This week the Annual Tribute Dinner of the American Society for Yad Vashem, was held on Sunday, November 10th. With inspiring addresses from honoree Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Chairman of the Yad Vashem Council Rabbi Israel Meir Lau, Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate Avner Shalev, and Mauthausen survivor Ed Mosberg – the dinner marked thirty-two years since the Society was established by the Founding Chairman Eli Zborowski z"l, along with other Holocaust survivors.
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg was honored with the Yad Vashem Remembrance Award, given for his visionary leadership and for his support of Yad Vashem's efforts to strengthen the cause of Holocaust remembrance and education. Most recently the recipient of the prestigious Genesis Prize, Mayor Bloomberg has been a central figure in empowering New York City as the capital of tolerance, innovation and growth.
The program, entitled 'Legacy and Gratitude', was presided over by Dinner co-Chairpersons Marilyn and Barry Rubenstein, with the Chairman of the Board Leonard Wilf giving opening remarks. The evening program featured a special memorial tribute to the life and contributions of Eli Zborowski z"l.
At the event, held on the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht, speakers reflected on the Shoah and emphasized the importance of education and legacy, ensuring that the torch of remembrance is assumed by the second and third generations.
This year's dinner also recognized the tenth anniversary of the Columbia Shuttle disaster. Tributes to Petr Ginz and Col. Ilan Ramon were especially powerful, thanks to the presence of Ginz's nephew Yoram Pressburger and Ramon's son Tal Ramon, who performed a song he composed in memory of his father. In addition to Tal Ramon's appearance, the program included performances by Hazamir: The International Jewish High School Choir, with moving renditions of "Walk to Caesarea," written by the young paratrooper Hannah Szenes and the "Yugnt Hymn", dedicated to the youth club in the Vilna Ghetto and written by partisan Shmerke Kaczerginski.