Jewish leaders and supporters are set to gather with prominent members of Congress at the annual Jewish American Heritage Month congressional celebration on Capitol Hill. The event will mark the outstanding contributions that Jews have made to American culture in various forums including the arts, science, medicine, sports, government, business, and military service. It will also pay tribute to three distinguished individuals whose own contributions have greatly enriched American life.

Each May, the United States Congress recognizes and celebrates the Jewish experience in America. Despite centuries of oppression and persecution, the Jewish people have risen above their circumstances and brought tremendous benefits to society. A bipartisan group of legislators is expected to attend, to recognize the profound impact of the Jewish people on American society.

The highlight of the event will be the King David Awards ceremony, which is presented to select individuals who have made an exceptional impact. These individuals embody the very success of the American Jewish experience, and are committed to Jewish heritage and American values. This year, the Jewish American Heritage Commission is proud to honor Dr. Corey S. Goodman, Scott Wolstein, and Marc Goldman with the King David Awards. All three are leaders in their chosen fields who are making dramatic and significant contributions. They follow in the footsteps of the many other distinguished Jewish Americans who have been receiving this award since 1994.

Previous King David awardees include director and producer Steven Spielberg; professor emeritus at Harvard Law School Alan Dershowitz; CEO of Starbucks Corp. Howard Schultz; editor-in-chief of U.S. News and World Report Mortimer B. Zuckerman; and actor and producer Kirk Douglas. Lady Margaret Thatcher, former PM of Great Britain, and Mikhail Gorbachev, former president of the Soviet Union, are also former  awardees.

A scientist, an educator, and an entrepreneur, Dr. Corey S. Goodman spent many years as a professor of biology and then a chair of neurobiology. He is currently adjunct professor of neuroscience at U.C. Berkeley. Dr. Goodman has cofounded seven biotechnology companies and was recruited to be president and founder of Pfizer’s Biotherapeutics and Bioinnovation Center. He is actively involved in public policy, and serves as chair of the California Council on Science and Technology where he advises the governor and state legislature of California.

Scott Wolstein serves as CEO of Starwood Retail Partners. He previously served as chairman and CEO of Developers Diversified Realty, a company that grew into the world’s largest landlord of power centers and community centers. Wolstein was named CEO of the Year four times by the Realty Stock Review and has received Awards of Excellence from the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, the Scroll of Jerusalem Award, and the State of Israel Bonds, among many others.

As president of New Jersey’s Farmland Dairies, Marc Goldman successfully challenged the State of New York by winning a federal constitutional commerce clause case which resulted in open competition in the New York market, saving consumers hundreds of millions of dollars. After selling the company, Marc serves on the advisory board of Aish HaTorah and is a board member of the Republican Jewish Coalition. He is actively involved in public-policy issues, and was appointed to the U.S. Holocaust Museum Council by President Bush. Marc was also the recipient of the First Annual Crain’s New York Business All-Stars.

Presidents past and present have marked the start of the Jewish American Heritage Month with Presidential Proclamations. In 1981, President Ronald Reagan wrote, “American Jews have contributed significantly to the spiritual and cultural elevation of our society since the founding of our nation.” President Bill Clinton said, “The Jewish community’s rich culture and heritage pervade all aspects of American society.”

In a recent proclamation, President Barack Obama notes, “The Jewish American experience and our nation as a whole have always been held together by the forces of hope and resilience. During Jewish American Heritage Month, as we reflect on our past and look toward the future, let us carry forward our mutual legacy, grounded in our interconnected roots, and affirm that it is from the extraordinary richness of our bond that we draw strength.”

The congressional celebration is scheduled for May 11, 12:00—2:00 p.m., at the Cannon Caucus Room in the Cannon House Office Building on Capitol Hill. Matt Sweetwood will serve as MC. Members of Congress will participate in the event as will a distinguished array of Jewish leaders.

The story of Jewish America is the story of success, achievement, and pride. The upcoming congressional celebration will pay tribute to this outstanding legacy and recognize the many diverse ways that it continues to enrich, improve, and strengthen society at large.

For more information, please contact Ezra Friedlander or call 212-233-5555, ext. 101.


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