Martin Indyk (from left), Howard Berkowitz
and Abe Foxman

Ambassador Is
A Hairy Job

Story and Photos by TIM BOXER

HEN U.S. Ambassador Martin Indyk arrived from Israel to address a dinner of the Anti-Defamation League, he was schlepping his tuxedo. He was surprised to discover that the banquet at the Plaza, honoring Howard P. Berkowitz, ADL’s former national chairman, was not black tie after all.

Upon reflection, it made sense. Berkowitz is renowned for his colorful bow ties, a permanent part of his sartorial setup. So if his dinner is formal, how could he stand out?

Dinner chairman Paul Roth asked Mrs. Indyk how he should introduce her husband.

Ellen and Murray Koppelman

“Say he’s a very nice man, very smart,” she said, “and before he took this job he had a full head of hair.”

The ballroom was overflowing for the Berkowitz tribute, including such as Ann and Kenneth Bialkin, May and Arnold Forster, Ellen and Murray Koppelman, Lester Pollack, Peter May, Daniel Tisch, and Howard’s brother, Steven, an investment banker in Chicago, among many others.

“Howard,” Roth said, “your prowess as an investor has made it possible for your many friends and family to buy tables tonight.”

Ann and Kenneth Bialkin

Roth, who’s a lawyer, recounted how his father, Zuckerbrot, came from Eastern Europe at age 10. He applied to law school and was rejected. He took his mother’s maiden name, Roth, “for which we are eternally grateful,” Howard said, and applied again. He was admitted.

As national chairman Glen Tobias put it, “We at ADL not only hope for a better society but we make it happen.”

Steven and Howard Berkowitz

National director Abe Foxman presented Berkowitz with the organization’s Americanism Award and quipped, “Only in America can we make a seder plate an Americanism award.”

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