JCCIA honors worthy pair at media luncheon

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Alan Krashesky and Rabbi Abraham Cooper

ABC news anchor and reporter Alan Krashesky and social justice luminary Rabbi Abraham Cooper were honored at the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans’ annual media luncheon on May 16.

Krashesky received the Dante Award, which is bestowed on a member of the media who lives up to Dante Alighieri’s call to be no timid friend to truth. Cooper will be given the Mazzei Award, which is presented to a person who shows extraordinary skills in the world of communications. Each year, the JCCIA Human Relations Committee recognizes a member of the news media who has answered Dante Alighieri’s call to be “no timid friend to truth” with his namesake award. Since 1971, the Dante Award has been bestowed upon nearly 50 journalists.

Cooper received the Mazzei Award, which recognizes a person who shows extraordinary skills in the world of communications. The award is named after Filippo Mazzei, a 17th-century Tuscan physician and passionate supporter of the American Revolution who historians say inspired the phrase “all men are created equal.”


Alan Krashesky has shared major news stories with Chicago viewers for more than 36 years. The veteran news anchor and reporter co-anchors three of ABC 7’s top-rated weekday newscasts: the 5 p.m. newscasts and the 6 p.m. newscasts since March 1998, and the station’s top rated 10 p.m. newscast since May 2016.

Krashesky previously co-anchored ABC 7’s 4 p.m. weekday newscasts (2005-2016), the 5 p.m. weekday newscasts (1994-98) and its morning newscasts (1989-94). He was the first anchor of ABC 7’s weekday morning news program. Every newscast he has anchored has been rated No. 1 in the Chicago market. He joined ABC 7 as a general assignment reporter in 1982.

Krashesky is considered one of the top reporters in the market covering major domestic and international stories and has been lauded in particular for his coverage of the Roman Catholic Church. His local reporting has earned a number of Chicago Midwest Emmy Awards.

He serves as a mentor for students interested in broadcast journalism and is a local spokesperson for Alzheimer’s disease.


Rabbi Abraham Cooper is the associate dean and director of the Global Social Action Agenda for the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a leading Jewish human rights organization with more than 400,000 family members. As associate dean, he supervised the research and production of the Interactive Learning Center on the Holocaust and World War II for the Center’s renowned Museum of Tolerance, which has been utilized by more than 4 million visitors. Rabbi

Rabbi Cooper has been a longtime activist for Jewish and human rights causes on five continents. His extensive involvement in Soviet Jewry included visiting refuseniks in the 1970s, helping to open the first Jewish Cultural Center in Moscow in the 1980s, and lecturing at the Soviet Academy of Sciences and the Sakharov Foundation in the 1990s. In 1977, he came to Los Angeles to help Rabbi Marvin Hier found the Simon Wiesenthal Center. Together with Rabbi Hier, Rabbi Cooper regularly meets with world leaders, including Pope Benedict XVI, presidents and foreign ministers to defend the rights of the Jewish people, combat terrorism and promote intergroup relations.

He is a recipient of Yeshiva University’s Bernard Revel Community Service Leadership Memorial Award and of the Orthodox Union’s National Leadership Award. Newsweek/Daily Beast lists Rabbi Cooper and Rabbi Hier as No. 8 among the 50 Most Influential Rabbis in the United States.

The Dante and Mazzei Awards will be presented during a lunchtime gala on Thursday, May 16 at Galleria Marchetti, 825 W. Erie St., Chicago. (708-450-9050)

About Fra Noi

Fra Noi produces a magazine and website that serve the Chicago-area Italian-American community. Our magazine offers our readers a monthly feast of news and views, culture and entertainment that keeps our diverse and widely scattered readers in touch with each other and their heritage. Our website offers a dizzying array of information drawn from every corner of the local community.

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