It is difficult to know where to start when describing this truly auspicious occasion, an evening of celebrity glamour, community cohesion, deep emotion, and incredible entertainment.
The Night of Heroes was brought together by The Jewish News and sponsored by Teddy Sagi and Labs, as a way to celebrate of the many remarkable unsung heroes in the Jewish community, people who devote their energies towards exceptional causes or individuals who have overcome the most difficult circumstances to create a positive impact upon those around them. The brilliant David Walliams presented the evening, which was planned to perfection by Energise Squared.
In the words of Jenni Frazer in The Jewish News: “It was, for all intents and purposes, the night of the Jewish Oscars, bang in the middle of the awards season — and a triumphant occasion when the Jewish community got to celebrate its own winners.”
Five hundred guests packed into the Ballroom at the Marriott Grosvenor Square, from former Prime Ministers to youth interfaith activists and from Britain’s Got Talent judges to inspirational charity CEOs. Guests were treated to an action packed evening, and a fine meal courtesy of Food Story.
In total nine awards were presented, from Interfaith Hero to Community Ally, and Young Hero to Lifetime Achievement. With each award came the nominees and a short video about each, bringing insight into so many worthy causes and dedicated inspirational people… the winners are listed below. The award itself, designed so beautifully by Jacqueline Nicholls, was presented by a different celebrity and sponsor each time, including TV presenter Dermot O’Leary who joked that the evening reminded him of his own Bar Mitzvah “and yes, if you’re wondering, I did both the Maftir and Haftorah.”
The event was full of touching moments, with many tears being shed during the videos showing the bravery of the “Young Hero” nominees. Every award was truly notable, but none more so than the Lifetime Achievement Award, presented by Tony Blair. The recipient was Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, whose contribution to society as a whole has been nothing short of colossal. Indeed one of a series of video messages was from the Archbishop of Canterbury who said that no award could truly reflect the scope of Lord Sacks’ achievements.
Entertainment came in the form of Paul Zerdin, a hilarious ventriloquist and winner of America’s Got Talent, and Tokio Myers the gifted musician who won Britain’s Got Talent. It was incredible to see so many communal organisations come together for this totally unique occasion, for us on a personal level there were so many friends and clients in the room. Behind the video cameras were the team from Atmotion Productions.
Here is the full list of Award Winners, followed by a selection of our favourite images…
- Communal Initiative Hero – Apples and Honey Nightingale Nursery
- Interfaith Hero – Nisa – Nashim
- Team of the Year – CST Volunteers
- Community Hero – Norman Rosenbaum
- Israel Hero – Dr. Lior Sasson
- Community Ally – Maajid Nawaz
- Special Recognition – Natasha Kaplinsky OBE
- Young Hero – Lucy Ronson Allalouf, Zak Cohen and Rio Woolf
- Lifetime Achievement – Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks