JNS.org – Hillel: The Foundaton for Jewish Campus Life gave U.S. Senator Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) the Renaissance Award at Hillel’s Renaissance Gala on Thursday in New York City, in recognition of contributions to the Jewish community that include the amendment carrying his name. Lautenberg, 89, is the oldest member of the Senate and is retiring in 2014.
The Lautenberg Amendment allowed Soviet Jews and other minorities from the former USSR to immigrate to the U.S.
“It is truly an honor to be recognized by Hillel―a great organization that instills students with a connection to Judaism and Israel. Hillel’s steadfast belief in social justice and service is truly praiseworthy, and I am extremely grateful to receive this award,” Senator Lautenberg said.
Hillel, along with NCSJ: Advocates on Behalf of Jews in Russia, Ukraine, the Baltic States & Eurasia, is also awarding the inaugural Lautenberg Prize to the Genesis Philanthropy Group. The new prize “will be presented annually to organizations and individuals who have demonstrated a commitment to the strengthening of Jewish identity within the Russian-speaking Jewish community,” according to Hillel.