate Social Responsibility, DTCC
- C. Justin Foa, President and CEO, Foa & Son Corporation International Insurance Brokers, Tanenbaum Board Chair
Ban Ki-moon, Former Secretary-General, United Nations
2017 RABBI MARC H. TANENBAUM AWARD FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF INTERRELIGIOUS UNDERSTANDING
Libra Group, Accepted by George Logothetis, Chairman and CEO
2017 CORPORATE BRIDGE BUILDER AWARD
Soledad O’Brien, CEO of Starfish Media Group, Host of Matter of Fact with Soledad O’Brien
2017 MEDIA BRIDGE BUILDER AWARD
Lycée Français de New York
2017 ADAM SOLOMON AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE
Longtime Friends & Supporters
- Dr. Georgette F. Bennett
- Angelica Berrie
- Ted Childs
- His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, Geron of America
- Ilan Kauftal
- Howard Milstein
- Amelia and Adebayo Ogunlesi
- Dr. Leonard S. Polonsky CBE
- Dr. Ariella Riva Ritvo-Slifka
- Judy Thompson
- Scottie Twine
- Maz Zouhairi
Thank you to everyone who helped to make the 2015 Tanenbaum Annual Awards Gala the most successful Tanenbaum Gala to date!
The night at the Mandarin Oriental was riveting, and the passion for making peace possible could be felt in the room! Against the backdrop of Central Park and iconic New York City architecture we were gifted with two inspiring speeches by this year’s honorees, Brian Lehrer, Host of The Brian Lehrer Show on WNYC and Monika M. Machon, Senior Vice President and Treasurer at AIG, Inc. They each highlighted the difficulties in fostering religious respect and also the great need to endure in the task. From the rhythm and blues of Cover Story to stories of interreligious understanding and your generous donations, the evening was filled with great appreciation and hope.
We are deeply grateful for your support. Thank you!
While attending the Partners for a New Beginning (PNB) summit run by the U.S. State Department earlier this month, I spoke with Nell, a woman whose non-profit aids refugees in Nablis, Palestine. She shared her heartbreaking observation: that many of the people with whom she works – people who have lived their entire lives as refugees – live without some of the simple joys I take for granted. She found that many parents don’t get on the floor and play with their children or teach them how to count blocks!
Executive Vice President & CEO, Tanenbaum