AJC honored Ambassador Philip Murphy with its prestigious “Ernst Cramer Award for Outstanding Contributions to German-American Jewish Understanding.”
The award was presented to Murphy for his service as U.S. ambassador to Germany (2009-2013), at an AJC event at the Jewish Museum in New York. More than 150 guests attended. Previously, Murphy served as head of the Goldman Sachs office in Frankfurt.
The inscription on the award states: “Presented to Ambassador Philip Murphy in recognition of his steadfast commitment and spirited dedication to Jewish affairs, Jewish-German relations and to the State of Israel.”
“I am proud to be a recipient of an award named after an extraordinary individual, bestowed on me by a pathbreaking American Jewish organization, ” said Murphy. “I have always experienced AJC to be at the forefront of the critical transatlantic issues of our day.”
Ernst Cramer was a distinguished journalist and publisher with the Axel Springer publishing company in Germany. He was a German Jew who fled to the U.S., returning as an American soldier. He ended up staying to work with this unique publishing house that remains a bastion of pro-American, pro-Israeli sentiment in Germany.
When Murphy arrived in Berlin as U.S. Ambassador in 2009, he soon encountered and benefitted from Cramer’s transatlantic experience and wisdom. A conference room at the U.S. Embassy in Berlin was named for Ernst Cramer shortly before his death, at the age of 96, in 2010.
“Phil Murphy is a bridge builder across continents, laying the foundation for a new and more diverse generation of transatlanticists, ” said Steven Wisch, co-chair of AJC Berlin, who presented the award to Murphy, and who has been a close friend of Murphy for nearly three decades. “He harbors a deep and abiding commitment to Jewish life and security for Jewish communities. He is a staunch advocate of U.S.-Israeli and German-Israeli relations.”
Anthony Meyer, a member of the AJC National Board of Governors, and who serves as the other co-chair for AJC Berlin, also attended the event.
The Ernst Cramer Award is given bi-annually to an individual or institution for outstanding contributions in the field of American Jewish – German understanding. The three past recipients were Michael Blumenthal, founding director of the Jewish Museum Berlin and former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury; the Konrad Adenauer Foundation; and Lawrence and Lee Ramer for their work launching the Ramer Institute for German-Jewish Relations that is an integral part of AJC Berlin.