“The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference.” Elie Wiesel
Elie Wiesel and his wife, Marion, established The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity soon after he was awarded the 1986 Nobel Prize for Peace. The Foundation’s mission, rooted in the memory of the Holocaust, is to combat indifference, intolerance and injustice through international dialogue and youth-focused programs that promote acceptance, understanding and equality.
The international conferences of The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity serve as a catalyst for change and action. The conferences, which focus on themes of Peace, Education, Health, the Environment and Terrorism, serve to bring together Nobel Laureates and world leaders to discuss social problems and develop suggestions for change. The Foundation hosted its inaugural conference, Facing the 21st Century: Threats & Promises, in 1988 gathering 79 Nobel Laureates in Paris. The Conference paved the way for a series of conferences including: The Anatomy of Hate; Tomorrow’s Leaders; The Future of Hope; and the Petra Conferences of Nobel Laureates.
In the United States, the Foundation has for 27 years offered the Ethics Essay Contest which challenges college juniors and seniors to analyze the urgent ethical issues confronting them in today’s complex world.
For more than 20 years, the Foundation operates two Beit Tzipora Centers for Study and Enrichment in Israel. These Centers, in Ashkelon and Kiryat Malachi, focus on educating the Ethiopian-Jewish community and giving Ethiopian-Israeli students the opportunity to participate fully in Israeli society. Close to one thousand boys and girls are currently enrolled in after-school programs that serve as a model for other schools.