AMERICA-ISRAEL FRIENDSHIP LEAGUE
Bankers Are Dreamers,
Just Don’t Say It Aloud
Story and Photos by Tim Boxer
ICHARD GERE, who made his third visit to Israel last spring, claims he knows more people in Israel than he does in New York. A surprise guest at the America-Israel Friendship League dinner at the New York Hilton, the actor declared, "My prayer for Israel is for a real strong and compassionate peace."
AIFL chairman Kenneth Bialkin presented the organization’s Partners for Democracy Awards to Bank Leumi president Galia Maor, Bank Hapoalim chairman Shlomo Nehama, Lehman Brothers vice chairman Harvey Krueger, and Mortimer Zuckerman, publisher of the New York Daily News and editor in chief of US News & World Report.
After Rabbi Arthur Schneier of Park East Synagogue offered the benediction, Krueger challenged the rabbi’s description of bankers as visionaries and dreamers.
"No one ever said that before," Krueger said. "I suppose it’s true, but you’re not supposed to say it aloud. You’re apt to lose clients."
But Israeli Vice Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was in complete agreement with the rabbi. He said Israel’s bankers had always been men of vision. "Bank Leumi and Bank Hapoalim helped create the state of Israel."