Holocaust Museum Houston (HMH) is set to honor Dr. Milton Boniuk with the 2020 Guardian of the Human Spirit Award for his commitment to service and building an open-minded society. The Museum’s annual Guardian of the Human Spirit Award event will be streamed online Monday, November 9, 2020 from noon to 1 p.m. Established in 1997, the Guardian of the Human Spirit Award is a platform for acknowledging dedicated individuals and institutions who have worked to enhance the lives of others and to better humankind.
A longtime humanitarian, philanthropist and author, revered ophthalmologist Dr. Milton Boniuk bases much of his good works on a simple belief: Differences among individuals should be celebrated, not feared. His dedication to an inclusive community includes the creation of Holocaust Museum Houston’s Boniuk Library and Boniuk Center for the Future of Holocaust, Human Rights, and Genocide Studies, and Rice University’s The Boniuk Institute for the Study and Advancement of Religious Tolerance. From promoting tolerance, compassion and respect, to multi-culturalism and diversity, Dr. Boniuk’s service to the community exemplifies what it means to be a Guardian of the Human Spirit.
Holocaust Survivor, psychologist and New York Times bestselling author Dr. Edith Eger
is this year’s guest speaker. In 1969, Dr. Eger moved to the United States and later received her Psychology degree from University of Texas, El Paso. She has spent much of her professional time working with members of the military helping them to live productive lives and heal from PTSD. In 2017, at the age of 90, her memoir, The Choice: Embrace the Possible was published to rave reviews by The New York Times Book Review. Her next book, The Gift: Twelve Lessons to Save Your Life will be released later this month. She has been interviewed by Oprah Winfrey, featured on “Larry King Now” and participated in TEDxLaJolla. Dr. Eger has always found ways to use her personal experiences to inspire, educate and help others.
This year’s Honorary Chairs are Marc L. Boom, M.D., President and CEO of Houston Methodist, and David W. Leebron, President of Rice University. Luncheon Chairs include prominent Houstonians Debra and Steven Cohen, Leisa Holland-Nelson and Bob Bowman, Elyse and Lewis Kalmans, and Drs. Ann and Timothy Stout. The Host Committee is chaired by Abby Daniels and Debbie Tummins. PaperCity magazine serves as media sponsor.
Previous recipients of the award have included the Houston Astros Foundation, Texas A&M Corps of Cadets and Aggie Liberators of World War II; UT President Gregory L. Fenves and The University of Texas at Austin; Ric Campo; Velva G. and H. Fred Levine; Edith and Josef Mincberg, Bill Morgan and Murry Bowden; the Harry Mach family; KIPP founders Dave Levin and Mike Feinberg; former Mayor Annise Parker, Barbara and Gerald Hines; Marc J. Shapiro; Lester and Sue Smith; Sandra Weiner and Martin Fein; Naomi Warren and Fred Zeidman; Joan and Stanford Alexander; Ed Wulfe and the H-E-B grocery chain; Jack Blanton and The Houston Chronicle; the Rev. William A. Lawson and Julie and Ben Rogers; Linda P. Lay and Siegi Izakson; and Ron Stone.