2015 Emma Lazarus Statue of Liberty Award Winner
Ambassador John L. Loeb, Jr.
The Board of Trustees of the American Jewish Historical Society was honored to bestow the 2015 Emma Lazarus Statue of Liberty Award on Ambassador John L. Loeb, Jr. on November 11, 2015 at The Roosevelt Hotel in New York City.
Ambassador John L. Loeb Jr. has devoted his adult life to fostering public awareness of Jewish contributions to American society, and to promoting religious freedom and separation of church and state.
Loeb is the founder and chairman of the George Washington Institute for Religious Freedom (GWIRF), which sponsors civic education organizations to develop curricula, publications and programs using George Washington’s famous 1790 Letter to the Hebrew Congregation in Newport, RI to initiate classroom discussions about religious diversity.
In 2009, GWIRF opened the Ambassador John L. Loeb, Jr. Visitors Center on the campus of the Touro Synagogue National Historic Site. Some of Loeb’s ancestors were among the synagogue’s founders. He also created the Loeb Portrait Database of Early American Jewish Portraits, which resides on the American Jewish Historical Society’s website.
Loeb is currently chairman of the Winston Churchill Foundation of the United States, a trustee of the American Scandinavian Foundation and a vice chairman of the Council of American Ambassadors. He has been a trustee of the Langeloth Foundation, the Educational Testing Service, American University and served on seven Harvard visiting committees.
For thirty-five years he has been chairman of John L. Loeb, Jr. Associates, Inc., investment counselors. He was chairman of Holly Sugar and a director of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, among other corporations.
From 1981 to 1983, Loeb was the U.S. ambassador to Denmark and received the Grand Cross of the Order of Dannebrog from Queen Margrethe II. He is also a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE), awarded for his work with the Winston Churchill Foundation of the United States.