Bissinger-Timm family, Stephen Hales to receive ADL’s Torch of Liberty Award

The South-Central Region of the Anti-Defamation League will honor the Bissinger-Timm family and Stephen Hales at the annual A.I. Botnick Torch of Liberty Awards dinner, Oct. 30 at the Hyatt Regency in New Orleans.

There will also be a special recognition of Entergy for the decade-long partnership with the Entergy Charitable Foundation for ADL’s No Place for Hate educational initiative.

The honorees “all have made significant contributions to the health and well-being of our community and have worked to shape a New Orleans that reflects ADL’s guiding values.”

The Bissinger-Timm family, Marjorie, Allan and Nancy, “have shown an unwavering commitment to the Jewish community, their steadfast leadership guiding the community through difficult challenges.”

Hales “is revered and beloved as a leading voice on how we care for our children, his distinguished legacy resonates throughout New Orleans’ most treasured traditions and circles.”

Nancy Bissinger Timm served as chair of the ADL board and as a national commissioner for the last five years. A clinical social worker for 38 years, she has chaired the boards of Jewish Family Service and Touro Infirmary Foundation, and has been elected vice president of the National Association of Jewish Family Services. She has also served on numerous other boards in the Jewish and general communities.

Philanthropist Marjorie Bissinger promoted reading and literacy in schools, while teaching at the Jewish Community Center nursery school for 18 years. She was “Elf” the Storyteller on WDSU’s “Let’s Tell a Story,” a children’s show produced by the National Council of Jewish Women from 1958 to 1975. She is the recipient of the Jewish Endowment Foundation’s Tzedakah Award and Hannah G. Solomon Award.

Allan Bissinger, who died of pancreatic cancer in June, was instrumental in building Louisiana Children’s Medical Center, a partnership of two hospitals as the city worked to recover after Hurricane Katrina.

When the levees broke, Bissinger was assuming the presidency of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans, and in a statement from the Federation in June, “Allan’s leadership steered the Greater New Orleans Jewish community through the worst of Hurricane Katrina’s aftermath, resulting in a restoration of the community back to pre-storm population levels and the stabilization of community agencies.”

He also was president of the Jewish Community Center and a past chairman of the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana.

Hales came to New Orleans in 1975 to serve as chief of pediatrics at the United States Public Health Service Hospital, now part of Children’s Hospital’s campus. He was a founding board member of LCMC Health, New Schools for New Orleans and Pro Bono Publico Foundation, all of which are post-Katrina initiatives.

He has served on a wide range of local boards, and is the Rex Organization’s historian and archivist, reigning as Rex in 2017.

The Torch of Liberty Award was established to be presented to individuals who personify the noblest traditions of the United States of America. First presented in 1967, it became an annual event in New Orleans in 1973, and in 1995 was named for the 28-year former ADL regional director.

Tickets to the 6 p.m. event are $300, with Next Generation tickets at $150. Sponsorships start at $500.