More than 250 guests came together Sunday night at Adas Israel Congregation in Washington, DC, to support Moment at our 2023 Awards Dinner and Gala.
It was a beautiful, heartfelt evening full of joy, reflection, a few tears and, most important, community.
Our remarkable honorees included author Dara Horn, who Cynthia Ozick called in a dazzling tribute a “public intellectual” for our time. Dara spoke movingly about the scourge of antisemitism that has haunted Jews throughout history. Anne Applebaum, the Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and writer for The Atlantic, was interviewed by Master of Ceremonies Robert Siegel and spoke about the electoral triumph of the center right in Poland, and its importance in a part of the world teetering on far-right populism. Dorit Beinisch, retired justice of the Israeli Supreme Court and its first woman president, added important perspective to the devastating conflict in Israel and Gaza and the ever-present need for an independent judiciary as she received the Ruth Bader Ginsburg Human Rights Award. The award was presented by U.S. Congressman Jamie Raskin of Maryland.
Eric K. Ward, my cohost of Moment‘s Wide River Project and executive vice president of Race Forward, received a standing ovation after speaking of how we are in a time that asks us to make difficult choices—inclusion versus exclusion, moving forward together or battling through silence. He urged us to stand in solidarity even during the hardest days. And he asked all of us to make a commitment to hold this space that Moment creates, where we can come together to disagree and still love one another. I introduced Eric along with Sara Brenner, executive director of Washington’s Jewish Community Foundation.
Authors Frank Foer and Joshua Foer gave a side-splitting tribute to their mother, Esther Safran Foer, Moment advisory board member, former executive director of Washington’s Sixth and I Synagogue and chair of the board of the Capital Jewish Museum. Esther won Moment’s Community Leadership Award. The evening concluded with moving remarks from Rabbi Lauren Holzblatt, one of the most inspiring rabbis in the country, as she received Moment’s Women and Power Award. In a video tribute, Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff praised her for helping support him and Vice President Kamala Harris through this difficult time.
Moment Editor Sarah Breger and I were both deeply moved by how everyone came together to confront the growing antisemitism and rampant disinformation that is stirring deep-seated fears of persecution. All present were bonded by their Jewish values in a remarkable demonstration of those values in action. And we are so proud that, together, we are close to reaching our gala fundraising goal of $350,000 for Moment. As you can imagine, the need for our work is even greater today than when we set that goal months ago. Please make a gift—or an additional gift—to Moment to help us meet the challenges we are now facing. Thank you in advance for your support!