CHILDREN OF CHERNOBYL
Michael Douglas Honors His Dad
The World Famous Superstar Issur
HE Spielberg matriarch, Leah
Adler, was here. Her daughters Nancy and Sue
Spielberg, were there. But son Steven Spielberg was
nowhere to be seen at the annual Chabadís Children of Chernobyl
(CCOC) dinner in November at Chelsea Pier 60 in New York.
Emcee Jon Voight explained that
Spielberg was in Richmond, Virginia, shooting Lincoln.
"I thought Lincoln was shot already!"
The spotlight that evening fell on
Kirk Douglas, who was to reach 95 on Dec. 9. His son Michael
Douglas presented him with an award on behalf of CCOC. The
organization rescues children exposed to radiation following
the1986 Chernobyl nuclear reactor meltdown in Ukraine. Since
1990 it has airlifted 2,786 stricken children to medical
facilities in Israel. More information at
Addressing his dad, Michael said, "Iím
honored to present the Children at Heart Award to Issur
Danielovitch Demsky. Issurís father came to the United States
from an area in Belarus downwind from Chernobyl."
"Thatís my boy!" Issur, aka Kirk,
Michael said itís particularly special
to stand here to aid children because his parents, through their
Anne and Kirk Douglas Foundation, have built 400 playgrounds in
the Los Angeles school district. He announced that the 401st
playground will be built at Chabadís Children of Chernobyl
campus in Israel.
Kirk said he lost track of all his
relatives in Ukraine and Belarus during the Second World War.
For all he knew he could have had a niece who was contaminated
by the Chernobyl radiation and came down with cancer. "Chabad
would have found her and given her a new life."
On videotape, Steven Spielberg said,
"As a Jew, as a parent, I want to congratulate Kirk Douglas for
the work you do."
CCOC also honored sisters Elle
and Dakota Fanning, Joshua Chaitovsky and Elaine Gold.