The American Jewish Historical Society provides access to more than 25 million documents and 50,000 books, photographs, art and artifacts that reflect the history of the Jewish presence in the United States from 1654 to the present. Founded in 1892, AJHS is the oldest ethnic historical organization in the nation. It is one of five partner organizations at The Center for Jewish History in Manhattan and has a branch at the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) in Boston.

Among its treasures is the original manuscript notebook of Emma Lazarus’ poetry including her handwritten draft of “The New Colossus” which she penned for an 1883 auction to help fund the pedestal for the Statue of Liberty. Lazarus (1849 – 1887) was a strong supporter of Jewish immigrants’ rights. The Emma Lazarus collection at AJHS includes correspondence, articles, the notebook of her poetry, and published copies of her poems. “The New Colossus” was read at the Statue of Liberty’s dedication on October 28, 1886, and engraved on the pedestal in 1903.

Every year, the American Jewish Historical Society presents the Emma Lazarus Statue of Liberty Award to an individual who has demonstrated outstanding leadership and commitment to strengthening the American Jewish community.

The Trustees and Dinner Committee of the American Jewish Historical Society cordially invite you to the 2012 Emma Lazarus Statue of Liberty Award Dinner honoring THE MONUMENTS MEN. These men and women served in the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives (MFAA) section of the Allied Forces during World War II, preserving and safeguarding civilization’s artistic and cultural treasures from armed conflict and Nazi theft.

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