Wiesenthal Center honors Tom Cruise

The Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Humanitarian Award was presented to actor-producer Tom Cruise at a national tribute dinner May 5 in Los Angeles.

Presented to Cruise by Brad Grey, chairman and CEO of Paramount Pictures, the award was given for his longtime support of the center and its Museum of Tolerance.

“Our challenge, ladies and gentlemen, is to make sure that we do all in our power to see to it that there will be no more Auschwitz-Birkenaus, no more Rwandas, no more Darfurs on our planet,” Cruise said in accepting the award. “That our children and their children may be free to live in a world where men and women are judged by their accomplishments and deeds rather than by their race or religion.”

The center also presented Medals of Valor to Luis Alberto Urzua, the foreman of the 33 trapped Chilean miners whose calm leadership guided the men through their ordeal; Gyongyi Mago, a Catholic schoolteacher in Hungary determined to keep the memory of the Holocaust alive; and posthumously to Peter Bergson, an activist who during the Holocaust challenged the Roosevelt government and Jewish establishment to make the rescue of Europe’s Jews a top priority. — jta