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Saturday, June 22, 2019

Saturday Special - Hope Is the Key - The 23rd Annual Spirit of Anne Frank Awards Ceremony & Gala

We were invited to the the The 23rd Annual Spirit of Anne Frank Awards Ceremony & Gala for review purposes. Any and all opinions expressed here are our own.





What: Hope Is the Key
          The 23rd Annual Spirit of Anne Frank Awards Ceremony & Gala

Where: Edison Ballroom
             240 W. 47th St.
             New York, NY

When: This event took place on Monday June 17, 2019

Mom's view: The Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect in New York City recently held it's annual awards ceremony and gala. This was a particularly special year since it marked the 90th year since Anne Frank's birth. The evening started with a cocktail hour and silent auction where guests could bid on amazing items including trips, theater tickets, paintings of Anne by famous artists and more. Then, the event moved into the ballroom for  the presentation of the awards, dinner and a paddle auction to raise funds for the Center's important work to educate young people around the country about the lessons of the holocaust and the dangers of intolerance. The following awards were presented during the event:



The Legacy of Hope Award
Pieter and Susan Kohnstam
Pieter's family actually lived in the same apartment building as Anne's in Amsterdam, and she was his babysitter. He and his wife have travelled around for over 20 years sharing Pieter's story of his escape from the Nazi's including reading excerpts from his book A Chance to Live: A Family's Journey to Freedom. The Kohnstam's have also fought tirelessly for the Anne Frank Center's 50 State Intiative which hopes to expand Holocaust and genocide education to all 50 states.





SAFA Interfaith Unity Award
Emanuel African Methodist Episocopal Church
Tree of Life *Or L'Simcha Synagogue
Linwood & Al Noor Mosques
Each of these communities was rocked by the tragedy of a mass shooting. However, they not only persevered in the face of this unspeakable horror that seems to be all too common these days, but they have inspired an outpouring of love and hope around the world.




SAFA Outstanding Student Scholarships
Maasaraat Asif
Emilia Peters
Emily Herrmann
Grace Shuler 
Massaraat created Project LifePack to work with migrant families in detentions centers in Texas and collect supplies for them. Emilia created KEM Creative Art Studios to work with homeless children in the Los Angeles area using art as therapy. Emily Herrmann installed an outdoor musical playground  to engage children with cognitive and sensory disorders in her community of Clarkston Michigan. Grace founded SpeakOut and helped more than 100 children find their voices.





SAFA Human "Writes" Award
Jack J. Hersh 
Jack's book Death March Escape : The Remarkable Escape Story of Man Who Twice Escaped the Nazi Holocaust is the story of his own father. Jack travels around the country speaking about his book and the importance of remembering the holocaust and the lessons that it taught us.




Teacher of the Year Award
Robert Lurie
Robert is a teacher in the Waverly Community Schools in Lansing, Michigan. He not only exposed his students to a wide variety of faiths and cultures, but he has introduced them to survivors and immigrants from all different backgrounds as well as giving them the opportunity to engage with a wide variety of humanitarian causes.



Actor, singer, dancer, and photographer, Joel Grey, was a special guest at the event.


To learn more about the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect and the important work they are doing to  or to make a donation, visit www.annefrank.com.

Tune in tomorrow for this week's Sunday Scoop.

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