This year at their annual banquet the Armenian Missionary Association of America (AMAA) will honor a giant of government service and a faithful friend of the Armenian people: Hon. Robert M. Morgenthau.
For 35 years, Robert Morgenthau served as District Attorney of New York County, achieving such distinction that President Obama recently referred to him as “legendary.” During Mr. Morgenthau’s tenure, the murder rate in Manhattan went from a record high to a level lower than that ever measured in modern times.
Mr. Morgenthau was equally successful at prosecuting major frauds and political corruption. He secured convictions against corrupt politicians of both major political parties. His investigation of one of the biggest bank fraud cases of all times, the international Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), led to some of the largest financial penalties ever secured.
Before becoming District Attorney, Robert Morgenthau served as United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York. He was a close associate of the Kennedy family, and was lunching with Attorney General Robert Kennedy when they received word of President Kennedy’s assassination in Dallas.
He has served as mentor to generations of idealistic public servants, including countless judges, a governor, and even one United States Supreme Court Justice: the Hon. Sonia Sotomayor. He has also been the longtime head of New York’s Police Athletic League, which under his leadership has become one of the most important private charities for children in New York.
Mr. Morgenthau is the grandson of Henry Morgenthau, Sr., who was US President Woodrow Wilson’s Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire. It was Ambassador Morgenthau who heroically attempted to summon the conscience of the world to the plight of the Armenian Christian minority during the Genocide of 1915. Countless Armenian families can tell how their “Uncle Henry” intervened personally to provide for their ancestors’ safe resettlement in America.
The memoir “Ambassador Morgenthau’s Story” remains one of the most important historical documents chronicling the deportation and murder of the entire population of Armenians in eastern Turkey, and is still frequently cited by genocide scholars.
The Morgenthau family remains faithful to this legacy, and Robert Morgenthau has appeared as a speaker at countless Genocide commemorations. His wife, Lucinda Franks, is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and writer.
Master of Ceremonies at the banquet will be Peter Kougasian, who for 30 years served as an assistant district attorney under Robert Morgenthau. “It frankly has taken me 30 years to fully appreciate just how passionate Mr. Morgenthau is about the cause of justice for the Armenians,” Peter says. “Robert Morgenthau is simply a man of towering moral commitment. His dedication to the Armenian cause is but one illustration of his unflagging dedication to the ideal of justice.”
The Annual Meeting Banquet will be held Sunday afternoon, October 17 at 4:00 p.m. (social hour at 3:00 p.m.) at the Hackensack Golf Club, Soldier Hill Road, Oradell, NJ. The program will include a key note speech by the Hon. Robert Morgenthau, a musical interlude and will introduce the newly appointed Executive Director, Levon Filian.
The 91st Annual Meeting activities will be held in Paramus, New Jersey. Over the course of four days (October 15-18), AMAA members and friends, representatives of Armenian Evangelical Churches worldwide, AMAA Chapters and AMAA affiliate organizations will join to thank God and celebrate the mission and service ministries of this unique organization.
In conjunction with the AMAA’s activities, the Armenian Evangelical World Council will have its meeting on Friday, October 16 and the Board of Directors of the Armenian Evangelical Union of North America will hold meetings on Saturday and Monday (October 16 and 18). The Board of Directors of the AMAA will meet on Friday evening to report on activities and discuss future plans.
On Friday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. a special meeting of the AMAA Board will be held to prepare a strategic plan of the AMAA for the coming years. Over the years God has blessed the Association with opportunities to expand its ministries in different areas around the world. The Board strongly feels that in order to fulfill God’s command in an efficient way, time should be dedicated to revisit the many services and plan to make them more effective.
The Annual Meeting of the AMAA will be held on Saturday, October 16 at 9:30 a.m. at AMAA Headquarters in Paramus, NJ. All AMAA members are encouraged to participate and to review both the activities and the financial reports of the Association.
The Annual Meeting Worship of Praise will be held on Sunday, October 17, at the Armenian Presbyterian Church of Paramus, NJ at 11:00 a.m. Participating in the Worship Service will be pastors visiting from different areas. The sermon for the day will be delivered by Rev. Albert Paityan, the pastor of the Evangelical Church of Ijevan, Armenia. Rev. Paityan is also the Christian Ed Director of Evangelical ministries in Armenia. The service will include a moment of remembrance dedicated to those AMAA members who concluded their earthly pilgrimage during the past year and joined the heavenly audience. The service will conclude with the installation of the newly elected Board Members.
The Armenian Missionary Association of America (AMAA) serves the religious, educational and social needs of Armenian communities around the world. The AMAA was founded in 1918 in Worcester, MA and was incorporated in New York in 1920. AMAA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
Those who are interested to participate in the Annual Meeting activities and also join the banquet of the AMAA to honor Mr. Morganthau can contact AMAA Headquarters at 201-265-2607.