The Doors Are Open to All at Rabin Medical Center

The Shmooze

By Masha Leon

Published December 01, 2011, issue of December 09, 2011.
  • Print
  • Share Share

The Doors Are Open to All at Rabin Medical Center in Israel Dinner

“When a patient checks in, no one asks their religion [or] affiliation,” said Abraham “Barry” Cohen, chairman of the American Friends of Rabin Medical Center, in an address at the organization’s November 13 “The Best of New York Meets the Best of Israel” gala, held at Cipriani 42nd Street. “If others acted this way, we’d have peace.”

Board member and past AFRMC board chairman Stephen Siegel received AFMRC’s Yitzhak Rabin Excellence in Leadership Award. Jerusalem-born Eli Hurwitz, chairman of the Board of Teva Pharmaceuticals, was honored with the Yitzhak Rabin Visionary Leader Award; his son Haim Hurwitz accepted on his behalf. The elder Hurwitz died in Tel Aviv on November 21. In presenting the award, Cohen said that Teva Pharmaceuticals “is known as Israel’s ‘national company’ and has become one of the world’s most respected pharmaceutical manufacturers.”

Television personality Charlie Rose was the evening’s host, and his question-and-answer session with media mogul Mortimer Zuckerman was unique for its candor. “It’s the first time an American president has not visited Israel,” Zuckerman said. “Would you support the president?” Rose asked. “Depends on who’s running,” Zuckerman replied. “[At this moment] I’d support Mitt Romney over Obama.”

Charlie Rose and Mort Zuckerman
Karen Leon
Charlie Rose and Mort Zuckerman

Responding to a question from Rose about the weak economy, Zuckerman cited a roster of governmental agencies that are in the business of tallying the “unemployed, underemployed and part-timers” before arriving at a bottom-line assessment: “Forty-eight million are now living below the poverty line.” When Rose — who joshed: “I call [Zuckerman] my rabbi. He teaches me things” — suggested he run for president, Zuckerman laughed. “When this administration is ready for this Canadian-Jewish candidate for president, call me,” he said.

AFRMC President Nava Barak touted the Rabin Medical Center as “crucial… to all casualties — including victims of rockets aimed at Ashkelon.” Dr. Eyran Halpern, Rabin Medical Center’s CEO, said, “Rabin practices medicine without borders,” and announced a $100 million five-year expansion plan. Affiliated with the Tel Aviv University Sackler School of Medicine, the Rabin Medical Center is Israel’s largest medical institution, serving as a referral center for patients throughout the country and the Middle East. With close to 1 million patient visits a year, it boasts a staff of 4,500.

The gala was orchestrated by AFRMC Executive Director Joshua Plaut. That evening, auctioneer Jennifer Roth, senior vice president of the Fine Arts Department at Sotheby’s, helped raise funds with an auction at the gala for equipment, from oxygen masks to EKG machines, for the new Emergency and Trauma Center at the Rabin Medical Center.

Richard Holbrooke Award for Social Justice Presented to Aryeh Neier at Blue Card Gala

“Aryeh and Richard were cut from the same cloth,” journalist Kati Marton said as she presented the social justice award named for her late husband, Richard C. Holbrooke, to Aryeh Neier, president of the Open Society Foundations, at Blue Card’s 77th Anniversary Dinner Benefit, held on November 14 at the Fifth Avenue New York Public Library. She continued, “Children of German-Jewish refugees — first generation in Aryeh’s case, second in Richard’s — they shared a visceral distaste for bigotry and an appetite for combating it.” Marton, a journalist, is the widow of the late Richard C. Holbrooke, an American diplomat whose most recent post was President Obama’s appointment as America’s special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan. She said, “Aryeh, like Richard, is fearless about speaking out to the powerful and uses his pen as forcefully as Richard did.”

Stanley Stone, executive vice president of the Jewish Federation of Central New Jersey, presented the Max L. Heine Humanitarian award to Robert Kuchner, managing partner of the CPA firm Rosenberg, Neuwirth, and Kuchner and leader of the Jewish Federation of Central New Jersey. The award was in memory of Berlin-born Max L. Heine, who fled Germany in 1933, flourished in New York and became known as the “Dean of Wall Street.” Heine supported many charities, including Blue Card, a not-for-profit that provides financial assistance to Holocaust survivors.

The $400,000 contributed by the gala’s 260 guests included funds raised by the Blue Card’s NYC Marathon team. Elie Rubinstein, executive director of The Blue Card, praised the organization’s 65 runners. Recalling his training for “the rigors of the 26.2 mile marathon,” Rubinstein cited a book he recently read: “A Life of Leadership: Eli Zborowski: From the Underground to Industry to Holocaust Remembrance” by Rochel and George Berman (Ktav Publishing House, Inc.)[. Rubinstein called Zborowski, founder of the American Society for Yad Vashem, an inspiration. “Zborowski’s description of how he survived the Holocaust by walking 14 miles in below-freezing weather from the Radomsko ghetto to Zarki sustained my determination to go the distance,” he said.

Neil Sedaka Rocks ‘N’ Rolls and Reminisces at Albert Einstein College of Medicine Gala

At a November 16 dinner at The Plaza, Yeshiva University’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine honored two of its own with a new Lifetime Leadership Award. Linda Altman, a past president of the college’s Women’s Division, and Arnold Penner, an executive board member of its Men’s Division, each received the award. “Those who give of themselves — volunteers — are invaluable to doctors and science,” Altman said. “More than $100 million has been raised by women for Albert Einstein College.”

Penner, a real estate developer and part-owner of P.J Clarke’s restaurants, said, “I thank my wife for giving her money away.” Then, looking down from the podium and into the crowd, he added, “There are my grandchildren. I am giving their money away too. Thank God for this success.”

“I’ve been writing these songs for 50 years,” said musician Neil Sedaka, who provided the evening’s entertainment. Accompanying himself at the piano, he sang “Breaking Up Is Hard To Do” and got the crowd of 360 to bounce in their seats and sing along. “The songs of the ’50s may seem naive by today’s standards, but my favorite is [still] ‘Solitaire.’” Sedaka said. “I started as a pianist at Juilliard and became a musical ambassador around the world. Between 1958 and 1963 I sold 40 million records. And then in 1963 a new group arrived — The Beatles!”

Sedaka described an encounter with Elvis Presley. “I told him I was from the Brill Building School of songwriting,” he said. Neither Presley nor some in the room for the “Celebrate Einstein” gala recognized that prestigious pedigree. The Brill Building was built in 1931 at Broadway and 49th Street. During the Depression, its struggling owners rented space to music publishers and it became famous for housing the studios where some of the most popular American songs were written.

The “Celebrate Einstein” proceeds will benefit women’s health initiatives and the Research Scholars Program.

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Find us on Facebook!
  • Move over Dr. Ruth — there’s a (not-so) new sassy Jewish sex-therapist in town. Her name is Shirley Zussman — and just turned 100 years old.
  • From kosher wine to Ecstasy, presenting some of our best bootlegs:
  • Sara Kramer is not the first New Yorker to feel the alluring pull of the West Coast — but she might be the first heading there with Turkish Urfa pepper and za’atar in her suitcase.
  • About 1 in 40 American Jews will get pancreatic cancer (Ruth Bader Ginsberg is one of the few survivors).
  • At which grade level should classroom discussions include topics like the death of civilians kidnapping of young Israelis and sirens warning of incoming rockets?
  • Wanted: Met Council CEO.
  • “Look, on the one hand, I understand him,” says Rivka Ben-Pazi, a niece of Elchanan Hameiri, the boy that Henk Zanoli saved. “He had a family tragedy.” But on the other hand, she said, “I think he was wrong.” What do you think?
  • How about a side of Hitler with your spaghetti?
  • Why "Be fruitful and multiply" isn't as simple as it seems:
  • William Schabas may be the least of Israel's problems.
  • You've heard of the #IceBucketChallenge, but Forward publisher Sam Norich has something better: a #SoupBucketChallenge (complete with matzo balls!) Jon Stewart, Sarah Silverman & David Remnick, you have 24 hours!
  • Did Hamas just take credit for kidnapping the three Israeli teens?
  • "We know what it means to be in the headlines. We know what it feels like when the world sits idly by and watches the news from the luxury of their living room couches. We know the pain of silence. We know the agony of inaction."
  • When YA romance becomes "Hasidsploitation":
  • "I am wrapping up the summer with a beach vacation with my non-Jewish in-laws. They’re good people and real leftists who try to live the values they preach. This was a quality I admired, until the latest war in Gaza. Now they are adamant that American Jews need to take more responsibility for the deaths in Gaza. They are educated people who understand the political complexity, but I don’t think they get the emotional complexity of being an American Jew who is capable of criticizing Israel but still feels a deep connection to it. How can I get this across to them?"
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?

We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.