Hillary Rodham Clinton to present World Jewish Congress award to Elie and Marion Wiesel
NEW YORK – Former US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will present the World Jewish Congress’ Theodor Herzl Award to the Nobel Peace Prize laureate and writer Elie Wiesel and his wife, Marion, a noted humanitarian, at a dinner at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York on 19 November 2013.
“I can think of no more fitting couple for this honor than Elie and Marion Wiesel, who have dedicated their lives to promoting peace and understanding and the security of the Jewish people and the State of Israel,” said WJC President Ronald S. Lauder. “The Wiesels are a Jewish and world treasure who live and breathe Herzl’s ideals. Their contribution to the understanding of the Holocaust and to combatting intolerance and injustice worldwide is incalculable.”
A special highlight of the award program will be the performance by violinist Itzhak Perlman in commemoration of the 75th anniversary this month of ‘Kristallnacht‘, the Nazi-orchestrated 1938 national pogrom against the Jews, known in English as the Night of Broken Glass.
The Wiesels established the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity after Elie was awarded the Nobel Peace Peace Prize in 1986. The foundation’s mission, “rooted in the memory of the Holocaust, is to combat indifference, intolerance and injustice through international dialogue and youth-focused programs,” according to its website. Elie Wiesel, whose ground-breaking memoir “Night” brought the experience of Holocaust survivors into world consciousness, is the author of more than 60 works of fiction and non-fiction.
Theodor Herzl was the father of modern political Zionism. Born in Budapest, Hungary, in 1860, Herzl moved to Vienna and later to Paris. The anti-Semitic atmosphere he experienced there led him to believe that only the establishment of a Jewish state could bring about an end to Jew-hatred. In 1897, Herzl convened the First Zionist Congress in Basel, Switzerland.
The World Jewish Congress Theodor Herzl Award recognizes individuals who carry forward Herzl’s ideals for a safer, more tolerant world through international support for Israel and enhanced understanding of Jewish history, culture and peoplehood. In 2012, Israeli President Shimon Peres was the recipient of WJC’s Theodor Herzl Award.