B’nai B’rith International is commemorating its 175th anniversary with a kick-off event on April 25 honoring three exemplary individuals for their outstanding commitment to make the world a better place.
B’nai B’rith has selected Rep. Eliot Engel to receive the Excellence in Public Service Award; Rebecca Rubin, founder, president and CEO of Marstel-Day, LLC, to receive the Spirit of Humanity Award; and Ambassador Richard Schifter to receive the Distinguished Humanitarian Award.
Since 1843, B’nai B’rith International has been dedicated to improving the quality of life for those around the globe. A constant source of innovation and charity for populations around the world, B’nai B’rith has founded hospitals, orphanages, senior housing communities, disaster relief campaigns, child safety initiatives, tolerance education programs and countless other initiatives in the public interest. Today, B’nai B’rith has a global presence, with a focus on supporting Israel; combating anti-Israel bias at the United Nations; fighting against anti-Semitism; advocacy on issues important to seniors and ensuring access to affordable and safe housing for low income seniors; disaster relief; and tolerance and diversity programming for teens and children.
We are pleased to honor three individuals with a similar sense of community service.
Engel represents New York’s 16th Congressional district in the United States Congress, where he serves on the Energy and Commerce Committee and the Subcommittee on Health, and the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology. He is the founder and co-chair of the House Oil and National Security Caucus, which is seeking clean, energy efficient alternatives to America’s over-reliance on oil. He also sits on the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, the Bipartisan Task Force for Combating Anti-Semitism, the HIV/AIDS Caucus, the Long Island Sound Caucus and the Animal Protection Caucus, among others.
Marstel-Day, LLC is an international environmental consultancy that Rubin established in 2002 to provide expertise in the areas of climate, habitat conservation, open space planning, water resource management, resilient infrastructure, energy conservation and sustainability, land use and natural resource conservation issues.
Her passion is wilderness and she maintains a focus on land and water conservation, habitat protection and the delivery of ecological services. Rubin was named by President Barack Obama as a White House Champion of Change for Community Resilience and currently serves on Virginia’s State Air Pollution Control Board by appointment of the governor. She also serves as chairman of the Board for the National Wildlife Refuge Association, which protects America’s wildlife heritage across 850 million acres and 565 national wildlife refuges in the U.S.
Schifter arrived in the United States from Austria in 1938 as a refugee. His parents, unable to qualify for a U.S. visa, were murdered in the Holocaust.
From 1984 to 2001 Schifter held positions in the U.S. State Department and the National Security Council, including as U.S. Representative in the U.N. Human Rights Commission, deputy U.S. Representative in the U.N. Security Council, with the rank of ambassador, assistant secretary of State for Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs, and special assistant to the president and counselor on the National Security Council. He is now chairman of the Board of Directors of the American Jewish International Relations Institute.
Co-chairing the event are Sherri Goodman, former deputy under secretary of defense (environmental security) and senior fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center; Rick Schifter, partner at TPG Capital and the ambassador’s son; Adam M. Fried, CEO of Atlantic Builders, Ltd.; and Lee Halterman, partner, general counsel and CFO at Marstel-Day, LLC.