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Power Benefits

Tovah Feldshuh with her mother Lillian
Tovah Feldshuh with her mother Lillian

Jason Arison and Malcolm Thomson
Jason Arison and Malcolm Thomson
Vera Stern and William A. Shwartz
Vera Stern and William A. Shwartz
Jonathan Goldberg and Wendy Marks
Jonathan Goldberg and Wendy Marks
New Villain Arises
To Hiss On Purim

IKE many other Jewish charities that fell victim to the greatest Ponzi scheme in American history, the America-Israel Cultural Foundation (AICF) lost a bundle from its fundraising coffers.

At the foundation's 70th anniversary gala at Carnegie Hall, president William A. Schwartz couldn't resist taking a swipe at the 21st century's role model of Haman.

"I can't say the name," Schwartz muttered. "B-B-Bernard Madoff."

Haman failed to destroy the Jews of ancient Persia but Madoff, like an evil magician, succeeded in making the fortunes of many vanish into thin air.

"A year ago," Schwartz continued, "AICF was put in jeopardy due to one man, B-B-Bernard Madoff."

At the sound of the name, Schwartz twirled a grogger [noisemaker] just as they do when they hear Haman's name on Purim.

Since 1939 AICF has been raising funds to help more than 13,000 promising talent in all fields of the arts in Israel. The late violinist Isaac Stern led the organization from 1964 to 2002 and is chairman in memoriam. His widow, Vera Stern, was president from 2002 to 2006.

Gala chairwoman Wendy Marks and Maddy Rosenberg presented the King Solomon Award to the Ted Arison Family Foundation, one of AICF's high-ticket supporters. Jason Arison, the 28-year-old chairman and CEO of the Israeli foundation, accepted the award.

The Aviv Award, normally given to an Israeli for artistic achievement, went to Tovah Feldshuh, making her the first American actress to receive it. Ally Sheedy made the presentation to her friend. "We did a movie together last year called Ten Stories Tall," Ally said.

The concert featured selections from Shubert, Schumann, Mendelssohn and Mozart by past scholarship recipients including such luminaries as violinists Pinchas Zukerman and Shlomo Mintz, and pianist Yefim Bronfman.

Tovah, acclaimed for her long-running one-woman Broadway play, Golda’s Balcony, closed the classical concert with a dynamic cabaret performance of Gershwin melodies. She thanked all for coming, especially her mother, Lillian, who is 98 years old. (She’s now 99. Mazel tov!)

"As Golda Meir said, 'There are people who love you and there are people who love you and show up.'"




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