WCHC Director Lori Weintrob Receives Special Founders Recognition Award

WCHC Director Lori Weintrob Receives Special Founders Recognition Award

On April 9 2024 the WCHC Advisory Board held its Annual Mitzvah Awards, recognizing outstanding individuals in our community who have dedicated themselves to fighting hate in all its forms, including honorees - Rabbi Kerry Olitzky, Dan Glassman, Stefania Hecht (posthumously), Susan Sappin, Rev. Dr. Agnes McBeth, Aubrie Mei Rubel ‘23, Stephen Greenwald. The final award of the evening, the Special Founders Recognition Award was given to Steven Greenwald for his crucial role in the founding of the Center. It was shared by our WCHC Director, Dr. Lori Weintrob, Professor of History, for a decade of her selfless, incomparable dedication to the Wagner College Holocaust Center. It seemed as if all the luminaries in the room, from superintendents, to members of the District Attorney’s Taskforce on Hate Crimes, to the leaders of countless philanthropic, Jewish and cultural organizations on Staten Island, had personally interacted and worked with Lori.

Wagner College President Angelo Araimo welcomed the attendees.The award was presented to her by former Wagner President Richard Guarasci, who gave a heartfelt introduction to Lori’s work:

“Over the following 27 years, it has become evident that Lori Weintrob has been a unique and remarkable gift to this College and to the entire Staten Island community. In an era of divisive and destructive politics, rift with demonizing the other, not the least of which is the concerted efforts to subordinate those historically stigmatized,Lori’s commitments are witness to the critical work of joining memory, history and civic engagement in trying to uplift  all of our community in reaching a better world where empathy, caring and justice run deep. 

Her resume is an extensive record of remarkable civic virtue. Her leadership  in building this Holocaust Center is by itself a life’s work for most of us. “

He went on to note Lori’s outstanding work with public and private school students on Staten Island, her many programs with survivors, the annual play, Rise Up, which Dr. Weintrob puts on every year at the St George Theater (this year on April 18), her celebrated interfaith work on the island, and many other important achievements. Her work as a professor and  scholar of the Holocaust was also mentioned.

In her acceptance speech, Dr. Weintrob noted: "Thank you all for being part of this mission. Using our voices to create solidarity around shared values is our action plan. We must have courageous conversations and stand up for each other. Think today about how interwoven one life is with the humanity of others.  Amid hate and division, we must strive together for solidarity. "

Mazel tov to Lori on her richly deserved recognition!!

2024 Mitzvah Award Winners Rabbi Kerry Olitsky, Rev. Dr. Agnes McBeth, Aubrei Mei Rubel