This was Benjamin Brafman’s 11th year emceeing the annual Tower of Hope gala of the Israel Cancer Research Fund in March at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in New York, and he continued his time-honored routine of starting off with witty banter.
The prominent criminal defense lawyer was introduced as someone you should never know professionally.
He had just come from court where he represented his latest client: New York State Senator Carl Kruger of Brooklyn whom the feds charged with running a bribery racket for taking $1 million in return for political favors.
This is a mother’s story. Her name is Miriam Peretz. She was born in Morocco. In 1964, in the dark of night, she was spirited out of the country and brought to Israel by the Jewish Agency.
She met Eliezer Peretz and settled into a new happier life. Through the years they were blessed with four sons and two daughters. Their sons became officers in the Israel Defense Forces. Their daughters married combat soldiers.
Elizabeth Taylor, the legendary Hollywood icon who died Wednesday, March 23, in Los Angeles at age 79, was perhaps the most famous convert to Judaism since Ruth.
When she wed the flamboyant producer Mike Todd (born Avrom Goldbogen), she wanted to renounce her Christian Science and espouse his Judaic faith. He talked her out of converting, believing she wanted simply to please him.
Out of a total of seven spouses, Todd was the only one she did not divorce. He died in a 1958 plane crash and left a weeping widow.
It was a momentous occasion for the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra’s annual Carnegie Hall concert on Feb. 22. It marked the orchestra’s 75th anniversary, conductor Zubin Mehta’s 75th birthday, and his 50th year as IPO conductor.
At the post-concert dinner at the Plaza Hotel, hosted by the American Friends of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, vice president and benefit co-chair Lauren Veronis couldn’t praise the maestro enough.
The National Yiddish Theater/Folksbiene has come a long way in its 96th season. In fact, the highlight of its annual cabaret dinner on Dec. 8 at the Bohemian National Hall on the Upper East Side, were two African American actors who brought the house down with their versions of classical Yiddish medleys.
Elmore James, a veteran of five Broadway shows and the Metropolitan Opera, dazzled with “Es Brent” and “Ot Azoy.” Tony Perry, featured in the film “Mickey,” thrilled the audience with his rendition of “Vos Iz Gevorn.”
Cory Booker seems to find himself in the right places at the right times. Two decades ago, as a 22-year-old Rhodes scholar at Oxford, he found himself one night at Shmuley Boteach’s L’Chaim Society, a Jewish cultural center on campus.
He was invited by a young woman for a Simchat Torah celebration. When he walked into Chabad House everyone froze. He looked for his date but found men with beards and skullcaps.