Supporters of Israeli Students
was an excessive amount of praise between the military and
civilians at a gala dinner in December at The Plaza for the
American Friends of the Open University of Israel.
Upon receiving the
organizationís Yigal Alon Award, Gen. (ret.) Shaul Mofaz
earned the admiration of the gold-plated audience for his
accomplishments in the IDF and current service in the Knesset.
Mofaz turned to
Ingeborg Rennert, president of the American Friends, and
declared, "As an old soldier I salute you for your support of
one of the best educational systems in Israel."
Messer-Yaron reported that Open University of Israel now has
close to 55,000 students.
presented the Young Leadership Award, accompanied with lavish
praise, to Rebecca and Edward Sugar who heads an
"For the last eight
years," he said, "Rebecca ran the best post-birthright Israel
programs in the country. She is responsible for turning
thousands of young people into proud Jews."
Rebecca tried to reign in
the compliments, but Steinhardt cut her off: "I can say whatever
I want. I want to say one more thing before Iím kicked off this
stage. Iíll make a seven-figure gift upon the birth of Rebeccaís
That garnered the biggest
salute of the evening from the 275 guests, including Ingeborgís
husband Ira Leon Rennert and daughter Nina Rennert
Davidson, American Friends chairman Malcolm Thomson, Elie
Wiesel, new Israel Bonds chairman Richard Hirsch,
Israel Bonds president Joshua Matza, Cantor Joseph
Malovany and Rabbi Yaakov Kermaier of Fifth
Avenue Synagogue, Jeffrey Wiesenfeld, Police Commissioner
Ray Kelly, and Israel Museum director James S.
Snyder who also received an award at the dinner.