The Humanitarian award was created to recognize outstanding individuals who dedicate their time to fighting indifference, intolerance and injustice and whose accomplishments are consistent with the goals of the Foundation.
According to the Jewish philosopher Maimonides (1135-1204) the highest form of charity is that which is anonymous. In Judaism, tzedakah boxes are used to collect anonymous donations for the poor. With that in mind, recipients of the Humanitarian Award receive tzedakah boxes designed to resemble the boxes which were found in synagogues throughout Eastern Europe until the Second World War.
Past recipients of the Award include:
Danielle Mitterrand, then First Lady of France, received the Humanitarian Award in 1989 for her work with children in Third World countries.
George Bush, President of the United States, was given the Humanitarian Award in 1991 for opposing tyranny and defending democratic ideals during the Gulf War.
His Majesty King Juan Carlos of Spain, received the Award in 1991 for bringing democracy to his country through peaceful means.
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, Former First Lady of the United States, was given the Humanitarian Award in 1994 for her advocacy on behalf of children and children's issues.
Laura Bush, First Lady of the United States, received the 2002 Humanitarian Award for her lifelong commitment to education.
Oprah Winfrey was given the Award in 2007 in recognition of her global humanitarian efforts.
Most recently, Nicolas Sarkozy, President of the French Republic, was awarded the Humanitarian Award in 2008 for his commitment to renew and strengthen France's ties to the United States and his steadfast support of Israel.