K.V. Kumar receives 2022 ‘Hero for Tolerance’ Award

K.V. Kumar with the 2022 Hero for Tolerance Award bestowed by the Simon Wiesenthal Center Aug. 21, 2022. PHOTO: K.V. Kumar, IAICC

The Simon Wiesenthal Center honored Executive Chairman of the Indian American International Chamber of Commerce (IAICC) KV Kumar, with the “2022 Hero for Tolerance Award,” at its 7th Annual Heroes for Tolerance Award Ceremony on August 21, at the Yankee Stadium in New York.

The New York State Assembly, the State of New Jersey, Bergen County Clerk’s office, Bergen County Board of County Commissioners, and the City Council of New York also issued citations and commendations on the occasion recognizing Kumar for being named a 2022 Hero for Tolerance.

Other honorees who received awards along with Kumar in the ceremony include Mayor of Edison, New Jersey, Sam Joshi, Co-Managing Partners, DeCotiis, Fitzpatrick, Cole & Giblin, LLP, Joseph Decotiis and Michael Decotiis, CEO, Feiner Grant Strategies/Board Member, Jewish Federation of Rockland, Rivkie Feiner, and Vice Chair, Board of Bergen County Commissioners, Thomas Sullivan.

In his acceptance speech Kumar stated, “My admiration and association with Israel and the Jewish American community were strengthened in 1988, when I was introduced by Justice Antonin Scalia to the Chief Rabbi of New York who sought my assistance in establishing full diplomatic relations between India and Israel in 1992. Thanks to my good friend and former Ambassador Abid Hussain.”

A survivor of multiple head injuries, Kumar recalled that he helped the U.S. Congress pass the 1996 Traumatic Brain Injury Act​, which helps over five million Americans now. “I had put in over 150,000 hours as a volunteer, serving small business owners, entrepreneurs, and people with brain injury.”

IAICC’s Chairman of Executive Board & Finance Committee (USA Division), Appen Menon, who was present at the ceremony told News India Times, “It was really a great privilege to be present at the time of honoring my good friend, K.V. Kumar by the Simon Wiesenthal Center at the Yankee Stadium amidst thousands of people. There were so many dignitaries present including NY State Senators, and members of NY State Assembly. This prestigious award is conferred only on people with proven track record in public service. The organizers gave a glowing tribute to Kumar, and Kumar also congratulated the Center for working towards peace and uplifting the downtrodden.”

The Center’s award ceremony brochure stated, “KV Kumar is longtime national and communal activist who has spent his career bringing diverse groups and individuals together,” adding “Kumar has also had the distinction of being appointed to and serving on a variety of presidential and gubernatorial commissions and boards particularly as they relate to small business empowerment and health care. Kumar represents the epitome of volunteerism and community service,” the brochure added.

Citations and commendations recognizing K.V. Kumar for being named a 2022 Hero for Tolerance. PHOTO: K.V. Kumar, IAICC

At the ceremony, Consul General of Israel in New York, Ambassador Asaf Zamir delivered special remarks, while Eastern Director of Simon Wiesenthal Center, Michael Cohen gave introduction, and Event Chair, Charles Everhardt of Veterans Services USA, gave the welcome address.



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