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Anti-Defamation League National Director Abraham H. Foxman is Recipient of Wallenberg Humanitarian Award

(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)February 8, 2002

(Mahwah) – Abraham H. Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), will receive the Raoul Wallenberg Humanitarian Leadership Award in a dinner presentation on April 18th at the Woodcliff Lake Hilton. Ramapo College President Rodney D. Smith will represent the event’s sponsor, The Gross Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies at Ramapo College, in presenting the award. The evening will begin with a reception at 6:30 p.m. followed by a dinner at 7:30 p.m. There is a charge for tickets. For more information, please call (201) 684-7409. The dinner was originally scheduled for October 18, 2001, but was postponed as a result of the tragic events of September 11.

Foxman has been national director of the ADL since 1987. A world-renowned leader in the fight against anti-Semitism, bigotry and discrimination, he is at the forefront of major contemporary issues including the Black/Jewish dialogue, the fight against terrorism here and abroad, the separation between church and state, religious intolerance and Holocaust restitution. Foxman is also a passionate supporter of the State of Israel and a voice for peace in the Middle East. A frequent guest on national news programs on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, PBS and NPR, Foxman often is quoted in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Time and Newsweek among other media. His op-ed pieces have appeared in newspapers across the country, most notably in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.

A survivor of the Shoah, Foxman is a recognized authority on the Holocaust and Jewish resistance to the Nazis. Thanks in part to his efforts, worldwide focus has been given to the heroic efforts of Christian rescuers of Jews. A leader in developing education programs about the Holocaust, Foxman was appointed to the United States Holocaust Memorial Council by Presidents Reagan, Bush and Clinton.

Born in Poland in 1940, Foxman was saved as an infant by his Polish Catholic nursemaid who baptized and raised him as a Catholic during the Nazi occupation. Although they survived the war, his parents had to engage in a lengthy legal battle with her for his custody. In 1950 the Foxman family came to America, settling in Brooklyn. Graduating from the Yeshiva of Flatbush, Foxman went on to receive a B.A. in political science from City College and a J.D. degree from New York University School of Law. He also did graduate work in advanced Judaic studies at the Jewish Theological Seminary, and in international economics at The New School for Social Research. Foxman is fluent in several languages. He joined ADL in 1965.

Rodney D. Smith, Ed.D became the third president of Ramapo College of New Jersey on July 1. Prior to this, Smith held several positions at Hampton University in Virginia including vice president for planning and dean of the Graduate College. He was named an MLI Fellow by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities for 2000, a Bush Foundation Fellow in 1997, and an Organization of American States Fellow for training and research at Harvard University from 1983 to 1986. He also held the position of program coordinator at the Harvard Institute for Educational Management and is on the Advisory Committee, Harvard Graduate School of Education Conference on Black Education and the Education of Blacks.

The Gross Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies at Ramapo College presents the Raoul Wallenberg Humanitarian Leadership Award to individuals who have displayed outstanding leadership in advancing Holocaust studies and interfaith understanding. Previous recipients include New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman, U.S. senator Robert G. Torricelli , New Jersey State Board of Education President Maud Dahme and, most recently, Adelphi University President Dr. Robert A. Scott.

The award is named after the Swedish diplomat who became a legend through his extraordinary efforts to save Jews in Budapest from destruction at the height of the Holocaust. He is best known for his role in issuing protective “passports” to some 7000 of the Hungarian capital’s Jews in danger of deportation. As notable was his establishment of 31 protected houses, which together formed the “international ghetto” and provided refuge for nearly 35,000 Jews.

Founded in 1980 as an independent non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, the Gross Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies is now an integral part of Ramapo College. It encourages and assists persons of all ages in learning the history and lessons of the Holocaust and other genocides in the hope that through education such tragedies can be prevented from occurring again.


About Ramapo College

Ramapo College of New Jersey is the state’s premier public liberal arts college and is committed to academic excellence through interdisciplinary and experiential learning, and international and intercultural understanding. The comprehensive college is situated among the beautiful Ramapo Mountains, is within commuting distance to New York City, was named one of the 50 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America by CondeNast Traveler, and boasts the best on-campus housing in New Jersey per Established in 1969, Ramapo College offers bachelor’s degrees in the arts, business, data science, humanities, social sciences and the sciences, as well as in professional studies, which include business, education, nursing and social work. In addition, the College offers courses leading to teacher certification at the elementary and secondary levels, and offers graduate programs leading to master’s degrees in Accounting, Applied Mathematics, Business Administration, Contemporary Instructional Design, Computer Science, Creative Music Technology, Data Science, Educational Leadership, Nursing, Social Work and Special Education, as well as a Doctor of Nursing Practice.


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