The Museum's National Leadership Awards are presented to an outstanding individual(s), foundation, or corporation in recognition of their exceptional contribution to benefit the community in ways that advance the values and mission of the Museum.
- Julie Peyton
2023 SOUTHEAST REGION
Julie Peyton (pictured middle) was honored with the Museum's National Leadership Award in recognition of her indelible mark in educating and building national and global understanding of the atrocities of the Holocaust and other genocides. “I’m involved with the Museum because of what it represents. Through its vast educational initiatives, it teaches about the dangers of unchecked hatred and the power of individuals. And through the tremendous work of the Museum’s Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide, it teaches that the crime of genocide does not discriminate–even though genocide is about discrimination, these crimes can happen to anyone."
- Piotr M.A. Cywiński, Ph.D.
2022 MID-ATLANTIC REGION
Dr. Cywiński has been the visionary director of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum since 2006. Auschwitz-Birkenau holds a unique place in global consciousness and is synonymous for many with the evils of Nazism and the Holocaust. Dr. Cywiński has played a singular role in preserving the hallowed site where over one million Jews and thousands of other victims were killed and ensuring that this history and its lessons are transmitted to future generations worldwide.
- Loren and Howard Friend
2022 MIDWEST REGION
- Sheila and Joe Gutman and Family
2021 MIDWEST REGION
- Susan and William S. Levine
2020 MID-ATLANTIC REGION
- Mally Zoberman Rutkoff
2020 MIDWEST REGION
- Shelley and Allan Holt
2019 MID-ATLANTIC REGION
- Rahm Emanuel
2019 MIDWEST REGION
- Gary Jacob and Stacey Saiontz
2019 NORTHEAST REGION
- Professor Peter Hayes and Father John Pawlikowski
2018 MIDWEST REGION
- Howard M. Lorber
2018 NORTHEAST REGION
- Peter Feuer
2017 MID-ATLANTIC REGION
- Sheila Johnson Robbins* and Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner
2017 NORTHEAST REGION
- Sheryl and Kenneth Pressberg
2017 WESTERN REGION
Sheryl and Kenneth Pressberg are active members of the Jewish community in Los Angeles. Kenneth, the son of Holocaust survivors, is a co-founder and managing principal of SPB Partners, a private equity and venture capital company, and CEO of PK Equities Inc., a second-generation real estate development and management company. Sheryl is a certified human resources director and works with several managed portfolio companies. Kenneth and Sheryl were co-chairs of the Museum’s 2015 Los Angeles Dinner.
- Janet and Lenny Rosenblatt
2017 WESTERN REGION
Janet and Lenny Rosenblatt are both children of Holocaust survivors from Poland. Lenny’s parents survived the Łódz ghetto and several concentration camps, and Janet’s parents survived by hiding underground and by escaping to Uzbekistan. Lenny is an attorney, real estate developer, general contractor, and the managing member of Rosenblatt Properties LLC. Janet is a registered nurse who has worked at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and Vista Del Mar. Janet and Lenny served as co-chairs of the 2014 Los Angeles Dinner.
- Alan Lazowski
2016 NORTHEAST REGION
Alan Lazowski was honored with the National Leadership Award for his dedication to the Museum’s vision and his commitment to learning from the history of the Holocaust to build a better future. Lazowski, who is a child of survivors, has been a longtime supporter of the Museum and serves on the Memorial Council, the education committee, and as a regional co-chair of the national campaign.
- Clemantine Wamariya
2016 MIDWEST REGION
Clemantine Wamariya is a human rights advocate and social entrepreneur. She survived the 1994 genocide in Rwanda and spent the following six years with her sister, Claire, in refugee camps before coming to Chicago in 2000. As an eighth-grader, she wrote an essay on why Elie Wiesel’s memoir Night remains relevant in today’s world; the essay was one of 50 winners of Oprah Winfrey’s high school essay writing contest. As an undergraduate at Yale, Clemantine was involved in several human rights and genocide intervention activities, as well as the Yale Refugee Project. In 2011, President Barack Obama appointed her to the Museum’s Council; she is the youngest person ever to have served in this role.
- Rosanna Arquette and Todd Morgan
2016 WESTERN REGION
Rosanna Arquette is an Emmy-nominated and British Academy Award-winning actress and filmmaker who has appeared in numerous movies and television series. Todd Morgan is a founding member of Bel Air Investment Advisors LLC and was previously a limited partner at Goldman, Sachs & Co. in Los Angeles. In 2001, he established the Morgan Aging with Dignity Fund, which provides Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles with resources to help Holocaust survivors with basic needs, including financial assistance, medical care, and counseling services.
- Helen Jonas
2016 SOUTHEAST REGION
Helen Jonas was honored with the Museum's National Leadership Award for dedicating her life to educating thousands of people of all ages and backgrounds to prevent hatred. A teenager during the Holocaust, Helen was sent to the Plaszow concentration camp and was chosen by the camp’s brutal commandant, Amon Goeth, to serve as the younger of his two personal house maids. In 1944, Helen and her two sisters, who were also imprisoned at Plaszow, were rescued by Oskar Schindler. Helen passed away in 2018, survived by her three children and four grandchildren.
- Todd A. Fisher and Howard D. Unger
2015 NORTHEAST REGION
The Museum honored Todd A. Fisher and Howard D. Unger—both descendants of Holocaust survivors who have devoted themselves to genocide prevention efforts. Through their leadership on the Museum’s Council and the Committee on Conscience, which oversees the Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide, they exemplify Elie Wiesel’s call to action that the Museum serve as a living memorial to inspire citizens and leaders to confront hate, prevent genocide, and promote human dignity.
- Alice and the late Robert Abt
2015 MIDWEST REGION
Alice and the late Robert Abt and their family were honored for their dedicated involvement with the Museum since its inception, believing deeply in a national Holocaust museum even before it stood on our National Mall. Alice and Robert served together in a variety of leadership roles over the years, and the family has been generous supporters of the Museum. Their children and grandchildren have also been actively involved with Museum initiatives, including raising funds in support of the Shapell Family Collections and Conversation Center.
- Tamar and Milton Maltz
2015 MIDWEST REGION
Tamar and Milton Maltz were honored with the Museum's National Leadership Award for teaching powerful truths about human nature and community both within Cleveland and nationally. The Maltzes founded the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage in Beachwood, Ohio, and strive to build bridges of understanding between races and religions. Every day they embody the philosophy of "What You Do Matters."
- Michael Berenbaum, Ph.D.
2015 WESTERN REGION
Michael Berenbaum was honored with the Museum’s National Leadership Award for his decades of service and contributions to Holocaust memory and education. From 1988 to 1993, Berenbaum oversaw the creation of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, serving as project director and later director of the Museum’s research institute. His work as a writer, lecturer, and teacher has solidified the preservation of the history of the Holocaust for years to come.
- Eva Cooper and the Honorable Michael B. Mukasey
2014 NORTHEAST REGION
The Museum honored Eva Cooper, a Holocaust survivor who has demonstrated her commitment to sharing the lessons of the Holocaust with the next generation, and the Honorable Michael B. Mukasey, who served as the 81st Attorney General of the United States and has spent his life advising on critical issues of domestic and international law.
- Fern and Manny Steinfeld
2014 MIDWEST REGION
Fern and Manny Steinfeld, whose lives epitomize the American immigrant success story, were honored for their extraordinary civic leadership and generous contributions to the vital work of the Museum. Manny, a Holocaust survivor, decorated World War II veteran, and liberator and his wife, Fern, were involved in the creation of the Museum. For the past two decades, they have continuously supported the Museum's mission to inspire today's youth to remember that their actions make a difference.
- Beth Goldsmith
2014 MID-ATLANTIC REGION
Beth Goldsmith and the Goldsmith Family Foundation were honored for their support of the Museum's Bringing the Lessons Home program that reaches diverse, youth audiences and helps to inspire them to take action in the face of hatred, antisemitism, and genocide through learning the relevance of Holocaust history.
- Sir Ben Kingsley
2014 WESTERN REGION
Sir Ben Kingsley's remarkable career has demonstrated his commitment to the Museum's belief that powerful storytelling can illuminate the past and inspire the present by transforming how people understand their choices and responsibilities in a complex world.
- Jill and Peter Kraus
2013 NORTHEAST REGION
Jill and Peter Kraus were recognized for their generosity and exceptional contributions to advancing the Museum's mission and vision and, in particular, for supporting the Museum's critical work to investigate, record, and analyze the experiences of the most helpless victims of the Holocaust—children.
- Ann Wolk Krouse and Paul Krouse
2013 MIDWEST REGION
Ann Wolk Krouse and Paul Krouse, who chaired the most successful Museum event of all time, along with their four grandchildren and eight grandchildren, were presented the inaugural National Leadership Award for their unwavering support of the Museum and their leadership of the Chicago community.