Contact: Karl Luntta (518) 437-4980
ALBANY, N.Y. (May 30, 2003) -- The University at Albany
will honor philanthropist and World Jewish Congress President
Edgar M. Bronfman Sr. at a Center for Jewish Studies celebration
on Tuesday, June 3, 2003 at 6 p.m., at The Riverview in Hastings-on-Hudson,
UAlbany President Karen R. Hitchcock will award
Bronfman the Medallion of the University, the institutionís
highest honor, for his distinguished leadership
of the Jewish community and commitment to perpetuating Jewish life and a better
world. Bronfman, who will address the gathering, will be joined by Robert L.
King, chancellor of the State University of New York. New York Assembly Speaker
Sheldon Silver serves as chair of the eventís honorary committee.
is president of the World Jewish Congress, an international
federation of Jewish communities and organizations whose
primary goal is to preserve and
foster the worldwide unity of the Jewish people and to protect and nourish
their spiritual, cultural and social heritage. He is also the president of
Jewish Restitution Organization, which is devoted to ensuring the return
of communal Jewish property that was stolen from Jewish communities
Bronfman also chairs the Foundation for Jewish Campus Life (Hillel), a worldwide
organization uniting Jewish students on college and university campuses.
His philanthropic and civic activities include serving as
chairman of both The
Samuel Bronfman Foundation and the United States Commission on Holocaust
In 1951, Bronfman joined Distillers Corporation-Seagrams
Limited (renamed The Seagram Company Ltd. in 1975). He
became president of Distillers Corporation-Seagrams
Limited in 1971 and chairman in 1975. In 1994, he relinquished the position
of chief executive officer to his son, Edgar Bronfman Jr. The senior Bronfman
as chairman of the Seagram Company Ltd. until its merger into Vivendi Universal
In 1999, President Clinton awarded Bronfman the Presidential
Medal of Freedom, the United Statesí highest civilian honor.
same year, Bronfman received
an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters form the University of Rochester.
He also has received honorary degrees from New York University, Hebrew
Jerusalem, Pace University, Tulane University and Williams College. Bronfman
was awarded the Chevalier de la Legion DíHonneur by the government of
France, as well as the Justice Louis D. Brandeis Award of
the 85th National Convention
of the Zionist Organization of America.
UAlbany, with more 17,000 students,
hosts the ninth largest concentration of Jewish students
on any college campus in the country. The Universityís
for Jewish Studies draws on an Advisory Board comprising Capital Region
leaders, alumni and supporters from across the state. To date, the
center has raised
approximately $1.25 million in private sector pledges and gifts toward
endowing the center
and creating a new professorship in European Jewish studies, with expertise
in the Holocaust.
Reservations for the ceremony, which includes cocktails
and dinner, are limited and available to the community
on a first come, first served
basis. The event
is free of charge and is being sponsored and underwritten by Bernard
D. Arbit, a UAlbany alumnus and member of the Jewish Studies Advisory
bus transportation to and from the event will originate from the
UAlbany campus. For reservations, schedules and more information
the Center for Jewish Studies, (518) 591-8514.