The 2013 Tanenbaum Awards Honor New York Times Bestselling Author and Activist Reza Aslan and Philanthropic Leader FJC

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The 2013 Tanenbaum Awards Ceremony will honor Reza Aslan and FJC, with entertainment featuring NCIS: Los Angeles regular Barrett Foa and Broadway's Ivan Rutherford

Reza Aslan

Reza Aslan

Reza’s accomplishments…inform, build bridges of respect and enable greater understanding of Islam and religious extremism. FJC is an innovator that creates opportunities in philanthropy and for charities that are building a better world for all of us.

New York—The Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding will honor New York Times bestselling author Reza Aslan and FJC, A Foundation of Philanthropic Funds, at the 2013 Tanenbaum Award Ceremony, Tuesday, May 21 at 6:30 pm at The Plaza Hotel.

The Tanenbaum Award Ceremony, with entertainment featuring NCIS: Los Angeles series regular Barrett Foa and Broadway’s Ivan Rutherford, are open to the public. To purchase tickets and for more information about the Tanenbaum Awards, visit or call 212.967.7707, x112.

“We are excited to honor both FJC and Reza,” said Joyce S. Dubensky, CEO of Tanenbaum. “All of Reza’s accomplishments—from his books, to his media efforts, to his activism and interfaith work—share a theme. All inform, build bridges of respect and enable greater understanding of Islam and religious extremism. Similarly, FJC is an innovator that creates opportunities in philanthropy and for charities that are building a better world for all of us.”

Tanenbaum will present Aslan with the Media Bridge-Builder Award and FJC with the inaugural Philanthropic Bridge-Builder Award.

The Media Bridge-Builder Award is presented to journalists and media personalities whose work focuses public attention on issues of human rights and intergroup relations.

“We are particularly excited about honoring Reza,” says Dubensky. “He is tackling hard issues and does it in a way that allows people to listen and learn. And that’s both unusual and critical if we are to achieve mutual respect.”

Tanenbaum is presenting the Philanthropic Bridge-Builder Award for the first time.

“This award allows us to break new ground,” Dubensky noted. “Those who make the non-profit sector the focus of their entrepreneurial lives are few and far between. FJC represents that spirit and stands as a leader among those who promote smart philanthropy for social change. That’s why we’re proud to honor them – certainly, for their years of support of our work in combating religious prejudice but, more so, for their work across the sector.”

The evening’s entertainment will feature Broadway personalities Ivan Rutherford (Les Miserables, Titanic), Jackie Burns (Wicked, Hair, Rock of Ages), Kevin Kern (Wicked, The Wedding Singer, Les Miserables) and Deb Lew (The Threepenny Opera, Beauty and the Beast, South Pacific). NCIS: Los Angeles series regular Barrett Foa, who has appeared on Broadway in Avenue Q, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and Mamma Mia!, will also perform to top off the evening.

Aslan, an adjunct senior fellow at Council on Foreign Relations, is perhaps best known as a New York Times bestselling author, and is also a scholar of religions and the founder of, an online journal for news and entertainment about the Middle East and the world. He is always a welcome guest on The Daily Show, Meet the Press, Hardball, Rachel Maddow, Tavis Smiley and other popular current event programs that seek to delve deeply into issues that divide us today.

Aslan's first book is the International Bestseller, No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam, which has been translated into thirteen languages and named one of the 100 most important books of the last decade. He is also the author of How to Win a Cosmic War (published in paperback as Beyond Fundamentalism: Confronting Religious Extremism in a Globalized Age), as well as editor of two volumes: Tablet and Pen: Literary Landscapes from the Modern Middle East, and Muslims and Jews in America: Commonalties, Contentions, and Complexities.

FJC, a Foundation of Philanthropic Funds, is a public charity that provides total management of charitable giving. To date, individuals, corporations and young philanthropists have established more than 1,000 FJC Donor Advised Funds. FJC manages over $230 million in assets and has distributed over $270 million in grants to charities around the world in more than 25 countries.

FJC increases and maximizes the impact of charitable dollars; creates innovative philanthropic solutions; and responds effectively to the needs and interests of donors, charities, borrowers and other clients.

The Tanenbaum Awards supporters include Howard P. Milstein, President & CEO New York Private Bank & Trust; FJC, A Foundation of Philanthropic Funds; Dr. Georgette F. Bennett & Dr. Leonard S. Polonsky; Barclays; and Maz Zouhairi, President & CEO, LALIQUE North America.

The Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding is a secular, non-sectarian organization that promotes mutual respect with practical programs that bridge religious difference and combat prejudice. We reach teachers and students, employers and employees, doctors and patients, and peacemakers combating armed conflict.

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