The Olender Foundation • 25th Annual Awards
Wednesday, December 1, at 10:30 a.m.
The Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center Amphitheater
Peacemakers Imam Mohamed Hag Magid and Dr. Marshall Breger
for countering Holocaust denial and promoting interfaith dialogue
Dr. JC Hayward, WUSA-Channel 9 News Anchor and Civic Activist
presented by Mayor-Elect Vincent Gray
Human Rights Clinic of Bread for the City
for advocating on behalf of persecuted refugees seeking asylum
represented by Dr. Katalin Roth & Attorney Laura Parcher
The Olender Foundation Awards celebrated its 25th anniversary by giving its Peacemaker 2011 Award to Dr. Marshall Breger and Imam Mohamed Hag Magid for their efforts to counter Holocaust denial-a growing trend fostered most notably by Iranian President Ahmadinejad-and to promote peace between Muslims and Jews.
Breger and Magid recently led a delegation of Muslim and Jewish leaders to the Nazi concentration camps of Auschwitz and Dachau. A video of the Imams praying at Auschwitz was shown. You may view this video by entering the following search words on You Tube:
Briefing on Confronting Anti-Semitism and Holocaust Denial + Rep. Keith Ellison. The segment runs from 22:10 to 25:20.
On their return to the U.S., the Imams issued a statement that condemned attempts to deny, conceal, or justify the historical reality of the Holocaust as a violation of the tenets of Islam. The Imams pledged to fight anti-Semitism, promote interfaith dialogue, and "to make real the commitment of 'never again' and to stand united against injustice wherever it may be found in the world today."
Mayor-elect Vincent Gray presented the Olender Foundation Generous Heart Award to WUSA-Channel 9 News Anchor JC Hayward for her civic activism in the Washington area community.
The Advocate for Justice Award was given to The Human Rights Clinic of Bread for the City, which assists refugees who have been persecuted and tortured in their native countries to obtain asylum and eventually become U.S. citizens. An exiled Burmese journalist presented the award to Dr. Katalin Roth and Attorney Laura Parcher. Dr. Roth and other volunteer physicians medically examine asylum seekers for evidence of torture and report their findings to Laura Parcher and other pro bono lawyers who make refugees' cases for asylum to immigration court.
Paul Berry, former anchor with WJLA Channel 7 returned as the emcee of this year's Awards. Singer Debra Tidwell, legendary saxophonist Buck Hill, and the award-winning jazz ensemble, Greg Twombley and the Washingtonians, performed.
In tribute to the honorees, the Olender Foundation gave grants to the Center for Interreligious Understanding, Bread for the City's Human Rights Clinic, Hospice Caring of Montgomery County, and the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law Foundation and Howard University School of Law. Twelve outstanding students at Howard Law School and the UDC David A. Clarke School of Law received scholarships
The Awards were hosted by Washington malpractice lawyer Jack Olender and Lovell Olender, co-founders of the Olender Foundation. Olender has received numerous awards for his legal achievements and service to the community, and is a much sought after legal commentator.
A luncheon was served in the Atrium Ballroom following the Awards for honorees and guests.