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Holocaust Center Celebrates 21 Years of Promoting Tolerance

Nov. 19 tribute dinner planned at Old Westbury Gardens.

File photo.
File photo.

The Holocaust Memorial & Tolerance Center of Nassau County is celebrating 21 years of standing up to hatred, intolerance, and bullying at their annual Tribute Dinner on Tuesday, Nov. 19. 

The dinner will be held at Old Westbury Hebrew Congregation, and the honorees are the Hon. Jon Cooper and Jack Foley. In addition, Gloria Gaynor, will perform her acclaimed hit “I Will Survive.”

“We are pleased to honor Jon Cooper for his service as a Board Member as well as for his major contributions to the business and public sectors on Long Island,” said Steven Markowitz, Chairman of the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center.  

Markowitz continued, “Jack Foley has been one of the most active and dedicated members of our Board, and we appreciate his willingness to always support and participate in programs to further our mission.  We are delighted that Jon and Jack have agreed to be our Honorees this year.”

Since 1978, Jon Cooper has been running Spectronics Corporation, a company based in Westbury that is one of the largest manufacturing firms on Long Island. Spectronics manufactures more than 1,000 products for dozens of diverse markets, primarily in the field of ultraviolet lighting technology.  In his public life, Cooper was elected Majority Leader of the Suffolk County Legislature for six consecutive terms, making him the longest-serving Majority Leader in the history of Suffolk County.  As a result of mandatory term limits, Jon retired from office on January 1, 2012.  Jon and his husband, Robert, settled in Lloyd Harbor in 1983.  They adopted five children, who now range in age from 28 to 18 years old.

Jack Foley earned a BA in Political Science from Binghamton University in 1989 and spent the following fifteen years living in New York City where he fulfilled his love of architecture and real estate while rising to the position of Senior Vice President of Title Associates, a division of Stewart Title.  Over the years, Jack and his wife Susan have given their time and support to numerous non-profit organizations. They are active supporters of East Williston Little League and Old Westbury Gardens, where Jack serves as chairman of their annual golf outing.  He resides in Locust Valley with his wife and their three children.

Gloria Gaynor has touched audiences in more than 80 countries with her electrifying performances.  “I Will Survive” has been featured on the soundtrack of more than a half dozen major motion picture releases, and VH-1 honored Ms. Gaynor with the number one spot during their countdown of the Top 100 Dance Records of All Time. Gloria is currently working on a book, “We Will Survive” that shares forty inspirational, true stories about survivors of all kinds—individuals who have found comfort, hope, and courage through the power of this one song.

The 21st Annual Tribute Dinner co-chairs are Keith and Samantha Gutstein, and Jordan and Robyn Linn.  The Guest Speaker will be Dr. Bernd Wollschlaeger, author of “A German Life: Against All Odds Change is Possible.”  The book chronicles his struggle growing up in the shadow of his Nazi father and his eventual conversion to Judaism, emigration to Israel and service in the Israeli Defense Forces.. The recipient of the Morrell Education Award will be Lori Gately, an educator for the Central Islip School District, Adjunct Professor at Suffolk Community College, and a member of the HMTC Advisory Board. 

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