Emma Lazarus Award Dinner 2018

2018 Emma Lazarus Statue of Liberty Award Dinner

The Board of Trustees of the American Jewish Historical Society is honoring Nicki Newman Tanner with the Emma Lazarus Statue of Liberty Award at its 2018 Award Dinner on Tuesday, November 13, 2018 at the Center for Jewish History in New York City. 

Nicki’s role as the founding director of the UJA–Federation of Jewish Philanthropies Oral History Project is part of the archival collections at the American Jewish Historical Society. We are grateful that Nicki’s work and her attention to storytelling are a vital part of AJHS, and we invite you to join us in celebrating both her commitment to American Jewish History – as well as her many other accomplishments.

The evening will also feature a tribute to women storytellers of the AJHS archives.

Nicki Newman Tanner

Nicki Newman Tanner

2018 Emma Lazarus Statue of Liberty Award Recipient

Nicki Newman Tanner grew up in Chicago and graduated from Wellesley College with a BA in English in 1957. After marrying Harold Tanner, they moved to Los Angeles where their three children – David, James, and Karen – were all born. In 1967, the family moved to New York, where Nicki and Harold have resided ever since.

In 1980 Nicki received a certificate in Oral History from Columbia University, and in 1981 she became founding director of the UJA–Federation of Jewish Philanthropies Oral History Project, which she ran for more than 20 years. She has also conducted interviews for oral histories both for Columbia’s Oral History Archive and as freelance projects, preserving the stories of Lives of a Cell author Lewis Thomas and Commissioner of Parks Gordon Davis, as well as the histories of the Salvation Army, Pace University, Manhattanville College, and The Hastings Center.

Nicki is a founding board member of the Jewish Women’s Archive and served as board chair from 2004 until 2007. She is currently a trustee of New York Public Radio and Auburn Seminary, an organization devoted to the education of multi-faith leadership, and she has served on the boards of Colonial Williamsburg and Hebrew Union College.

As a board member of Wellesley College, she co-chaired their record breaking capital campaign that concluded in 1993, having raised $168 million from alumnae and disproving the assumption that women give less than men. In 2000 she established the annual Tanner Conference at Wellesley to celebrate experiential learning and Wellesley students’ participation in the larger world.

Nicki has written and spoken on both oral history and women’s philanthropy. She and her husband take particular pleasure in their family of 6 (adult) children and 8 (mostly adult) grandsons.

Join Us

November 13, 2018

American Jewish Historical Society

at the Center for Jewish History

15 West 16th Street

New York City

Cocktail Reception and Dinner

6:30 PM


7:45 PM

Dietary laws observed.

Sponsorship Levels

  • $50,000Emma Lazarus Sponsor
  • $25,000Ray Frank Sponsor
  • $18,000Henrietta Szold Sponsor
  • $10,000Molly Picon Sponsor


  • $2,000Individual Preferred Ticket
  • $1,000Individual Ticket

Purchase Sponsorships and Tickets

Or, click here to download the Registration Form

Tribute Publication Only

  • $25,000Emma Lazarus Page
  • $18,000Ray Frank Page
  • $10,000Henrietta Szold Page
  • $5,000Molly Picon Page
  • $2,500Preferred Individual Page
  • $1,000Individual Page

Purchase Tribute Publication Page

Or, click here to download the Registration Form

If you wish to contribute to AJHS or the Emma Lazarus Award Dinner without purchasing tickets, please click here.

Dinner Chairs

Bernard Michael and Haina Just-Michael

Dinner Host Committee

Karen Tanner Allen and Kent Allen

Rabbi Angela Buchdahl

Betty and Stuart Cotton

Rabbis Jacqueline Koch Ellenson and David Ellenson

Bette and Peter Fishbein

Friedman Family Foundation

Max and Elisabeth Gitter

Louise and James Greilsheimer

Nessa Rapoport and Tobi Kahn

Nancy and Samuel Karetsky

Ruth and Sid Lapidus

Shari Levy

Ambassador John L. Loeb, Jr.

Joanne and Norman Matthews

Sandra and Edward Meyer

Louise P. Rosenfeld

Ellen and Paul Roth

Susan and Bruce Schlechter

Moses Silverman and Betty Robbins

Flo and Warren Sinsheimer

Bruce Slovin

Susan Stern

David and Peggy Tanner

Catherine Allegra and James Tanner

Elaine and Alan Weiler

Hedy Zankel

Previous Award Laureates

2016Larry King

2015 Amb. John L. Loeb, Jr.

2014 Simon Schama

2013 Avital Sharansky

2012 Harry Ettlinger and the Monuments Men

2011 Ralph Lowenstein and Machal

2010 Seth Lipsky

2009 Kenneth J. Bialkin

2008 Sidney Lapidus

2007 George P. Shultz

2005 Honorable Edward I. Koch

2003 Mortimer B. Zuckerman

2002 Elie Wiesel

2001 Amb. Felix G. Rohatyn

2000 Sanford I. Weill

1999 Henry Kissinger

1998 Beverly Sills

1996 Aaron Feuerstein

1994 Sylvia Hassenfeld

1989 Edgar M. Bronfman

1987 Armand Hammer

1986 Abram L. Sachar