The Wall Street community “may be a punching bag for the media at times,” noted Robert Kapito, the president of BlackRock and chair of the annual UJA-Federation of New York Wall Street Dinner, held here Monday evening. But that community is a leader in philanthropy, he asserted, noting that this year’s event, the granddaddy of UJA-Federation fundraisers, was the largest ever, with more than 1,700 attendees, and raising more than $26 million for the 2014 annual campaign.
Approaching this holiday weekend, as we ponder the next steps in the troubled U.S.-Israel relationship, we’re reminded of the story of the hen and the turkey checking the farmer’s menu the night before Thanksgiving. It called for a grand luncheon the next day of “scrambled eggs followed by the traditional festive meal.” Sadly, the turkey turned to the hen and said, “From you he wants a contribution; from me he wants a total commitment.”
When Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu complains about the “exceedingly bad deal” on the table in Geneva with Iran, U.S. officials, most notably Secretary of State John Kerry, have suggested that the Israeli leader has his facts wrong.
An interfaith initiative that bordered on the quixotic when it began five years ago — pairing synagogues and mosques for weekend-long programs that feature theological dialogue and cultural exchanges — has already grown into a symbol of how it is possible to cross religious barriers.