The Gershom Mendes Seixas Award is bestowed by Columbia/Barnard Hillel on those who have made outstanding contributions to Jewish life at Columbia University and Barnard College. The Columbia-Barnard Kraft center honored Rabbi Michael Paley and Jim McMenamin at its annual Seixas Gala Dinner.
Robert Kraft, New England Patriots owner, was the honorary dinner chair. Eric Goldstein, CEO of UJA-Federation of New York and Eric Fingerhut, President and CEO of Hillel International spoke at the event. At the end of the evening, Robert Kraft announced that Jonathan and Jeannie Lavine and family contributed $2.5 million to an endowment fund to support the work of Columbia/Barnard Hillel. In appreciation of their gift, the Executive Director position will now be known as the Lavine Family Executive Director. The Mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti, a Columbia alum and a friend of both the honorees and of Jonathan Lavine's, spoke via video at the dinner.