In introducing Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper at the Appeal of Conscience Foundation awards dinner, Henry Kissinger made note of his own public service as National Security Advisor in the White House and Secretary of State in the 1970s.
“The only reason I mention it,” he said, “is because never before and never since has the White House and the State Department been as amicable as it was then.”
“My father died three times,” said Gilad Sharon. He recited the Kaddish as 350 invited guests stood solemnly at an evening of remembrance for Ariel Sharon, Israel’s 11th prime minister, on Feb. 26 at the Fifth Avenue Synagogue on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.
Sid Caesar, the pioneer of television sketch comedy who died on Feb. 12 at home in Beverly Hills, grew up in a Yiddish speaking home in Yonkers. He lived above the family diner, the St. Clair Buffet, that catered to the European immigrant workers from a nearby hat factory. His Russian-born mother Ida held forth at the cash register; his three older brothers also helped out.
“Harvey is the only one who can get me here,” said Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Ron Prosor, as American Friends of Tel Aviv University honored Harvey Krueger, a Wall Street legend who’s currently vice chairman of Barclays Capital at the Pierre Hotel.
But Harvey was nowhere in sight in the ballroom packed with 400 friends and fans.
It began in 1969 when Yitzchak Dovid Grossman, a sixth generation rabbi from Meah Shearim in Jerusalem, discovered Israel’s street children consisting of wandering orphans, drug addicts, abused kids, estranged from their poor families and without faith.
Rory Lancman, who represented Queens in the New York State Assembly for 16 years, recalls the day he was schlepping grocery bags out of the car at his house. At that moment U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer rolls by on his bicycle.
Yossi Klein Halevi made aliyah from the U.S. at the start of the Lebanon war in August 1982. That was a time when the country was defined by a right-wing narrative and left-wing narrative.
He found people from Peace Now and Gush Emunim fighting together in the war and fighting each other in the street.
“After the Six Day War of 1967,” he said, “We were still a family but a dysfunctional family. The schism between left and right could be very bitter but it cannot lead to annihilation because we share the same tent.”
Eugen Gluck, a major supporter of the town of Bet El located in Shomron, a stone’s throw from Ramallah, appealed to Israel “not to make any concessions to divide Jerusalem which could cause it to deteriorate into the terrorist base that Gaza has become.”
Ron Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress (WJC), called upon Hillary Clinton to present the organization’s second annual Theodor Herzl Award to Marion and Elie Wiesel last month at the Waldorf-Astoria.
“We have come to know Hillary Clinton as our former First Lady, former United States Senator, and former Secretary of State and our future…”
Lauder didn’t have to finish.
Clinton recalled a lecture Wiesel gave at the White House on the eve of a new millennium. “He emphasized that indifference is more dangerous than anger and hatred,” she said.