Award-winning novelist, essayist and short-story writer Jonathan Lethem says he grew up in an “unselfconsciously secularized” New York Jewish enclave.
The July 31 kick-off party for the 2009 Alzheimer’s Association Rita Hayworth “So Near & Yet So Far” October gala was hosted by her daughter Princess Yasmin Aga Khan, Anne Hearst McInerney and Jay McInerney at the McInerney’s Water Mill home. Gala chair Alexandra Lebenthal’s moving description of her mother’s descent into Alzheimer’s underscored the event. “Nine years ago when she turned 70, she looked at the garden she had=2 0planted [in the Hamptons] and, looking at what she had done, said to me: ‘I am going to live ‘til 100.’” Lebenthal continued: “I think deep down she knew that there were already changes going on: forgetting to turn the stove off…ordering the same things several times from catalogues, getting lost coming to a child’s birthday party…. Nine years later she is still with us but incapacitated. My sister Claudia and I walk by the flowers she planted and say: ‘Hi, Mommy.’ I think she will live ‘til 100 because she is in those flowers.” Among the guests present were: former NYC Police commissioner William Bratton (forsaking Los Angeles to return to the Big Apple), gala honorees John and Margo Catsimatidis and Muffie Potter Aston.
The senior Israeli official’s tone was dire. In only a few years, the Iranians would be ready to launch a nuclear bomb. He minced no words. “If Iran is not interrupted in this program by some foreign power, it will have the device in more or less five years.”
Nowhere has the truism that politics makes strange bedfellows seemed truer than in New York’s 39th City Council district.
The battered image of Hadassah, the American women’s Zionist organization, may be harmed further by the disclosure earlier this month that its former chief financial officer was a mistress to Bernard Madoff — even as she sat on the committee that invested the charity’s funds with Madoff’s $50 billion Ponzi scheme.