“Size does matter… but so does the size of the emotion behind it.” ~ Elizabeth Taylor
You may remember her from an older post: Gems of Wisdom: Big Diamonds and Elizabeth Taylor
This time around let’s take a closer look at Elizabeth Taylor’s Humanitarian work.
Bringing Attention to an Ignored Epidemic
Elizabeth “Liz” Taylor used her fame to bring attention to HIV and AIDS at a time when few would even acknowledge the disease. She hosted the first AIDS fundraiser in 1984.
In 1985 she co-founded the American Foundation for AIDS Research. She also started the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation in 1993. Through all of her HIV/AIDS charities and projects she was able to raise more than 270 million dollars.
Her Relationship with Judaism
Taylor helped to raise money for organizations such as the Jewish National Fund and advocated for the right of Soviet Jews to emigrate to Israel. She also canceled a visit to the USSR because of its condemnation of Israel due to the Six-Day War.
She offered herself as a replacement hostage after more than 100 Israeli civilians were taken hostage in the Entebbe skyjacking in 1976. That offer, made personally to Israeli Ambassador Simcha Dinitz, was graciously declined, but Dinitz told Taylor, “The Jewish people will always remember it.”
Elizabeth Taylor’s Awards and Legacy
For her humanitarian and HIV/AIDS work Taylor was honored with a special Academy Award, the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. She would also go on to receive the Presidential Citizens Medal for her humanitarian work.
Former President Bill Clinton said at her death, “Elizabeth’s legacy will live on in many people around the world whose lives will be longer and better because of her work and the ongoing efforts of those she inspired.”
I appreciate Liz for everything she did. She was as much a gem as the many lovely diamonds she wore.