Past Events

2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008

2004

Debbie DePalma Youssef
BridgeBuilder Award Recipient
March 24, 2004

The first Bridgebuilder Award went to Debra DePalma, a community activist who has been involved in numerous civic and religious communities. She was past Chairperson of the Northbrook Community Relations Commission and is now on the Board of Open Communities.Debbie De Palma is a community organizer in suburban Chicago who volunteers with groups that promote respect, civil rights and social justice for all. She has a special interest in advocating for the rights of persons with disabilities.

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2005
Gail Schechter
BridgeBuilder Award Recipient
April 30, 2005

In 2005, Gail Schechter, Executive Director of Open Communities (formerly the Interfaith Housing Center of the Northern Suburbs of Chicago) received the Bridgebuilder Award. Gail is a leader in fair and affordable housing advocacy, discrimination investigation, tenant and community organizing, public school funding reform and public policy.

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2006

Rabbi Robert Marx
BridgeBuilder Award Recipient
April 23, 2006

In 2006, our recipient was Rabbi Robert Marx who marched with Dr. Martin Luther King in Alabama, Chicago and many of Chicago’s northern suburbs. He served as the first president of the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs as well as the Inter-Religious Council on Urban Affairs. Rabbi Marx was also a co-founder of the Chicago Conference on Religion and Race.

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2007

Teacher Recognition
BridgeBuilder Award Recipients

In 2007, we honored three teachers who went the extra mile to expose their students to people from other countries, cultures and faith traditions. The awardees were Motria Melnyk of Meadowbrook Elementary School; Jerome Hoynes of Glenbrook North High School; Carol Hillsberg, Jean Steinberg and Becky Recor of Wood Oaks Middle School.

More details on this event can be found here (pdf file).

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2008

High School Student Recognition
BridgeBuilder Award Recipients

In 2008, we honored high school students who were making a difference:

  • Margret-Ann Ferrell – Glenbrook North High School (Northbrook, IL)
  • Claire Tighe – Loyola Academy (Wilmette, IL)
  • Clemantine Wamariya – New Trier High School (Winnetka, IL)
  • Kenan Medzikovic – The Islamic Cultural Center of Greater Chicago Saturday School (Northbrook, IL)
  • Erin Sexton – Glenbrook South School (Glenview, IL)
  • Sandra Siegel – Glenbrook Evening School (Northbrook, IL)
  • Lisa Doi – Northshore Country Day School (Winnetka, IL)
  • Rosie Kiken – Chicagoland Jewish High School (Deerfield, IL)
  • Claire Kaufman – Regina Dominican High School (Wilmette, IL)

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Dear Students :

We honor you for your words and deeds as a ‘uniter’ and ‘connector’.

You have enlarged your own horizons and those of others.

You broaden our horizons also.

You are making a difference as you seek to build bridges
of understanding between people.

Thank you for being a BridgeBuilder!
With your story you inspire us.

You enrich us.

You enrich our communities and our world.

You give us hope.

May your light shine.

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