On The Go


Diplomats From 40 Nations Dine, Sing ‘Dayenu’ at Seder

By Masha Leon

“This is about as ecumenical as it gets,” master of ceremonies Alan King said at the April 4 festive Boys’ Town of Italy “Ball of the Year” at the Waldorf-Astoria.“They needed laughs, so they hired two Jews,” joshed King, referring to himself and gala chairman Billy Crystal. “I was present at Billy’s bris,” King…Read More


Songwriter Denise Rich: ‘Inside of Me Is a Black Woman’

By Masha Leon

“Inside of me is a black woman,” declared songwriter Denise Rich, who hosted the April 2 Foundation for Ethnic Understanding’s annual spring benefit at her lavish Fifth Avenue penthouse. “It’s why I write the songs I do,” Rich told the 150 guests. “The world needs more than ever… to…Read More


As Time Goes By: Ruth Gruber Reflects

By Masha Leon

“If the [New York] Herald Tribune were around today, I’d be in Iraq,” the 91-year-old Ruth Gruber told me at the March 24 reception for WILD PAC at Patti Kenner’s Park Avenue apartment. Founded in 2001, WILD PAC is a nonpartisan organization that supports congressional leaders who advocate protection of America’s publicRead More


Wishing for Cultural Ties To Keep U.S., French Allied

By Masha Leon

French champagne and canapés greeted arrivals at the March 19 “Sounds French: A Festival of New Music from France” reception at the Fifth Avenue headquarters of the French Embassy’s Cultural Services. The evening celebrated the month-long series of performances of works by French composers at New York City concert halls.Read More


Aid for Youths Comes in a Variety of Sizes and Shapes

By Masha Leon

At the March 11 “Bunny Hop” fundraiser for the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center’s pediatrics department, I asked Billy Bush, new host of NBC’s “Let’s Make a Deal” and event co-chair, exactly how he was related to President Bush, his cousin. Smiling broadly, he replied, “I’m just a guy named Bush. Isn’t…Read More


Esther Drescher? ‘The Nanny’ Tried New Role for Purim

By Masha Leon

Strains of “Hooray for Hollywood” greeted guests filing into the Waldorf-Astoria’s Grand Ballroom for the Jewish Museum’s March 5 Masked Purim Ball, in part a celebration of the museum’s concurrent exhibition, “Entertaining America: Jews, Movies and Broadcasting.”Among the 600 black-tie and masked revelers who helped raise a record…Read More


‘The Righteous’: An Anthology of Heroes

By Masha Leon

Following a two-year correspondence, I finally met historian Sir Martin Gilbert at the February 19 launch of his latest opus, “The Righteous: The Unsung Heroes of the Holocaust” (Henry Holt & Co.), at the Anti-Defamation League’s headquarters. In October 2001 I received a letter from London from Gilbert — author of 40…Read More


Big Brass on Board for Intrepid ‘Salute’

By Masha Leon

The “winds of war” were on hold aboard the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum for the February 14 Intrepid Museum Foundation’s Salute to Freedom Award dinner honoring Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Greetings by the foundation’s chief operating officer, BillRead More


It’s Down Home Southern Comfort at Federation Gala

By Masha Leon

Cowboy hats, jeans on bottom and chic on top — “Southern Comfortable” — was the dress code at the February 11 UJA-Federation of New York Entertainment, Media & Communications Division bash at the Regent Wall Street Hotel. Joel Katz, the first attorney inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame and “a definitive leader…Read More


Reaching Out to the Unaffiliated; Honoring Pooch Power

By Masha Leon

As the orchestra played a waltz, the black-tie crowd filed into the Waldorf-Astoria’s ballroom for the National Jewish Outreach Program’s annual dinner February 4. Master of ceremonies and philanthropist Sam Domb — a Holocaust survivor introduced by NJOP founder Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald as “a close and constant advisor to Prime…Read More





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