In 1995 Donald Trump [now president elect] was among the crush of “Who’s Who” guests at the December 18th “Minyan of the Stars” Chanukah celebration at the Pennsylvania Hotel was who had been invited by fellow real estate giant Abe Hirshfeld then celebrating his 75th birthday and who two days earlier on December 16 had placed a full-page ad in the New York Times inviting “the world” to the Minyan’s Chanukah Celebration cum birthday simcha.
Following Cantor Joseph Malovany’s Chanukah blessings, a beaming, tall Donald Trump—flanked by “birthday boy” Hirshfeld and his wife Zipora [in a smashing black velvet floor length gown who kept reminding me “I’ve known Donald since he was in diapers—was introduced by Minyan founder and celebrity maven Tim Boxer who told the crowd that then newlyweds Lt. Gov. Betsy McCaughey and her beaming husband Wilbur Ross would “later join everyone in singing Ma-O-Tsur.
Donald Trump told the crowd—that included then mayor hopeful Fernando “Freddy” Ferrer, Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa, Marilyn Michaels and Dr. Ruth Westheimer “I want you to know that theirs was a more beautiful wedding than mine. Now I have twenty-two blood-sucking lawyers in my office and they charge by the second and Abe sent me an eight-paragraph letter —seven of which are about me—which is why I am here.”
As Cantor Malovany [of Fifth Avenue Synagogue] began the Chanukah blessing—what first sounded like an echo, turned out to be the irrepressible Freydele Oysher [daughter of legendary cantor Moyshe Oysher] vocally counterpointing the cantor.
Minyan of the Stars which was founded in 1989 by Boxer and the late Joseph Papp, founder of the Public Theatre in New York had a following that included Leon Charney, Joan Rivers, Tovah Feldshuh, Bess Myerson, Wendy Wasserstein, Bruce Adler, Theodor Bikel and used to send a float up Fifth Avenue for the Annual Israel Day Parade.