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Double Winners — LBJ Moral Courage Award Given Out at Holocaust Museum Dinner

Organizations That Help Refugees and Immigrants Recognized

BY // 05.10.19

Standing up for what is right, helping in the broader community and serving those in need are the common missions of the two organizations recognized with the LBJ Moral Courage Award at the Holocaust Museum Houston‘s 24th annual award dinner. Honored were the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society and Houston’s BakerRipley.

“The LBJ Moral Courage Awards dinner is particularly special this year as we honor two organizations that have had a huge impact on refugees and immigrants,” says Benjamin Warren, HMH chair. “Both HIAS and BakerRipley exemplify the museum’s mission of education, action and respect, and their vital work has created a better society by helping millions of people, both locally and globally.”

HIAS president and CEO Mark Hetfield was in from headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland, to accept the award for the organization that was founded in 1881 to assist Jews fleeing pogroms in Russia and Eastern Europe. “Welcome the stranger. Protect the refugee,” is the nonprofit’s basic mission statement.

For more than 100 years, BakerRipley, formerly Neighborhood Centers, has delivered resources, education and connectivity to emerging neighborhoods thus having a transformative impact on numerous communities. BakerRipley president and CEO Claudia Aguirre and volunteer Susan Baker accepted the honor. Former Secretary of State James A. Baker III, whose grandmother founded the original organization, delivered a congratulatory message via video.

Some 900 supporters filled the ballroom of the Hilton Americas-Houston for the dinner evening that raised $1.1 million in support of HMH’s worldwide educational programs. That handsome some earned thanks in part to the work of dinner chairs Mayor Pro Tem  Ellen Cohen, BJ and Buddy Herz, Lily and Charles Foster and Punkin and Walter Hecht and dinner host committee chairs Nancy Li-Tarim and Dr. Soner Tarim.

Adding  to the clout of the evening were honorary chairs Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, Luci Baines Johnson, Lynda Johnson Robb, and Mayor Sylvester Turner.

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The VIP roster included City Councilman David Robinson, Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan, Judge Theresa Chang, former ambassador to the Bahamas Arthur Schechter, the People’s Republic of China consul general Quiangmin Li, former chairman of the U.S. Holocaust Museum Fred Zeidman, Houston First chairman David Mincberg.

PC Seen: Y. Ping Sun and David Lebron, Anat and Jay Zeidman, Barbara and Charles Hurwitz, Joan Schnitzer, Dr. Kelli Cohen Fein and Martin Fein, Heidi and David Gerger, Yvonne Cormier, Nelly and Felix Fraga, Gail and Milton Klein, Erica and Benjy Levit, Kay Zeidman, Joy Warren, Jerry Martin, Shirley and Bill Morgan, Rhona and Bruce Caress, Terri and Brian Caress, Luis Zúñiga and HMH CEO Kelly Zúñiga.

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