Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) joined Hillel in paying tribute to Hillel International Board of Governors Members Henry and Edith Everett at a gala dinner in their honor in New York City. The event was attended by over 400 luminaries from around the United States who have been touched by the Everetts' friendship and generosity.
"Edith and Henry's support for Hillel is typical of them," Sen. Clinton said. "Young people must lead the world in a direction of a life-affirming commitment to hope here at home and around the world. Edith and Henry always understood that."
Hillel Board of Directors Chairman Neil Moss, Hillel President Avraham Infeld, former Columbia University student and Hillel activist Alison Hirsh, and Yeshiva University President Richard M. Joel praised the Everetts as champions of education, social justice and the significant survival of the Jewish people.
"As for Edith and Henry, I think I can speak for everyone here in saying there is no one like the two of you," said Moss. "Individually or as a team you are without peer. Working with you over all of these years has been a sheer joy and pleasure."
Infeld reflected on his 25-year relationship with the Everetts and thanked them for providing support and counsel. He praised their "magical partnership" that has sustained them through 54 years of marriage, adding "just as you have taken care of one another and your growing family, you have taken care of your larger Jewish family and the world at large."
The Everetts' children, David and Carolyn, praised their parents for "working as a team" to raise their children and to support "the dignity of all people." Grandchildren Elias, Ethan and Hannelora presented their grandmother with a cake to celebrate her 75th birthday.
Comedian Joel Chasnoff wrote and directed a musical production starring members of Queens College Hillel's Tizmoret a cappella group which honored the Everetts.
In addition to serving as members of Hillel's International Board of Governors and Board of Directors, the Everetts built the Everett School in Hatzor, Israel, and created the Everett Summer Internship Program. Mrs. Everett was a longtime board member of the City University of New York and Mr. Everett sits on the Board of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency and The New York Jewish Week as well as other organizations. Mrs. Everett is senior vice president of Ryan Beck and Associates. Mr. Everett is retired. They are benefactors of the Dance Theater of Harlem, National Public Radio, the Everett Public Service Internship Program, Teach for America, the New York Botanical Garden, the Israel Association for Ethiopian Jews, the Israel Education Fund, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, and the American Jewish Committee, among many others.
Among the dignitaries at the event were Israeli Consul General Alon Pinkas, Councilman Lewis Fidler and State Senator Seymour Lachman. University leaders included CUNY Graduate Center President Frances Deagan Horwitz, Union Theological Seminary President Joseph Huff, CUNY Chancellor Matthew Goldstein, Brooklyn College President Christopher M. Kimmich, and Columbia University Teacher's College President Arthur Levine.