HOUSTON, TX (Oct. 11, 2005) – A Houston area Holocaust survivor who went on to establish a national program to train teachers in ways to teach the dangers of hatred and prejudice and another Houstonian who has contributed extraordinary time and resources to humanitarian and educational initiatives will be honored Nov. 2, 2005 at Holocaust Museum Houston’s annual “Guardian of the Human Spirit” luncheon.
Naomi Warren and Fred Zeidman, chairman of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council, will be recognized at the 11:30 a.m. event at the Westin Galleria Houston hotel, 5060 W. Alabama. This year’s luncheon is chaired by Punkin and Walter Hecht and presented by The Smith Foundation. Honorary Chairs include President George W. Bush and Mrs. Laura Bush.
The Museum established the Guardian of the Human Spirit award in 1997 as a platform for acknowledging dedicated Houstonians who have worked to enhance the lives of others and to better humankind.
"This award recognizes individuals or organizations that have demonstrated a true commitment to community service and that have reached beyond themselves to build an open-minded society for the betterment of all residents of Houston. I can think of no more deserving individuals than Fred Zeidman and Naomi Warren,” said Peter N. Berkowitz, chairman of the Museum’s Board of Directors.
Warren overcame her own personal tragedy to become a symbol of perseverance, determination and success. Born in Eastern Poland, she survived three concentration camps during the Holocaust. Her first husband, Alexander Rosenbaum, died in Auschwitz in 1942, but Naomi survived the war and later immigrated to the United States in 1946. She married Holocaust survivor Martin Warren, and together the couple raised a family and established a successful import company. After her husband’s death, she continued to run the business until her retirement in 2002.
Today, she is an active member of the boards of Holocaust Museum Houston, The Anti-Defamation League and the Jewish Federation. She has been honored by the National Association for Danish Enterprise in recognition of her work on trade relations between the United States and Denmark and was recently asked by Houston Mayor Bill White to serve on the board of the Houston Katrina Relief Fund.
An active member of the Museum, she and her family established the Museum’s Warren Fellowship program in 2003 to train future teachers on strategies and approaches for bringing Holocaust education into the classroom. Since that time, almost 60 future teachers from Texas and Washington, D.C., have completed the free, week-long training session to learn how to teach the history of the Holocaust and the dangers of hatred, prejudice and discrimination.
Zeidman serves as chairman of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council and has committed his time, energies and resources to support many humanitarian, political and educational initiatives and organizations, including the Houston Jewish Community Foundation, State of Israel Bonds, Texas Inter-Faith Housing Corporation and Baylor College of Medicine. He is vice chairman of the Republican Jewish Coalition and was co-chairman of the “Victory ‘04” Florida Jewish Outreach campaign.
He recently was honored at a benefit for the Future of Yiddish Theatre in America and received the 2005 Lifetime Hero Award from Texas Southern University.
Previous recipients of the award have included Joan and Stanford Alexander, Ed Wulfe, the HEB grocery chain, Jack Blanton, The Houston Chronicle, the Rev. William A. Lawson, Ron Stone, Julie and Ben Rogers, Linda P. Lay and Siegi Izackson.
More than 800 attendees are expected for this year’s luncheon. For ticket information, contact Linda Toyota at 713-942-8000, ext 121.
Holocaust Museum Houston promotes awareness and educates the public of the dangers of prejudice, hatred and violence against the backdrop of the Holocaust by fostering remembrance, understanding and education. Holocaust Museum Houston is free and open to the public and is located in Houston’s Museum District at 5401 Caroline Street, Houston, TX 77004.
For more information, call 713-942-8000 or visit www.hmh.org.