Simon Wiesenthal Center Raises Record $2.2M at Annual Dinner
(L-R) Rabbi Meyer H. May, Executive Director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC); Rabbi Marvin Hier, Founder and Dean of the SWC; Jim Gianopulos, CEO Fox Films; Jeffrey Katzenberg, Co-Chairman and CEO of DreamWorks; Larry Mizel, Chairman of the SWC Board. (Photo credit: Wiesenthal Center)
The Simon Wiesenthal Center raised a record $2.2 million at its annual National Tribute Dinner held at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel Tuesday night according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO of DreamWorks, presented Jim Gianopulos, CEO of Fox Films, with the Center’s Humanitarian Award. The list of the evening’s co-chairs included Gianopulos’ boss, Rupert Murdoch, Chase Carey, Eddy Cue, Bob Iger and Ron Meyer.
Rabbi Marvin Hier, who founded the center that furthers the work of the renowned Austrian Holocaust survivor and hunter of Nazi war criminals, said “The Center is thrilled to honor Jim Gianopulos, one of the giants of the entertainment world, for his leadership and generous support of our institution and many other worthwhile humanitarian causes.”
For his part, the 20th Century Fox Film CEO spoke of his most recent visit to the center’s Museum of tolerance on Pico Blvd. in West Los Angeles and recalled the a story involving Simon Wiesenthal himself. “When Wiesenthal was asked why he did not return (after the war) to being the architect he had worked so hard to become before the horrors of the Holocaust denied him the opportunity, he answered simply: ‘When we come to the other world and meet the millions of Jews who died in the camps and they ask us, ‘What have you done?’ There will be many answers. You will say, ‘I became a jeweler.’ Another will say, ‘I have smuggled coffee and American cigarettes.’ Another will say, ‘I built houses.’ But I will say, ‘I did not forget you’…”
“His message must be a call to action for all of us,” Gianapulos concluded, “especially for those of us who live lives so often insulated from the suffering of others, when it is easy to turn away and immerse ourselves in our work and our families and pretend it’s not our problem.”
The Wiesenthal Center’s operations include the Museum of Tolerance, classes on the Holocaust for school children across Southern California, a facility and soon-to-be-opened museum in Jerusalem, and a film division whose documentaries have won two Academy Awards. The Center has long been a favorite cause of A-list Hollywood stars and executives.