Smokey Night for the Bronfmans
By TIM BOXER
Photos by Star Black
HEN you get 662 black-tied people, heavyweights from the world of commerce, for a benefit for New York’s wonderful 92nd Street Y, you don’t expect lots of levity. Especially when they raised a hefty $2,330,000 to support the vast array of excellent programs at the Y.
Leave it to the perky Lynn Sherr, a correspondent for ABC’s 20/20, to strike the right note of merriment. She told of meeting up with Dr. Ruth Westheimer, Anna Quindlen and Helen Thomas.
Guess who taught her the most? (Chuckles and laughs from the business bigwigs.)
“Actually she taught me something about grandmothers,” Sherr said. One of Dr. Ruth’s many books is Grandparenthood.
Edgar Bronfman Jr, Smokey Robinson,
Sherr said she actually read this in an Israeli newspaper: “Divorced man seeks partner to light Shabbat candles, go to shul together, build a sukka, make a seder. Religion not important.”
There’s nothing like humor to grab the attention of the corporate biggies gathered in the Marriott Marquis ballroom.
Sherr tickled the funny bones of Wendy Belzberg and Strauss Zelnick, a former BMG ceo; Maria Cuomo Cole and Kenneth Cole; Dr. Mathilde Krim, AMFAR founder; Business Week president William Kupper Jr.; Stephen Lash, Christie’s chairman; Universal Studios honcho Ron Meyer; hotelman Ian Schrager; philanthropist Michael Steinhardt; Loews ceo James Tisch; Vera Wang, and John Weinberg of Goldman, Sachs.
Sol Adler, Y executive director, presents
award to Edgar Bronfman as Edgar Jr.
“I was at the Four Seasons,” Sherr said, “when everybody suddenly stopped talking and looked up to see who just walked in. It was Robert Rubin.”
“People were probably wondering how he could afford to eat here,” Rubin responded.
Rubin, the former Treasury secretary and now a director at Citigroup, presented the 92nd Street Y Global Citizenship Award to Edgar Bronfman, director of Vivendi Universal, and former Seagram chief, and his two sons, Edgar Jr., Vivendi Universal executive vice chairman, and Matthew, Y president and Isabell Perfumes chairman.
Robert Rubin, left, and
The elder Bronfman was accompanied by his wife, the artist Jan Aronson. Matthew was with wife Lisa Belzberg. Edgar Jr. came with wife Clarissa and his two daughters, Vanessa, 20, and Hannah, 13, from his ex-wife Sherry.
“Hannah had a bat mitzvah in October at the Park Avenue Synagogue,” he told me proudly.
Besides his mishpocha [family], Edgar Jr. also brought the night’s entertainment –Smokey Robinson. The legendary superstar went on to bring the house down with his high-energy beat. Several guests were moved to jump up and rock in the aisles!
Vera Wang and Tami Mack
Cheryl and Phil Milstein, Y chairman
Maria Cuomo Cole
It was an evening the elder Bronfman will remember for the rest of his life. “Usually,” he said, “your progeny gets honors after you’re in the grave. It’s unbelievably wonderful for me to see my sons honored by their fellow Jews and non-Jews.”