Hon. Robert M. Morgenthau, former New York City District Attorney is the Heritage Dinner Chairman.
Along with her late husband, Edmund J. Safra, Lily Safra’s philanthropic endeavors have included a panoply of educational, religious, medical, cultural, and humanitarian causes and organizations around the world. The philanthropic foundation bearing her late husband’s name carries on this work in his memory to this very day.
Mrs. Safra’s dedication to perpetuating the memory and legacy of the Holocaust has been the focal point of her efforts for decades. Her remarkable contributions to Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust have resulted in the museum’s tremendous expansion and development as a premiere learning center about Holocaust history
Moreover, Mrs. Safra’s philanthropic efforts include numerous foundations, organizations, and charities. Together with Edmond Safra and Nina Weiner, Mrs. Safra founded the International Sephardic Education Foundation in 1977. She chairs The Edmond J. Safra Foundation which supports medical research and humanitarian relief. The Edmond J. Safra Foundation Center for Ethics has been established at Harvard University and most recently she donated over $12 million to create a cross-disciplinary research laboratory on institutional corruption.
Mrs. Safra also supports the American Red Cross and helped the Hurricane Katrina victims. She is on the board of the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s research and a member of the Chairman’s Council of the Museum of Modern Art. Through the Edmond J. Safra Philanthropic Foundation, she helped found the Edmond J. Safra Brain Research Center for the Study of Learning Disabilities at the University of Haifa. The Foundation and Mrs. Safra also helped create the Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences at the Hebrew University.
Mrs. Safra ensured the completion of the Edmond J. Safra Synagogue in Manhattan.
In connection with the sale of furniture and art from her collection at Sotheby’s in 2005, Mrs. Safra donated $3 million to charities in New York that she and her husband had supported for many years, along with a gift to Dillard University in New Orleans to help them rebuild after Hurricane Katrina.
Sotheby’s announced that an auction of Mr. and Mrs. Safra’s collections, including furniture, artwork, silverware, and decorative objects, took place in October 2011 in New York City. Mrs. Safra will soon offer a collection of her jewels to the auction house Christie’s, with the profits to benefit various charities and institutions throughout the world.
In 2009, Mrs. Safra was honored by the Elton John AIDS Foundation with its “An Enduring Vision” award for her long-time support. In October 2013, Safra donated $1 million in support of the foundation’s grant-making programs.
That same year, Mrs. Safra contributed $16 million toward Edmund and Lily Safra Children’s Hospital in Tel Hashomer in Israel. She also donated $5 million toward the One Laptop Per Child project. She established the Edmond J. Safra Family Lodge, for patients battling illnesses, as well as their families, at the National Institute of Health near Washington D.C.
In July 2010, Mrs. Safra donated 8 million euros to the Institute for Brain and Spinal Cord Injuries in Paris. Mrs. Safra is also a Patron of Hope and Homes for Children in the UK and a supporter of its work for children in Romania.
In May 2012, Christie’s Geneva hosted an auction of 70 pieces of Mrs. Safra’s personal jewelry collection. The Jewels for Hope sale included 18 pieces by JAR, the largest personal collection designed by the jeweler ever to be sold. The entire profits from the sale were donated to 32 charitable institutions around the world in the fields of healthcare, education, religion and culture.
Cocktails will begin at 6:30 p.m. and the program will commence at 8:00 pm. In lieu of a formal seated dinner, guests will enjoy food and cocktails throughout the museum and have the opportunity to explore the many outstanding exhibitions. The program, entertainment, and Heritage Dinner Award presentation will take place in Edmond J. Safra Hall. Dietary laws will be observed and valet parking will be available.