NEW YORK, Dec. 3, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Wall Street community once again demonstrated the strength of its philanthropic leadership when more than 1,700 financial professionals and prominent business leaders raised more than $26 million, a record-breaking amount of funds, with an increase of $3 million from last year, at UJA-Federation of New York's Wall Street Dinner on Monday, December 2, 2013. The Wall Street Dinner, known as one of New York City's leading philanthropic events because of its high caliber honorees and dollars raised, honored Lloyd C. Blankfein, chairman and chief executive officer of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., and David K. Wassong, co-head, Private Equity, at Soros Fund Management LLC.
Lloyd C. Blankfein received The Gustave L. Levy Award. Considered a pre-eminent honor in the industry, this award recognizes a leader in the Wall Street community for both exceptional professional achievements and an enduring commitment to UJA-Federation. Previous honorees of The Gustave L. Levy Award include Robert S. Kapito, Paul J. Taubman, Peter W. May, John A. Paulson, Gary D. Cohn, Richard A. Friedman, Daniel S. Och, Morris W. Offit, Michael Minikes, Leon M. Wagner, and Jeffrey B. Lane.
David K. Wassong received The Wall Street Young Leadership Award, which recognizes a professional who demonstrates exemplary leadership, steadfast commitment to the community, and continued generosity to UJA-Federation. Previous honorees of The Wall Street Young Leadership Award include Boaz Weinstein, Scott L. Shleifer, Michael B. Nierenberg, Marc S. Lipschultz, Jonathan M Harris, Larry Robbins, Scott S. Prince, Alexandra Lebenthal, and Ricky Sandler.
"As we celebrate Hanukkah, and as the days get shorter and darker, we recall the Hanukkah story about a small group of dedicated people overcoming adversity and bringing light to many," said John Ruskay, executive vice president and CEO of UJA-Federation. "The generosity of the Wall Street community, which has been our bedrock through the years, enables our network of agencies to also bring light to many — to elderly Jews in the former Soviet Union, to victims of crises like violence in southern Israel, to unemployed people in need of career services, to young Jews searching for meaning, and so many more."
During The Wall Street Dinner, which took place on the sixth night of the Jewish holiday Hanukkah, Cantor Ari Priven led guests in traditional prayers over the lighting of the Hanukkah menorah, followed by "Maoz Tzur," a traditional Hanukkah song.
"At last year's Wall Street Dinner, we gathered just a few weeks after Hurricane Sandy hit, a time when so many were facing a changed reality," said Alisa Doctoroff, president of UJA-Federation. "One thing that has never changed is how resilient we are, and what we do at UJA-Federation, day in and day out. Our reach and our strength, through our network of nearly 100 agencies, enabled us to deliver critical help quickly and where it was most needed, while also helping Israelis traumatized by rocket attacks, bringing Ethiopians to Israel, and sending kids in Moscow to Jewish summer camps. It's powerful to see 1,700 strong leaders standing as one in support of what we make possible."
New York Police Department Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly provided the keynote address, acknowledging the critical roles of the Wall Street & Financial Services community to the economic success of New York City, of UJA-Federation to the strengthening of the New York community, and of the N.Y.P.D. to the safety of the city.
"Like our police officers, UJA-Federation and its affiliate agencies engage in life-saving, life-affirming work every day," said Commissioner Kelly. "With the help of all of its supporters here tonight, may it continue to carry out this noble mission here in New York City and elsewhere for many years to come."
The Wall Street Dinner also featured remarks by His Eminence Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan, archbishop of New York. "I'm here to let you know how grateful Catholic Charities and the Archdiocese of New York is to partner with UJA in such a noble endeavor of community service and compassion," said Cardinal Dolan.
Following the program, UJA-Federation's Young Wall Street Division hosted a Closing Bell After-Party for finance professionals in their 20s and 30s.
About UJA-Federation of New York
For more than 95 years, UJA-Federation has been a central force for communal planning and philanthropy in the New York Jewish community. Through UJA-Federation, almost 60,000 donors pool their resources to help people in need, inspire a passion for Jewish life and learning, and strengthen Jewish communities around the world — to address the issues that matter to us most as Jews and as New Yorkers. Working with nearly 100 network beneficiary agencies, synagogues, and other Jewish organizations, our reach spans from New York to Israel to more than 70 other countries around the world, touching 4.5 million people each year. Because we do the most good when we do it together. For more information on how to donate or how to volunteer, please visit our website at http://www.ujafedny.org.
Shari Harel, or 212.836.1884