Rachael Ray To Receive Ellis Island Medal Of Honor For 2023

TV talk show host and popular food personality Rachael Ray will soon add an important honor to her long list of accomplishments. The Ellis Island Honors Society (EIHS) has selected Ray to receive the 2023 Ellis Island Medal of Honor. This nonprofit organization helps support the Ellis Island National Monument, where roughly 12 million immigrants first arrived to start a new life in the United States from 1892 to 1954. The New York Harbor site once received many of America's new arrivals and is now a museum where visitors can learn more about the history of immigration. It is also part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument.

In addition to its work preserving Ellis Island, the EIHS showcases the importance of immigrants and their descendants to the advancement of American life and culture. The Ellis Island Medal of Honor is an annual award given to individuals who have both personal ties to Ellis Island immigration and who have made significant contributions to the United States. Honorees represent a wide cross-section of the country's professions, from artists and actors to activists and politicians to philanthropists and military leaders.

Rachael Ray honored for her career and cultural heritage

Ray is the only celebrity chef on this year's list, and she is being celebrated for her professional accomplishments and for being the daughter of an Italian immigrant as she once explained on her television show. She is half-Italian as her mother immigrated to the United States from Gela, Sicily; her Louisiana-born father came from a diverse cultural background. EIHS chairman Nasser J. Kazeminy, explained in a press release given to Tasting Table, "Rachael is an example of what a nation founded on freedom and opportunity can create." 

Ray joins a distinguished list of honorees this year, which includes Senator Chuck Schumer, actor Liev Schreiber, and U.S. Navy Admiral Lisa Franchetti. There are 94 individuals receiving this honor at the award ceremony, which will be held at a special gala held in the Great Hall (shown above) at Ellis Island — the same place that many of the honorees' family members first walked through long ago on their way to become U.S. citizen.