Playing the Numbers Game
At Israel Bonds in Palm Beach

By Tim Boxer

abbi Reuven Bulka of Ottawa, Israel Bonds rabbinic cabinet chairman, saw the 25th anniversary of the organization’s Prime Ministers Club as a propitious event.

He pointed to the dais and said, “Add up the numerical equivalent of Israel Bonds president Gideon Patt, Israeli Ambassador David Ivry and Sen. Joseph Lieberman and you get 2000.”

Israel Bonds chairman Burton Resnick
(right) presents award to Sen. Joseph
Lieberman at Palm Beach dinner

He added, “What does that mean? Frankly, nothing.”

In order to emphasize the point, he said that 613 is also the Ottawa area code.

That did not restrain Lieberman one bit. He’s a politician, you know, so he jumped right in.

“Speaking of gematria,” the senator from Connecticut said, “add up 5760 and you get 18. So this will be a year of life and hope.”

Ivry, Israel’s new ambassador to the U.S., made his first public address to a Jewish group at this dinner at the Ritz-Carlton in Palm Beach, Fla.  

Ivry, Ehud Barak’s appointee who replaced Likud’s Zalman Shoval, says that diplomats “usually say a lot, do nothing, and achieve even less.”

The former commander of the Israel Air Force promised to work on his diplomatic skills: “I’ll speak little, do more, and achieve much.”

Israel Bonds board chairman Burton Resnick presented awards to some members of the Prime Ministers Club, composed of individuals in North America who invest more than $25,000 in bonds every year.

James Emden, a New York realtor, and Barbara and Jay Rosenberg of Dix Hills, Long Island, were in the group of 32 honorees.

Lieberman still remembers the day in 1989 when he was sworn in. After the ceremony, Sen. Paul Simon of Illinois told him, “I just had a conversation with your mother-in-law. She reminds me what Sen. Hubert Humphrey once said: Behind every successful man there is a surprised mother-in-law.”

Lieberman, the lone Orthodox Jew in the senate, said the Israelis must wage peace on two fronts – with the Arabs and with themselves.

“The reason Barak reopened peace negotiations with Syria,” he said, “was because it’s easier to talk peace with Assad than with the Orthodox rabbis.

“We can teach Israel brotherhood,” he added. “A nation that is divided will not long stand, no matter how strong.”

Marlene Post, the Prime Ministers Club chairman, served as the vivacious emcee of the program. When she announced that the dinner had raised $71 million in bond sales, Lieberman was astonished.

“In one night,” he marveled, “you raised more money than George W. Bush raised all last year!”


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