The Simon Wiesenthal Center honored Foreign Desk editor-in-chief Lisa Daftari with the Medal of Valor for defending human rights and for her work in highlighting the ongoing courageous protests by Iranians against the Islamic Republic following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini at the hands of the Islamic morality police last year.
The SWC, home to the Museum of Tolerance hosted presented Daftari with her medal at the National Tribute Dinner Wednesday night, a significant gala in Los Angeles, which brought together some of the most powerful and influential people and recognized those who have made a critical impact on society.
Rabbi Marvin Hier, the founder and dean of the SWC, presided over the National Tribute Dinner and presented her with the award after showing a video narrated by Daftari on the current revolution in Iran, led by Iran’s women.
In her acceptance speech, Daftari dedicated her award to the people of Iran, receiving applause and two standing ovations in the room of around 750 attendees.
On social media, the editor-in-chief thanked the SWC for their acknowledgment and efforts to raise awareness of the Iranian people’s struggle for freedom and those who attended the event and continued to raise awareness of human rights violations.
“This medal is for you. This honor is for you,” Daftari said in her post on social media, speaking directly to the women of Iran. “I’m blessed to use my voice to defend the most deserving freedom fighters. What a night. My heart is so full. Hopefully the next celebration will be celebrating your victories and complete freedom.”
Other Medal of Valor recipients included AJ Lambert, who accepted an award for her grandfather, the late American singer Frank Sinatra for his support of the Jewish community, Yoav Amitai and Ilana Sarner, grandchildren of Moshe Zeiri, a Jewish carpenter responsible for rescuing hundreds of Jewish refugee children who had survived the Holocaust and arrived in the city of Selvino, Italy.
Shari Redstone, the chair of Paramount Global and President of National Amusement received a Humanitarian Award for her work on human rights.
In attendance were Jeffrey Katzenberg, chief executive officer of DreamWorks Animation, Hollywood filmmaker Steven Spielberg, and Disney CEO Bob Iger.
Since their creation, the Simon Wiesenthal Center and the Museum of Tolerance have raised awareness of human rights abuses throughout history and today, along with sponsoring events and museums that raise the issue of antisemitism, bigotry, and Holocaust history.
The emcee was Queen Latifah, a Grammy and Emmy award-winning and Oscar-nominated musician, actress, and producer.