FTER China barred the Dalai Lama and his Buddhist followers from ever setting foot in Tibet, the Buddhist leader sought advice from Elie Wiesel. "You’ve been in exile for 2,000 years. We are just going into exile. Teach us how to survive."
Wiesel, the conscience of the Jewish people, revealed the secret of Jewish survival: "The Jews took two things with them when they went into exile – the Book and a sense of solidarity."
The Nobel peace laureate was the keynote speaker at an Anti-Defamation League dinner at Cipriani honoring the chairman/executive officer of L’Oreal, Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones.
As ADL national chairman Abraham Foxman presented Sir Lindsay with a menorah, emcee Larry King said, "I kiss it every time I go into the house." After a groan from the 500 guests, King quickly recovered: "Oh, that’s a mezuzah. At my age one thing blends into another."
On a recent trip to Israel, where L’Oreal is the only cosmetic factory in the country Sir Lindsay and his wife planted a tree and traveled everywhere. "I felt an immense joy," he said, "on being so warmly and genuinely welcomed into the Israeli family. Cristina and I felt part of that community and we loved every minute of it."
He said that he would take his company’s incoming CEO, Jean-Paul Agon, to Israel in the spring to "demonstrate L’Oreal’s irrevocable commitment to Israel and our excitement at being part of its future."
As Lauren Attal, co-president/CEO of L’Oreal USA, made hamotzi and cut the challah, King remarked, "He’d make a good mohel."