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Simon Wiesenthal Center’s South Florida Annual Tribute Dinner
09/14/2009 - By The InterContinental Miami

Simon Wiesenthal Center’s South Florida Annual Tribute Dinner

Mario Kreutzberger “Don Francisco” Presented with Simon Wiesenthal Center’s 2009 Legacy Award by Gloria and Emilio Estefan

More than 300 guests from around the world attended Simon Wiesenthal Center’s South Florida Annual Tribute Dinner, September 14 at the InterContinental Miami. The highlight of the evening was the Simon Wiesenthal 2009 Legacy Award presentation to Mario Kreutzberger, “Don Francisco” by Gloria and Emilio Estefan.

Kreutzberger, renowned television host of “Sabado Gigante,” one of the most popular programs in the history of Spanish-language television was honored for his commitment to social responsibility, philanthropy, and cultural diversity. In an emotional acceptance speech, the television legend paid tribute to his parents, German Jews who fled Nazi Germany to Chile where he was born. A three-minute clip from Kreutzberger’s documentary, “Witnesses to the Silence,” which follows him on the “March of the Living” on the 60th anniversary of the holocaust, bought many in the audience to tears.

The celebrity-filled guest list included Mario and Temy Kreutzberger, Gloria and Emilio Estefan, Cristina Saralegui and her husband Marcos Avila (Honorary Tribute Dinner Chairs), NBC 6 Anchor Jackie Nespral who emceed, Rabbi Meyer H. May, Executive Director, Simon Wiesenthal Center, U.S. Ambassador to Chile, José Goni, Consul General of Chile, Juan Luis Nilo and Consul General of Israel, Ofer Bavly. Tribute Dinner Co-Chairs were: Moj and Robert Danial, Maria and George Feldenkreis, Fanny Hanono, and Isabel May. Tribute Committee Chairs were: Madeline and Herbert Hillsberg, Hildine and Jerome Potashnick, Liora Haymann and Jorge Rosenblut.

The program also included a Medal of Valor presentation to the late Gilberto Bosques. His grandson, Gilberto Basques Tistler traveled from Mexico to accept the award. Renowned Chilean singer Alberto Plaza performed Chile’s national anthem.
Proceeds from the Tribute Dinner will benefit the programs and activities of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and its Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles.

To make a donation to Simon Wiesenthal Center, contact Linda Slavin, Director, Southern Region at lslavin@wiesenthal.com or 1-800-262-1627.

About Simon Wiesenthal Center:

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is an international Jewish human rights organization with over 400,000 member families. It is an NGO at international agencies, including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, and the Council of Europe. Its Moriah documentary film division has been the recipient of two Academy Awards™ for Best Documentary Feature – Genocide (1980) and The Long Way Home (1997). For more information contact the Center's Southern Regional office at 1.800.262.1627.

Photos: Harvey Bilt

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