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Only in America Humanitarian Award

June 07, 2024

Steve Cozen
Steve Cozen

Steve Cozen C’61, L’64 is the recipient of the Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History’s inaugural Only in America Humanitarian Award.

Philadelphia legal legend Steve Cozen C’61, L’64 has been named the winner of the inaugural Only in America Humanitarian Award from the Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History, the preeminent national museum dedicated to sharing Jewish stories that shaped the United States.

Cozen founded Cozen O’Connor, which grew from a handful of attorneys in Philadelphia in 1970 to 850 attorneys and 32 offices across the United States, Canada, and the UK. A lifelong Philadelphian, Cozen is widely known for his lifelong commitment to the community.

The Weitzman’s “Only in America” Gala celebrates the safe haven and freedoms that this country has offered Jewish people as well as the accomplishments and contributions of Jewish people to the United States, according to Jackie Glodstein, Chief Development Officer at The Weitzman.

“We are thrilled to honor Steve Cozen with our first Only in America Humanitarian Award,” said Glodstein. “Steve believes in the value of building and strengthening relationships in everything he does. He has well earned a reputation as both a philanthropist and humanitarian who loyally supports the causes he believes in and that make his beloved Philadelphia—and our wider community—a better place to live and work.”

In 2021, with the support of a multi-year gift from Cozen and his wife, Sandy, the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School launched the Cozen Family Voting Rights Fellowship, which provides two years of funding for a graduate working to advance and protect voting rights. Cozen has served on the Law School’s Board of Advisors and the board of the Institute for Law & Economics (ILE).

In 2003, in tribute to its co-founder, Cozen O’Connor endowed the Stephen A. Cozen Professor of Law Chair at the Law School, our first endowed professorship from a law firm; Jacques deLisle currently holds the endowed chair.

Cozen said he believes the “Only in America” motto is “what the museum is all about,” adding that “[i]t’s making it clear that the Jewish people in America have made tremendous inroads to assimilation and success which they could only have done in America, and every other ethnic group has that same ability and right to do it.”

Glodstein said proceeds of the Gala will help The Weitzman share the stories of American Jewish life to counter antisemitism, bigotry, and hate. The keynote address will be given by U.S. Representative Ritchie Torres of New York, an advocate for social justice who has been outspoken in support of the Jewish community. Russian-born American Regina Spektor will perform, amplifying her remarkable “Only in America” story of coming here as a refugee with her family.

“We are proud of the outpouring of support, which has been unprecedented to any other gala,” said Glodstein. “We are moved by the support of the community, not only in recognition of Steve but in support for the work this Museum does which is timely and important in this climate of antisemitism rooted in myths, misinformation, and conspiracy theories about Jews.”

She added that Cozen “believes in working person to person, recognizing the humanity of his counterparts and partners. His impact has been felt at the Museum and many other institutions; he has made an indelible mark.”