Carnegie Hall might be known for hosting famed musicians, but on March 3rd, the iconic venue played host to the World Value Network’s Eighth Annual International Champions of Jewish Values Awards Gala, where Judge Jeanine Pirro, honoree Robert F. Smith, former four time heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield and Georgette Mosbacher, United States Ambassador to Poland, were honored for their contributions to the world.
The always energized Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, founder of World Values Network, welcomed hundreds of both old and new supporters and friends. Boteach, a world-renowned rabbi and speaker, also known as America’s rabbi, even had his own show on TLC called Shalom In the Home. Rabbi Shmuley is also the rabbi of many famous figures, and always knows how to entertain a crowd!
Robert F. Smith, who is the most influential African American philanthropist in the world, was the Special Recognition Honoree for his numerous and outstanding contributions. Additional honorees, who were recognized by their ability to champion human rights and defend the protections and values of democracies were Judge Jeanine Pirro, Evander Holyfield, Former Four Time Heavyweight Champion of The World, and Georgette Mosbacher, United States Ambassador to Poland. Other honorees and attendees included American Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, Ron Dermer, Israeli Ambassador to the United States, Pulitzer Prize Winning New York Times Opinion Columnist Bret Stephens, television host Rita Cosby, CEO of Discovery, Inc., and many more.
The evening, which took place 75 years after the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the Nazi concentration camp, was an honoree program and a fundraiser to support World Values Networks goals of inspiring people to apply Jewish values into their everyday lives, in order to make this world a more just and peaceful place.
Rabbi Shmuley discussed the importance of the World Values Network’s two initiatives, including a website portal where World Values Network plans to give key business, political, religious, and philanthropic leaders a place to share their values – regardless of political or religious affiliation.
Ambassador Friedman was presented with the Miriam and Sheldon Adelson Award by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach who deemed him, “The greatest ambassador ever sent to Israel.” In lieu of an acceptance speech, Friedman participated in a spirited Q&A session with Rabbi Shmuley to discuss the Middle East Peace Plan. Friedman stated he and the Peace Team are adding additional security to protect Palestinians from its oppressive regime, calling it a “Canadian state,” while mapping a way for Israel to expand its borders and increase security presence in Gaza.
“The Jewish people were a part of the Civil Rights movement, and it’s a shame that’s not recognized,” said Robert F. Smith, noting the lawyers and Jewish advocates who walked alongside Martin Luther King Jr. during his marches, including the March at Selma, which recently commemorated its 55th anniversary. Mr. Smith as Chairman of the Board of Carnegie Hall.
Meanwhile, Georgette Mosbacher, US Ambassador to Poland, was honored for her work in maintaining a close relationship with Israel, and her work in protecting the values of the Jewish people was recognized.
During dinner service, a unique performance was enjoyed by German cabaret singer, Ute Lemper. Throughout the evening, guests were reminded of the struggles of the Jews and other minorities around the world, and how this network allows us all to come to together, share our values and make this world a better place.
Following dinner, Judge Jeanine Pirro was presented with the Falic Family Defender of Israel Award, for her voracious defense of Israel in the media before Evander Holyfield accepted the Champion of Community Service Award for his work with the Boys and Girls Club, where he got his own start in life. It was through this experience that Holyfield gained both confidence and determination to succeed in both this personal and professional lives. He concluded by saying, “Like [Rabbi Shmuley Boteach] said, success starts at home.”
About World Values Network: The Values Network is based on the teachings of Rabbi Shmuley Boteach and his passion for bringing universal Jewish values to mainstream American culture and beyond. Rabbi Shmuley’s teachings provide a means for healing and strengthening families, diverting society’s focus from material greed and inspiring children to practice caring and compassionate relationships. Our renowned lectures, debates, radio and TV broadcasts, religious services, websites, social media, and published essays cater to a broad international audience. Our goal is to inspire people to apply Jewish values into their everyday lives, ultimately conveying Jewish values in print and on the airwaves to both help America heal some of its greatest ills and to inspire Jewish youth with the power of its ideas.