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Saluting Jewish leaders: Meet the Gala Honorees

24.11.2011

Saluting Jewish leaders: Meet the Gala Honorees

 

Beit Hatfutsot, a gateway to explore Jewish Peoplehood that empowers younger generations with a deep awareness of their rich and unique heritage, is celebrating Jewish communal diversity during our Gala celebration in New York. The Gala will honor Ambassador Alfred H. Moses and pay tribute to Dor Chadash, 30 YEARS AFTER, RAJE: Russian American Jewish Experience and the Bnai Zion Foundation.  


 Ambassador Alfred H. Moses is the chair of the newly formed International Council of Beit Hatfutsot.  He chairs the Geneva based UN Watch. From 1991 until 1994 he was president of the American Jewish Committee. He served as Special Adviser and Special Counsel to the President of the United States in the Carter White House and during that time he secured the freedom of Romanian Jews to emigrate to Israel. In 1994, President Clinton appointed him the American ambassador to Romania, where he served for three years. In 1999, President Clinton appointed him Special Presidential Emissary for the Cyprus Conflict. He served until the end of the Clinton administration. For more than fifty years he has been with the Washington, DC, law firm Covington & Burling LLP. He is currently a Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Promontory Financial Group, Washington, DC. It is with deep appreciation that we present Ambassador Moses with the Yakir Beit Hatfutsot Award for being a devoted leader and benefactor. 


Dor Chadash is a dynamic community, inspiring a network of thousands of Israeli and American Jews that create meaningful connections with Israel. With over 40 programs a year, Dor Chadash enables people to connect with Israel through cultural events, festive celebrations of Jewish holidays, discussions and dinners with friends, and volunteer opportunities. Aya Shechter, a board member and the former Executive Director for Dor Chadash USA and Jonathan Frenkel the current director, will accept the award for Dor Chadash.


Josephine Mairzadeh, the co-founder of the New York division of 30 YEARS AFTER is a young, first-generation Iranian-American Jewish artist who says she “feels personally responsible for holding onto 2,700 years of ancestry.”  Her organization, 30 YEARS AFTER, encourages Iranian Jews to become involved in Israel advocacy and American public policy while preserving and transferring the community’s unique heritage. Through meet-and-greets with local elected officials and members of Knesset, 30 YEARS AFTER promotes political engagement. The organization’s hallmark is the Our Legacy Project, which documents the lives of Iranian Jews and the community that existed before the revolution and expulsion of the Shah in 1979. The project is inspired by the work of the Shoah Foundation.  Josephine and Pedram Tabibi co-presidents of the organization, will accept the award.


RAJE: Russian American Jewish Experience is an evolving organization (a division of Gateways) committed to sparking Jewish life in Russian American Jewish society and building a community that embraces Russian speaking Jews from all walks of life. Hundreds of young people study at the RAJE seminars, celebrate Jewish holiday, and travel to Israel and other parts of the world to witness the vibrancy of Jewish life.  Alina Fiskina and Alan Gershkovich, members of the board of RAJE, will be accepting the award on behalf of RAJE.


The Bnai Zion Foundation, founded over 100 years ago, is dedicated to assisting those in need with humanitarian projects in both Israel and America. The organization has initiated hundreds of projects for the people of Israel and for Jewish people worldwide and strongly supports the significant, enduring tie between America and Israel and is continuing its projects toward the advancement of the physical, mental and social wellbeing of the citizens of Israel. The leaders of Bnai Zion understood that a healthy nation also needs sustenance of its spirit through culture.  Indeed, the Bnai Zion Foundation was one of the earliest supporters of Beit Hatfutsot. The Bnai Zion Auditorium has been the hub of the rich cultural activities offered by Beit Hatfutsot.  Jack Grunspan, Executive Vice President, will receive on behalf of the organization.


Each of these organizations excels in connecting Jewish leaders to their distinct legacies and the larger Jewish community and is passionately involved with Beit Hatfutsot.