Tom Cruise honored by Jewish human rights group, the Simon Wiesenthal Center
05/05/2011 by Corinne Heller
Tom Cruise is set to receive the Humanitarian Award, the highest honor given by the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Jewish human rights organization that also educates people about the lessons of the Nazi Holocaust. The 48-year-old actor, who played a German military officer that planned to assassinate Adolf Hitler in the 2008 film "Valkyrie," was chosen because of his longtime support of the group and its Museum of Tolerance, the group said in a statement obtained by OnTheRedCarpet.com. Cruise will be given the award at the organization's annual National Tribute Dinner, set to take place in Beverly Hills, California on Thursday, May 5. J.J. Abrams, who co-wrote the script for Cruise's latest film, "Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol," will emcee the event. Other celebrities set to attend include Cruise's wife Katie Holmes, "Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol" actor Jeremy Renner, Cruise's "Jerry Maguire" co-star Cuba Gooding, Jr., Cruise's "Collateral" co-star Jamie Foxx and Cruise's newly-announced "Rock of Ages" on-screen love interest, Malin Akerman, Paris and Nicky Hilton. Other stars on the guest list are Jerry Bruckheimer and Mark Burnett, producers of "The Amazing Race" and Survivor" and "Touched By An Angel' star Roma Downey. The Simon Wiesenthal Center, named after the late Holocaust survivor who became a famous Nazi hunter after World War II ended in 1945, dubs itself a "global Jewish human rights organization that confronts anti-Semitism, hate and terrorism, promotes human rights and dignity, stands with Israel, defends the safety of Jews worldwide, and teaches the lessons of the Holocaust for future generations." The group maintains headquarters in Los Angeles and offices in New York, Toronto, Miami, Paris, Buenos Aires, and Jerusalem, Israel. Museums of Tolerance exist in New York, Los Angeles and Jerusalem. At Thursday's event, the organization will also present honors to Luis Alberto Urzua, the foreman of the 33 Chilean miners who were trapped underground for two months in 2010 and Gyongyi Mago, a "Catholic schoolteacher in Hungary determined to keep the memory of the Holocaust alive despite a backlash from the growing far-right."
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