“I feel so proud of our theatre’s accomplishments,” Bryna Wasserman , National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene ‘s Executive Director told the packed house at the Museum of Jewish Heritage Edmond Safra Hall at its December 12 Yiddish music-centered “Golden Gala” honoring Liev Schreiber .
“Our family is committed to creating national food allergy awareness and to find a cure” Karen Mandelbaum Gala Co Chair of the 19th Annual Food Allergy Ball and grandmother of three with life-threatening food allergies told the black tie guests at the Waldorf-Astoria. “Since we met last year, two people died from food allergy episode—a NJ high school senior and a sophomore at Dartmouth. They had nothing in common…but were food allergic. Senseless deaths …we want to make sure this does not happen again and again.”
Acknowledging diplomats from Austria and Germany among the 400 guests at the “Broadway Salutes The Blue Card” Gala at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall, Blue Card president Gia Machlin informed that to date “Blue Card has distributed $30 million—100% going directly to survivors.” Masha Pearl Blue Card Executive Director “thanked everyone involved with the Blue Card.”
With honorees Kissinger, Weill and Greenberg seated on stage, Kissinger —who’d been a keynote speaker at the Home for 30 years—thanked the Home “for looking after my mother for the last decade of her life.”
Jack Rudin—who died at 92 on December 2—had been among the 300 “brothers” and “sisters” [including the Forward’s Sam Norich ] at the Jewish Labor Committee’s Human Rights Award March 14, 2001 Dinner at the New York Sheraton that honored then AFL-CIO president of the Building and Construction Trades Department Edward Sullivan and Jack Rudin’s younger brother Lewis Rudin.
Bernie Marcus , philanthropist, pro-Israel activist and co-founder of Home Depot was among the honorees at the ZOA’s November 20th Justice Louis D. Brandeis Award Dinner at the New York Hyatt. Introduced by Dinner Co-Chair Michael Leven —whose comment: “I’ve never been to a hardware store—I’m a Jew!” elicited chuckles and a few groans, was rescued by Marcus—a good sport—who called out to the audience: “How many people here shop at Home Depot?” Applause, hoots and hollers! . “Thank you very much”, said Marcus as he led off with an oft told joke about the “old rabbi who prays at The Wall for years, seven days a week for some sixty years and when asked by a reporter what he prays for, replies: “I pray for peace in the world, that my family be healthy, that the Jews and Arabs support one another.” The reporter says” That’s wonderful! And how do you feel about that?” The rabbi shrugs: “It’s like talking to the wall.”
Columnist Masha Leon recalls the time Donald Trump was honored by the UJA — and the first time he served a kosher meal at Mar-a-Lago.
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Annual New York Tribute Dinner at Cipriani 42nd Street on November 7th showcased a Q & A between Elie Wiesel Award recipient Canadian Lt.-Gen. Romeo Dallaire (Ret) and Katie Couric .
In “Mifune: The Last Samurai” a new documentary by director/producer Steven Okazaki [at the IFC Center through December 1] he cites Steven Spielberg : “Without Akira Kurosawa and Toshiro Mifune, there would be no “Magnificent Seven”, Clint Eastwood wouldn’t have “A Fistful of Dollars” and Darth Vader wouldn’t be a Samurai…. Toshiro played a wild character…from the earth itself, as if he’d been created by forces of seismic activities underground. We don’t make the heroes—It’s up to the audience to turn a character into a hero and the power is in the performance of the actor even more than the director.”
Our columnist Masha Leon remembers her friend Ruth Gruber, a fearless documentarian, photojournalist and memoirist.