Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, famed lecturer, author and media personality hosted the fourth major event of his World Values Network at Manhattan’s Marriott Marquis on Thursday evening, May 5.
The event, called “The Jewish Values International Awards Gala,” drew a sellout crowd of hundreds of New York and New Jersey community leaders to a reception, dinner and awards ceremony featuring honorees from various walks of life.
Boteach’s World Values Network acts as a platform for fostering awareness of Jewish values and defending Israel in the mainstream and international media. It tackles pressing issues through debates, panels, forums and lectures at venues worldwide. It also orchestrates ad campaigns to protect the Jewish State and introduce Americans to the beauty of Jewish values.
The Jewish Values Gala is a medium for publicizing the work of the World Values Network, raising funds for its activities and recognizing individuals, both Jewish and non-Jewish, who strive to positively affect society.
This year’s gala was hosted by four renowned philanthropists and major benefactors of the World Values Network.: Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson, Judy and Michael Steinhardt, Nily Falic and Mona and David Sterling.
The Champion of Jewish Values awardees came from a wide array of disciplines. They included Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson, Champions of Women’s Rights Award; Geza Rohrig and Dr. Rebecca Kook, Champion of Holocaust Memory Award; Marion and Elie Wiesel, Champions of the Children Award; His Royal Highness Prince Reza Pahlavi, Champion of Human Rights Award; Bret Stephens, Champion of Israel Award; Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Champion of Freedom Award; Ken Kurson, The Scott Turen Champion of Human Spirit Award; MK Amir Ohana, Champion of Human Dignity Award; United Hatzalah Founder Eli Beer, Champion of Human Life Award; Rep. Ed Royce, Champion of Liberty Award; Actress and Activist Pamela Anderson, Lover of Israel Award.
The Adelsons received their award from famed Afghani women’s activist Fatima Kazimi, head of the Bamian Women’s Ministry in Afghanistan. Geza Rohrig is a Hungarian actor and poet who is best known for his role in the 2015 film Son of Saul. Dr. Rebecca Kook is the daughter of Hillel Kook who was well known by his adopted name Peter Bergson. After hearing in 1942 that two million Jews had been slaughtered in Europe, he set up the “Emergency Committee to Save the Jews in Europe.” Rohrig and Kook received their awards from Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson.
Famed Holocaust survivor and Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel and his wife, Marion, received their awards from philanthropists Nily, Jana and Simon Falic. Nily Falic is chairman of Friends of IDF and Jana is co-president of WIZO, while Simon Falic is COO and Chairman of Duty Free America.
HRH Reza Pahlavi is the founder and leader of the “National Council of Iran,” a government in exile of Iran. As the oldest son of the late Shah of Iran and Crown Prince of Iran, he left Iran at the age of 17, two years before the Iranian Revolution. Both he and his late father have been great friends of Israel and the Jewish people. He received his award from Birthright Israel creator and philanthropist Michael Steinhardt.
Eli Beer is founder of United Hatzalah of Israel and President of Friends of Hatzalah. He created the now-famed motorcycle-based emergency ambulance unit after witnessing the chaos of the #12 Jerusalem bus bombing in 1978 and the death of a child in Israel who could not be resuscitated by an ambulance that arrived 20 minutes late. He received his award from famed physician and television personality, Dr. Mehmet Oz.
By Tzvi Allen Fishman