Last updated on April 24, 2014 at 1:21 EDT

Eric Schneiderman, New York Attorney General, to Receive AJC Gesher Award

November 15, 2011

NEW YORK, Nov. 15, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — AJC’s Latino and Latin American Institute will present its 2011 Gesher Award to New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman for his commitment to strengthening the friendship between the Latino and Jewish communities.

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The event will take place on November 16, at 6 p.m., at the Time Warner Center in New York.

“Eric Schneiderman has long strengthened the bonds of friendship between Latinos and Jews,” said Dina Siegel Vann, Director of AJC’s Latino and Latin American Institute. “His vision recognizes the vast potential of both communities working together and epitomizes the spirit the Gesher Award celebrates.”

As a New York state senator, before he became attorney general, Schneiderman spearheaded efforts to promote the history of Sosua – a town in the Dominican Republic established by Jewish refugees who were offered a haven during the Holocaust.

In 1938, the Dominican Republic received 800 Jews fleeing Hitler, becoming one of only a few nations to allow Jews to enter. Descendants of the original settlers still live in Sosua, and maintain a synagogue and a museum that documents their extraordinary story of survival.

The program will showcase an excerpt from the documentary “Sosua: Dare to Dance,” and a musical by the same name. These pieces tell the amazing story of courage, survival, freedom and friendship, interwoven with tales of contemporary Jewish and Dominican teen life in New York. Also addressing the event will be Raysa Castillo, a renowned Dominican-American leader in New York, and AJC Executive Director David Harris, among others.

Gesher means bridge in Hebrew. The award was created in 2008 to honor individuals who have built bridges between Jewish and Latino communities. Past recipients include Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa; Raul Yzaguirre, U.S. ambassador to the Dominican Republic and the founder of the National Council of la Raza (NCLR); and Representative Eliot Engel (D-NY).

Founded in 2005, AJC’s Latino and Latin American Institute builds coalitions with Latino communities across the United States; strengthens relations among the U.S., Latin America and Israel; expresses solidarity with Jewish communities in Latin America; and promotes democracy, human rights and stability throughout the hemisphere.

SOURCE American Jewish Committee

Source: PR Newswire