14th of May – Anne Frank wrote, ‘How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.’
This year the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect will honor three champions of human rights who live this quote every day.

Jud Newborn, PhD is the 2018 recipient of the Spirit of Anne Frank “Human Writes” Award, for his work shining a light on the Nazi horrors during the Holocaust and celebrating those who helped fight the Third Reich. Dr Newborn is a founding historian and co-creator of New York’s Museum of Jewish Heritage — A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, and he is the co-author of the critically acclaimed classic, Sophie Scholl and the White Rose. An expert on anti-Semitism, extremism, and the fight for human rights, Newborn’s dramatic multimedia programs have been performed worldwide, providing lessons in courage that link the Holocaust to today’s crises of democracy and human rights abuse.

Syrian refugee and accomplished violinist, Mariela Shaker, will receive the inaugural Spirit of Anne Frank “Promise Keeper” Award for her advocacy on refugees and the empowerment of young women. Shaker survived the war in Syria, including the attack on the University of Aleppo in January 2013, without electricity or water and under constant bomb and mortar attacks. She hid away in internet cafes to apply to schools,
ultimately fleeing to the United States to study music at Monmouth College.

Mariela Shaker was named a “Champion of Change” by President Barack Obama in 2015 and has been involved with the UNHCR. She has received many awards, such as Women in Conflict Peace Fellowship in 2016 and Points of Light Award in 2017. With her her music, her voice, and her story of survival, Mariela represents the motivation and empowerment of youth. She has dedicated her life and talents to serving humanity, a role model exemplifying the legacy of Anne Frank. Mariela is bringing awareness to young girls all over the world, showing them that everything and anything is possible.

Rosa Strygler (1928-2018) will be honored posthumously for her philanthropic work and years of educating younger generations on the horrors of the Holocaust and her demonstration of human compassion, as the Anne Frank Center launches an educational fund in her memory. Born in Krakow, Poland, Strygler was the sole survivor of her Hassidic Bobover family, escaping from Auschwitz and making her way to America as part of a Children’s Transport program for orphans in 1947. She served as a passionate leader of the New York City Holocaust Commission and was a founding Trustee of the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Manhattan, establishing the Associates Division of the Museum to engage younger generations in supporting the teaching of Holocaust history.

Rosa Strygler passed away January 27, 2018, but her memory and her words live on. “You take on this burden for me, for survivors everywhere. To remember is to create links between past and present. You must never forget, the world must never forget. For my generation, hope cannot be without sadness. Let the sadness not be without hope.”

As her father told her before they were separated at Auschwitz, “You shall live. Remember what you saw. Tell it to the world.”

These three honorees have dedicated their lives to educating future generations and to sharing the ideals of freedom from fear and want, of peace and justice, of human rights and equality. Jud Newborn, Mariela Shaker, and Rosa Strygler in different ways lift up the voices of those who have been silenced, reminding us that we must not be blind to the things that are happening around us and that we must act when we see discrimination, bullying, racism, and hatred.

They will be honored alongside Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls, Marjory Stoneman Douglas Teacher Ivy Schamis, Racquel Harris Mason, and several remarkable scholarship winners. The Spirit of Anne Frank Awards gala will be held on June 12, 2018 at espace, 635 West 42nd St., New York. For more information and tickets visit annefrank.com/safa or email gala@annefrank.com.