Emma Lazarus Award 2016 Post Ceremony

2016 Emma Lazarus Statue of Liberty Award

The Board of Trustees of the American Jewish Historical Society was honored to bestow both the 2016 Emma Lazarus Statue of Liberty Award on broadcasting legend Larry King and the inaugural 2016 Visionary Leadership Award on top Hollywood filmmaker Brett Ratner on December 1, 2016 at The Roosevelt Hotel in New York City. Larry King was given his award by his friend and CNN lead political anchor Wolf Blitzer, while Brett Ratner received his from screenwriter and film director James Toback.

Since 1986, AJHS has presented the Emma Lazarus Statue of Liberty Award to an individual or group whose contribution reflects the highest values of the American Jewish community. Beginning this year, we also began presenting the Visionary Leadership Award to a dynamic thought leader in the American Jewish community.



Larry King

Larry King

2016 Emma Lazarus Statue of Liberty Award Recipient

Emmy and Peabody Award-winning host Larry King is a media innovator in his prime.

In the summer of 2012, his collaboration with Carlos Slim heralded the launch of the digital television network Ora.tv. After more than 25 years at CNN, King is now in front of eager television audiences with his daily interview show “Larry King Now,” distributed by Hulu and Ora.tv.

In addition, he also hosts the weekly political news show “PoliticKing”, and in October, 2014, along with his wife Shawn, launched their weekly Podcast One show “Back & Forth with Shawn & Larry King”.

King has interviewed more than 50,000 people over the course of his legendary career, which started in radio, continued to television and is now making history online. With his unique, conversational approach to interviewing, he has not only changed the landscape of cable television and television news in general, but he is now blazing a trail in the digital space.

King’s interviews have included exclusive sit-downs with every U.S. president since Gerald Ford. King also moderated the famed NAFTA debate between then-Vice President Al Gore and Ross Perot in 1993, which smashed cable industry ratings records at the time, reaching more than 16.3 million viewers.

In 1995, King showcased his extraordinary skill in international arena when he hosted a historic hour on the Middle East Peace process with PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat, King Hussein of Jordan and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.

King has been inducted into five of the nation's leading broadcasting halls of fame and is the recipient of the prestigious Allen H. Neuharth Award for Excellence in Journalism. In September 2011, he was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Emmy from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences .

In addition to his numerous broadcast credits and awards, King is devoted to community health and growth. He founded the Larry King Cardiac Foundation in 1988, which has raised more than $15 million and provided life-saving cardiac procedures for more than 1500 people and provided 100,000 heart screenings for needy children and adults. King also established a $1 million journalism scholarship at George Washington University’s School of Media and Affairs for students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

King resides in Beverly Hills with his wife Shawn and two of their children, Chance and Cannon.

Brett Ratner

Brett Ratner

2016 Visionary Leadership Award Recipient

Brett Ratner is one of Hollywood’s most successful filmmakers. His diverse films resonate with audiences worldwide and, as director, his films have grossed over $2 billion at the global box office. Brett began his career directing music videos before making his feature directorial debut at 26 years old with the action comedy hit Money Talks. He followed with the blockbuster Rush Hour and its successful sequels. Brett also directed The Family Man, Red Dragon, After the Sunset, X-Men: The Last Stand, Tower Heist and Hercules.

Ratner has also enjoyed critical acclaim and box office success as a producer.  He has served as an executive producer on the Golden Globe and Oscar winning The Revenant, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Black Mass, starring Johnny Depp; and as a producer on Truth, starring Robert Redford and Cate Blanchett; I Saw the Light, starring Tom Hiddleston and Elizabeth Olsen; and, on the upcoming as-yet Untitled Howard Hughes project, written, directed and produced by Warren Beatty.  His other recently produced films include the smash hit comedy Horrible Bosses and its sequel, and the re-imagined Snow White tale Mirror Mirror.

His additional producing credits include the documentaries Author: The JT LeRoy Story, Catfish, the Emmy-nominated Woody Allen – A Documentary, Helmut by June, I Knew It Was You: Rediscovering John Cazale, Chuck Norris vs. Communism, Night Will Fall, Bright Lights and the upcoming Untitled Leo DiCaprio Environmental Documentary, directed, produced by and starring Leo DiCaprio.  He also executive produced and directed the Golden Globe-nominated FOX series Prison Break, and is currently executive producing the television series Rush Hour, based on his hit films.

Brett, along with his business partner James Packer, formed RatPac Entertainment, a film finance production and media company, in 2013. RatPac has a first-look deal with Warner Bros. and joined with Dune Capital to co-finance over 75 films including Gravity, The Lego Movie, American Sniper, and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.  RatPac Entertainment also co-financed The Revenant and Birdman with New Regency.  Internationally, Warner Bros. and RatPac have formed a joint venture content fund with China’s Shanghai Media Group to finance local Chinese content. In partnership with New Regency, RatPac also finances the development and production of Brad Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment.

Since inception, RatPac Entertainment has co-financed 41 theatrically released motion pictures exceeding $7 billion in worldwide box office receipts. RatPac’s co-financed films have been nominated for 51 Academy Awards, 20 Golden Globes and 39 BAFTAs and have won 21 Academy Awards, 7 Golden Globes and 17 BAFTAs.

2016 Emma Lazarus Award Dinner Photos

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Dinner Chair and Honorary Committee

DINNER CHAIR

Scott D. Einhorn

DINNER HONORARY COMMITTEE

Michael Barker
Len Blavatnik
George S. Blumenthal
Bruce Charet
Buzzy Geduld
Allen Grubman

Rabbi Marvin Hier
Shawn King
Jerry Lewis
Harvey Mackay
Alvin Malnik
James Packer

Ronald O. Perelman
Richard Plepler
Kurt Rappaport
James Toback
Martin Zeiger


Previous Award Laureates

2015 Amb. John L. Loeb, Jr.
2014 Simon Schama
2013 Avital Sharansky
2012 Harry Ettlinger and the Monuments Men
2011 Ralph Lowenstein and Machal
2010 Seth Lipsky
2009 Kenneth J. Bialkin
2008 Sidney Lapidus
2007 George P. Shultz
2005 Honorable Edward I. Koch

2003 Mortimer B. Zuckerman
2002 Elie Wiesel
2001 Amb. Felix G. Rohatyn
2000 Sanford I. Weill
1999 Henry Kissinger
1998 Beverly Sills
1996 Aaron Feuerstein
1994 Sylvia Hassenfeld
1989 Edgar M. Bronfman
1987 Armand Hammer
1986 Abram L. Sachar