The Distinguished Advocate Award is given to individuals who reflect and demonstrate a deep, unwavering commitment to our mission, and whose work spreads tolerance to help build a better world for next generations.Steadfast commitment to education, volunteerism, and stewardship are values deeply held by Peter and Elisa Rapaport. Both have earned respect for their dedication to community service and support through the Rapaport Family Charitable Trust.Helping meet the needs of people in crisis drew Peter to the American Red Cross in 1997 and has compelled him to deepen his commitment ever since. After seven years on the board of the Brooklyn chapter, Peter became a Trustee of the Greater New York Red Cross in 2005, becoming Chair of the Board in 2011.
Peter has been a private wealth manager at Maxim Group for 13 years. He holds a PhD in Psychology from the University of Colorado and an MBA in Finance from Portland State University. Peter is a passionate believer in philanthropic responsibility, focusing on alleviating suffering while encouraging self-sufficiency and sustainability.Elisa is Chair of the Philosophy Department at Molloy College, having earned her PhD at the University at Buffalo as the George F. Hourani Fellow in Ethics. One of the highlights of her teaching career has been leading a group of ethics students on a service-learning trip to New Orleans. Elisa’s dissertation was recently published as Emotion by Proxy: Ethics, Choice, and Advocacy in Medical Decision-Making. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Siena Women’s Center, the Institute for Interfaith Dialogue, and the Center for Social and Ethical Concerns. Inspired by Peter’s work, she also volunteers with the Red Cross, serving on the board of the Long Island chapter, launching the Red Cross Club at Molloy, and co-chairing the Tiffany Circle Society of Women Leaders in the New York metro region.
Peter and Elisa are honored to be able to support numerous human-service organizations, including Himalayan Health Care; the National Park Foundation; the American Folk Art Museum; and The Anne Frank Center. The most important legacy they hope to pass on to their two young children would be that of compassion matched by a compulsion to help, wherever they see a need in the world.