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About the Annual Gala

The Emma Lazarus Statue of Liberty Award Gala

Since 1986, AJHS has presented the Emma Lazarus Statue of Liberty Award to an individual or group whose contribution reflects the highest values of the American Jewish community. Among our treasures is the original manuscript notebook of Emma Lazarus’ poetry including her handwritten draft of “The New Colossus” which she penned for an 1883 auction to help fund the pedestal for the Statue of Liberty.

Lazarus (1849 – 1887) was a strong supporter of Jewish immigrants’ rights. The Emma Lazarus collection at AJHS includes correspondence, articles, the notebook of her poetry, and published copies of her poems. “The New Colossus” was read at the Statue of Liberty’s dedication on October 28, 1886, and engraved on the pedestal in 1903.

Previous Emma Lazarus Statue of Liberty Award Recipients

2022 Congresswoman Nita M. Lowey
2020 Jack Weiler & the Weiler Family
2019 Two Generations of the Russ Family of Russ & Daughters
2018 Nicki Newman Tanner
2017 125 Years of AJHS
2016 Larry King
2015 Ambassador 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 Ambassador 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