Tony Curtis, one of the last of the great Hollywood stars, was also one of those legendary celebrities who rediscovered Jewish roots and decided to give back.
Born Bernard Herschel Schwartz in the Bronx, Tony grew up with immigrant Hungarian parents, Helen Klein and Emanuel Schwartz who was a tailor in Manhattan. Tony had Hungarian on his tongue until he went to public school.
Every woman Eddie Fisher loved was non-Jewish, including such raving beauties as Ann-Margret, Angie Dickinson, Kim Novak, Judy Garland, Juliet Prowse and Mia Farrow among others. Every woman he married (five times) was non-Jewish except, of course, Elizabeth Taylor who converted at Temple Israel in Los Angeles before he married her.
The heartthrob of the ‘50s started out as a ten-year-old singer in his Philadelphia hometown. On the High Holidays He made $20 as the soloist with the tall white yarmulke.
At its annual dinner Gift of Life brings bone marrow recipients to meet their donors for the first time. You know it’s going to be an emotional moment when you see tissue boxes on every table.
Lillian Baharestani, 27, wanted to be a donor. She was raised in Queens where her father taught her to always help others. So at Syracuse University she organized a drive for swabs for the Gift of Life registry. As it turned out, her own swab saved a life.
Some 30 years ago Varda Rotter finished her work with a cancer research team at MIT and returned to Israel. She wanted to continue her work but didn’t have a penny in her pocket. Israel Cancer Research Fund came through for her, giving her a grant that enabled her to start her own research.
She said that ICRF told her: We give you the liberty to work. Go ahead and realize your dream.
Sheldon Silver had a good excuse for missing the 34th annual Met Council legislative breakfast at the Roosevelt Hotel on Sunday. “Only my grandson’s graduation keeps me from joining you in person” the state assembly speaker explained in a video message.
Met Council executive director/CEO William Rapfogel said the organization has been engaged in “deeds of kindness” by providing 100,000 New Yorkers with human services ranging from domestic violence counseling to kosher food pantries.