German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been awarded the Leo Baeck Medal. She accepted the honor at a ceremony at the Leo Baeck Institute in New York on Tuesday, September 21 2010.
The Leo Baeck Institute presented its first medal ever to a serving German head of government for Merkel’s work in cultivating a good relationship between Germans and Israel, and Germans and world Jewry. At the award ceremony, former US Treasury Secretary W. Michael Blumenthal, who is head of the Jewish Museum in Berlin, saluted Merkel for her support of Jewish cultural life and the integration of minorities in Germany. Merkel said the medal was an inspiration for continuing the work of integration and cooperation with the Jewish community.