Vera Stern and
Dr. Ruth Westheimer.

For 40 Years Vera Stern
Nurtures Exciting Talent

Story and Photos by Tim Boxer

FTER working for forty years with the America-Israel Cultural Foundation, Vera Stern was in the spotlight at the 2002 gala concert at New York’s Kaye Playhouse. Along with her former husband, Isaac Stern, Vera guided an organization that supports Israeli artists with financial aid to enable them to pursue their craft.

Violinists Itzhak Perlman and Gil Shaham, past Israeli scholarship recipients, were on hand for the tribute to Vera.

“I’m a Vera Stern survivor,” Perlman quipped. “I have marks on my neck and shoulder.”

Shaham said that when he came to the U.S. he always found someone at the AICF office ready to help.

Chen Reiss, soprano who
performed at the gala, and
husband Nikki Gomez.

“AICF organized my first tours in this country,” Shaham said. “They even lent me a violin.”

Rabbi Shira Stern revealed that her mother, so much involved in the music world, does not even play an instrument. “She plays the radio!”

Vera presented the Aviv Award to former scholarship recipient Ohad Naharin, artistic director of the Batsheva Dance Company.

Dancers of the Juilliard Dance Ensemble performed several of Naharin’s works, including a daring interpretation of the Haggadah’s Ehad Mi Yodea.

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