Sat, 30 Sep 2023

NEW YORK, NY / ACCESSWIRE / May 25, 2023 / The AJCF's annual Gala, supporting its vital mission in New York City and its renowned global anti-hate educational center in Oświęcim, Poland has announced its 2023 honorees.

Auschwitz Jewish Center Foundation, Tuesday, May 9, 2023, Press release picture

The theme of this year's Gala is Creating Allies & Advocates, Now & for the Future. Gala honorees include:

  • The AJCF Award for Fighting Hatred: The Honorable Mayor Eric L. Adams, Mayor, New York City
  • The AJCF Advocacy Award: Jeffrey Kessler, Esq., Co-Executive Chairman, Winston & Strawn LLP
  • The AJCF Allyship Award: John Catsimatidis, Owner and CEO of Red Apple Group and Corporate Sponsor 77 WABC
  • The AJCF Heritage Award: Dr. Edith Eger, Holocaust Survivor, Bestselling Author & Clinical Psychologist
  • The AJCF Social Media Activist Award: Montana Tucker, Singer/Songwriter, Actress & Social Media Activist

The Gala is the AJCF's annual American Service Academies Program (ASAP) dinner featuring a cohort of distinguished cadets and midshipmen from the Army (West Point), Air Force, Coast Guard, and Naval academies. These cadets have been nominated by their respective service academies to participate in our distinguished Ethical Responsibility in the Military and Beyond program delivered in New York City and at our campus in Oświęcim, Poland. The cadets and midshipmen will be paired with Holocaust survivors to mentor them throughout the program. The Intrepid will serve as a dramatic background to highlight the American Service Academies Program.

The cohort's program begins in New York City with educational and civic-focused activities, including a lecture on Command Ethics by Vice Admiral Herman A. Shelanski (ret) aboard the USS Wasp and delivering meals to local homebound Holocaust survivors.

Following the Gala, the cadets and midshipmen will embark on their trip to the AJCF's campus in Poland to explore ethical responsibility in the military, participate in anti-genocide training, and study the history of the Holocaust.

About the AJCF: @AuschwitzJCF The Auschwitz Jewish Center Foundation AJCF Creates Allies and Advocates Against Hate, Now and for the Future: For over twenty years, the Auschwitz Jewish Center Foundation (AJCF) has stood firmly as a world-class educational institution against hatred. Applying the lessons of the Holocaust, we teach the world the devastating impact of what happens when society shirks its collective responsibility to confront hatred. Located in the shadow of Auschwitz, the AJCF's educational programs seek to create Allies and Advocates for the future. The AJCF educators lead immersive programs using history to illustrate current events. Our mission includes:

  • Providing educational seminars, training, and workshops for the U.S. and E.U. military, elected officials, police departments, prosecutors, judges, governmental employees, diplomats, educators, students, and human rights institutions
  • Maintaining the continuity of the AJCF's Campus, which includes an educational and cultural center, museum, and the last remaining synagogue in Oświęcim, Poland
  • Providing crucial aid and educational programs to Ukrainian refugees displaced by the war

Complete list of honorees: AJCF GALA 2023 HONOREES

The Honorable Eric L. Adams, Mayor, New York City

Auschwitz Jewish Center Foundation, Wednesday, May 24, 2023, Press release picture

Eric Leroy Adams is an American politician and retired police captain serving as the 110th mayor of New York City since January 1, 2022. Adams was an officer in the New York City Transit Police and then the New York City Police Department for more than 20 years, retiring at the rank of captain. He served in the New York State Senate from 2006 to 2013, representing the 20th Senate district in Brooklyn. In November 2013, Adams was elected Brooklyn Borough President, the first African American to hold the position and was reelected in November 2017. On November 17, 2020, Adams announced his candidacy for mayor of New York City. On July 6, 2021, the Associated Press declared Adams the winner of the 2021 Democratic mayoral primary. Adams was sworn in as mayor shortly after midnight on January 1, 2022.

Jeffrey L. Kessler, Esq.

Auschwitz Jewish Center Foundation, Wednesday, May 24, 2023, Press release picture

Co-Executive Chairman of Winston & Strawn, Jeffrey Kessler is one of the world's leading antitrust, sports law, and trial lawyers. He has been lead counsel in some of the most complex antitrust, sports law, and intellectual property law cases in the country, including major jury trials, and has represented a number of U.S. and international companies in criminal and civil investigations in the antitrust, sports law, trade, and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) areas. One of the most prominent lawyers in the country regularly engaged in high-profile sports litigation, Jeffrey has litigated some of the most famous sports cases in history, including Alston v. NCAA, the historic victory on behalf of college football and basketball players in antitrust litigation against NCAA; McNeil v. the NFL, the landmark antitrust jury trial which led to the establishment of free agency in the National Football League (NFL); and Morgan v. USSF, a class action for the soccer players on the United States Women's National Team which led to a landmark equal pay settlement. Jeffrey has been nationally recognized at the top of esteemed ranking tables including Chambers USA, Legal 500, Elite Trial Lawyers, Best Lawyers in America ®, among others, and has been recognized by The American Lawyer as 'Litigator of the Week' four times in the past six years.

John Catsimatidis, Owner, and CEO Red Apple Group & 77 WABC

Auschwitz Jewish Center Foundation, Wednesday, May 24, 2023, Press release picture

John emigrated from Greece to New York City when he was just 6 months old. After graduating Brooklyn Tech, John enrolled in New York University and worked in a small grocery store. By his 25th birthday he already owned 10 Red Apple Supermarkets, and now owns Gristedes and D'Agostino supermarkets. John turned one Red Apple Supermarket into the dynamic conglomerate Red Apple Group is today, with holdings in the energy, aviation, retail, real estate, baseball, entertainment, and media sectors, employing close to 10,000 Americans. On March 1, 2020, John closed on the purchase of WABC radio and since his leadership, 77 WABC went from 28th in the market to 4th. WABC represents the diverse communities in New York and America with a common-sense approach to issues that confront our world. WABC recently celebrated its 100th anniversary and the impact it has had on the lives of its listeners.

Dr. Edith Eger, Holocaust Survivor, Bestselling Author & Clinical Psychologist

Auschwitz Jewish Center Foundation, Wednesday, May 24, 2023, Press release picture

Photo credit: Jordan Engle

Dr. Edith Eva Eger survived the hell of Auschwitz at age 16, became a psychologist at the age of 50, and, in her 90's,moved the world with her NYT bestsellers 'The Choice' and 'The Gift.' She is deeply committed to a world where compassion and love replace intolerance and hate. At the young age of 95, Dr. Eger is a sought-after clinical psychologist and lecturer, both in the United States, as well as internationally. She uses her past, as a prisoner in Auschwitz where she lost her parents to the gas chambers, to motivate people towards healing and personal growth. Dr. Eger has a clinical practice in La Jolla, California

Montana Tucker, Singer/Songwriter, Actress & Social Media Activist

Auschwitz Jewish Center Foundation, Wednesday, May 24, 2023, Press release picture

Photo credit: Malik Daniels

Montana Tucker is an award-winning singer/songwriter, actress and social media activist with over 14 million followers on her combined social media platforms, Montana has taken a stand against Antisemitism and traveled to Auschwitz to chronicle her Holocaust survivor grandmother's painful past to educate her generation. Her YouTube Tik Tok doc video series of the trip-entitled 'How To: Never Forget' has been viewed by millions and featured in such national media as Variety and GMA. She recently appeared on the Kelly Clarkson show to discuss to discuss 'How To: Never Forget' and how she is utilizing her social media platforms to help combat Antisemitism and promote awareness about the Holocaust to the younger generation. Montana has set a new goal to educate as many in the Gen Z population as she can to ensure that the Holocaust will never be forgotten. Montana began her career as a model, appearing in national commercials, TV shows, and music videos. Montana was featured as a backup dancer for Ashanti and Ashley Simpson. Her first public performance was at the Super Bowl Pre Game. Since then, she has opened for such top artists as Ciara, Pitbull, Flo Rida, and Lil Wayne.


Geralyn Lucas 917.499.1409

SOURCE: Auschwitz Jewish Center Foundation

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