New York, NY, November 16, 2012 … In recognition of his more than four decades of committed leadership on a range of civil rights and foreign affairs issues, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today honored Chicago attorney Thomas Homburger with the Barbara B. Balser ADL Lifetime Achievement Award.
“In the almost 100 years of ADL’s existence, few have logged more miles, served as our roving ambassador to foreign nations on matters of consequence and also been involved in more facets of our domestic agenda than Tom Homburger,” said Barbara B. Balser, ADL National Commissioner, in presenting the award to Mr. Homburger at the League’s 2012 Annual Meeting in Chicago, Illinois. “Tom knows no bounds when it comes to serving the cause: No trip is too far, no appearance calls for too much preparation, and no important meeting is just too much for his busy schedule.”
“Tom has been a constant force for incremental and progressive change in our policies, with a keen eye on and respect for our past positions,” added Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director.
For more than four decades, Mr. Homburger, a real estate attorney with K&L Gates LLP in Chicago and adjunct professor of law at John Marshall Law School, has been a dedicated and committed leader of ADL, serving as a National Commissioner, board chair in the Greater Chicago/Midwest Region, chair of the National Executive Committee and as an active member of the Audit, Civil Rights, Litigation Oversight, Investigative Research, Oversight and Nominating committees.
Mr. Homburger’s interest in ADL was spawned after he contacted the League in the early 1970s about a possible anti-Semitic incident and he was drawn to the League’s work. He and his wife, Louise, also a National Commissioner, have since participated in ADL missions to some two dozen countries in Europe, South America, Africa, the Middle East and Far East, and have visited the State of Israel at least 10 times.
Mr. Homburger has testified for ADL before the House Judiciary Committee, and keynoted the Sugihara Centennial in Tokyo Japan, the 60th Anniversary of Kristallnacht in Vienna Austria, and ADL’s Bearing Witness Program in Washington, D.C.
ADL Chicago Regional Director Lonnie Nasatir said: “Tom has been that steadying influence in this region for over 40 years. He’s got a great strategic mind and he’s always there for wise counsel and cares deeply about ADL and its mission. We congratulate him on this honor, and deeply appreciate all he has done and continues to do for us in Chicago and at the national level.”
The ADL Lifetime Achievement Award was conceived of and endowed by Ronald Davis Balser in honor of his wife, Barbara. The Balsers are two of the League’s most committed and dedicated lay leaders. Barbara B. Balser served as ADL National Chair from 2003-2006.
The award is a specially commissioned bronze sculpture created by the internationally noted artist and 2008 U.S. National Medal of Arts recipient Jesús Moroles. The Spirit of Leadership, a magnificent granite sculpture on which the award is modeled, graces the ADL National Headquarters reception area, a generous gift from the Balsers.
Previous recipients of the Barbara B. Balser ADL Lifetime Achievement Award include former National Chair Melvin Salberg (2009), Detroit native and longtime Treasurer Robert Naftaly (2010), and longtime ADL leader Meyer Eisenberg (2011).