Freddie Roman, dean of the Friars Club, said that “Helen Thomas wanted very much to be here tonight but she’s getting a Woman of the Year Award from B’nai B’rith.”
That brought the house down at the Waldorf where he emceed the annual Friars Foundation Applause Awards on Tuesday. The $2 million raised from the event provides scholarships for the next generation of performers and musicians, among other Friars initiatives.
An enchanting Manhattan sunset cast a magical glow over the penthouse of the LVMH Tower on West 57th Street where a radiant Renaud Dutreil welcomed guests. Dutreil, the North America chairman of LVMH Moet Henessy Louis Vuitton, Inc., presided over a reception honoring Rabbi Arthur Schneier on his 80th birthday and Park East Synagogue on its 120th anniversary.
Synagogue president Herman Hochberg said this was a kickoff for the main event, a gala celebratory dinner, to take place on June 7 at the Waldorf-Astoria.
The Chief of the General Staff of the Israel Defense Forces, Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, brought 30 of his troops with him when he came to New York in March. He introduced his Dream Team at a Friends of the IDF fundraising dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria, which was emceed by syndicated radio host Monica Crowley.
“Shalom, y’all,” said Daniel, one of the Dream Team members.
Editor’s note: This is the first of a two-part series connected to the 90th anniversary of UJA-Federation of New York. The differences between the American Jewish community of the early 1900s and today’s American Jewry are vast and notable. Volumes have been written about the ethnic division that marked the earlier community, between the well-established, often wealthy German Jews, who began arriving in the 1840s and ‘50s, and the more than two million new arrivals from the shtetls of Eastern Europe, many of them mired in poverty and “Old World” ways.
Editor’s note: This is the second of a two-part series connected to the 90th anniversary of UJA-Federation of New York. The first part, concerning the federation’s history, appeared last week.
The help that Irina Dubrovskaya receives from the Hebrew Free Loan Society, one of the 24 charter agencies that launched what is now UJA-Federation, is similar to much of the aid the federation funded through the society in its early years.
With a provocative title like "If this is World War III, how do we win?" one might have thought a forum on terrorism would have presented a unified vision of what's in store for the world in the face of rising militant Islam and an imminent regime change in Iraq.
But there were glaring differences among such ex-heads of state as Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, Prime Minister Ehud Barak, Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt and Jordan's Crown Prince Hassan about how to view the world terror threat and, indeed, what is responsible for the current situation.
Last January, dozens of well-heeled New Yorkers gathered at Manhattan's Waldorf-Astoria to raise money for the archbishop of New York's last gesture toward the Jewish community he held so dear.
The archbishop's birthday dinner raised $1.5 million for the establishment of the John Cardinal O'Connor Distinguished Chair in Hebrew and Sacred Scripture at St. Joseph's Seminary, the Westchester institution that trains future priests. O'Connor wanted to teach seminarians greater respect for the Jewish roots of Christianity.
Had it been in the theater of war, it would have amounted to a surprise attack. After all, it's not every day that a celebrated general comes to a yeshiva that educates Russian Jewish youth deep in the heart of Brooklyn. And it's rarer still when that general drops a bomb, so to speak.
The junior high students of the Be'er Hagolah Institutes didn't know what hit them.
As Jewish supporters of both Sen. Alfonse D’Amato and Rep. Charles Schumer milled around their respective campaign headquarters Tuesday night, they all spoke of the “defining moment” that cost D’Amato his Senate seat — his now-infamous “putzhead” gaffe.
“It was a defining moment,” said former Democratic Deputy Mayor Abraham Biderman at the Schumer victory party at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in Midtown.