Abraham “Barry” Cohen and Tovah Feldshuh
Tom Shechter, left, is welcomed to the AFRMC gala by
Nava Barak and Alan Dershowitz.
Anne Mear (right) presents shofar to Eli Wallach and Anne Jackson
Photo by Jack Miller
RABIN MEDICAL CENTER
T the American Friends of Rabin Medical Center eighth annual dinner, Tovah Feldshuh introduced Anne Meara endearingly as "my favorite shiksa."
That didn’t sit well with Meara. "Stop calling me shiksa!" she exclaimed. "Don’t you accept converts? Give me a break."
Meara, a graduate of St. Agnes High School in Rockville Centre, L.I., converted to Judaism 52 years ago when she married comedy partner Jerry Stiller.
Meara stepped up to present a shofar to Eli Wallach and wife, Anne Jackson.
"We have a shofar," Wallach said. "So we’ll have a car tonight."
The 570 guests at Cipriani Wall Street found that funny, including chairman Abraham Cohen and executive director Joshua Plaut of AFRMC; dinner honoree Frederick Frank, vice chair of Lehman Brothers; Dr. Eyran Halpern, chief executive of Rabin Medical Center, and Nava Barak, president of Israel Friends of Rabin Medical Center.
Tom Shechter, 21, came to the dinner from Israel to thank the hospital for the treatment he received at the hospital last year. A rocket fired from Gaza slammed into his tent at an IDF base, leaving him with shrapnel in his head, arm and stomach. He spent six days at the hospital.
In his keynote address, Alan Dershowitz of Harvard Law School said he’s worried about America’s future leaders.
"On 50 percent of the college campuses there is not a single administrator or professor who is prepared to speak up for Israel. There are dozens who speak against Israel."
When he was engaged to speak in behalf of Israel at Columbia University, Dershowitz tried to get a faculty member to introduce him. Not one agreed. He settled for a student to do the honors.
"Don’t worry about today’s political leaders," he said. "They support Israel. But tomorrow’s leaders, who are today’s students, I worry about them."