American Friends of Beit Hatfutsot
Beit Hatfutsot of America is the programmatic and institution-building arm of Beit Hatfutsot in North America. It is the conveyor of the vision and mission of Beit Hatfutsot, the transmitter of the content produced by Beit Hatfutsot, the vessel to bring to North America Beit Hatfutsot’s program offerings and exhibits; establishing strategic relations with compatible institutions and organizations such as museums, JCCs, synagogues, federations, Jewish learning centers, Israeli representatives, etc. American Friends of Beit Hatfutsot (AFBH), a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization representing the interests Beit Hatfutsot, as a resource development vehicle. It provides support to the ongoing and prospective programs and exhibits of Beit Hatfutsot.
Highlights from 2016 and 2017
A preview of the important exhibition, “Operation Moses: 30 Years After” which opened at Beit Hatfutsot in May, 2016, presents the story of the absorption of Ethiopian individuals and families in Israel, from Operation Moses to the present was part of a road show aimed at bringing visibility to Beit Hatfutsot and the challenges of the integration of Israelis as well as the accomplishments.
The road show was held in New York, Miami, Palm Beach, San Diego and California at the homes of prominent leaders in each community.
The exhibition provides the stage of relating the stories of ten families documented in Beit Hatfutsot’s photos. It examines their lives from the time they were photographed until the present, using texts and short videos; referring to their struggles with displacement, emigration and absorption, and their reception by Israeli society.
Beit Hatfutsot 38th Anniversary Celebration – A Tribute to Leon Charney and Honoring Tzili Charney
On September 27, 2016 Beit Hatfutsot celebrated its 38th Anniversary and paid tribute to the life and legacy of Leon H. Charney and honored Tzili Charney at a memorable event in New York City.
The event was mesmerizing and buzzed with excitement as hundreds of guests filled the Park Avenue landmark building where young and seasoned leaders engaged in conversation and as speakers revealed plans for the next phase of the renewal t Beit Hatfutsot.
We were proud to be able to pay tribute to Leon Charney and honor Tzili Charney whose passion for Jewish history and culture and their love of the Jewish people led them to establish the Leon H. Charney Center at Beit Hatfutsot. This new digital center will encompass Leon’s entire Jewish intellectual, journalistic and musical legacy. This enormous treasure will be added to Beit Hatfutsot’s vast on line databased and be available, free of charge, to visitors of all backgrounds at the venue and online. In addition, Leon Charney will be recognized by Beit Hatfustot as one of its Lamed Vavnicks, the 36 visionaries and committed contributors driven by passion to sustain and elevate the world they encounter.
Tzili Charney was presented with the Yakirat Beit Hatfutsot, the highest award the institution has to confer and in her acceptance speech stressed “Beit Hatfutsot is a vibrant and dynamic enterprise, a global center for the shared agenda of Israeli Society and world Jewry. Beit Hatfutsot is a magnet for Jews the world over, a hub for Jewish Peoplehood and the heart and soul of Jewish life, dealing with the fundamental aspects of the global Jewish experience and the interaction of Jewish civilization with other cultures.”
Nati and Mickey Charney accepted the award on behalf of their late father and spoke movingly about their parents. Nati stated: “The sentiment behind this night is incredible.” Mickey stressed: “It is not important how much you earned and what you achieved, what is important is how you helped other people.” Wolf Blitzer read the inscription on the award: “In tribute to the life and legacy of Leon Charney for his outstanding commitment to peace and justice and to the vitality and continuity of the Jewish People in Israel and worldwide.” Daniel Pincus, AFBH’s President, highlighted the presence of many young people to whom Jewish Peoplehood is empowering. It is a comprehensive framework, transcends geography, enables the exploration of manifold dimension of Jewish identity, connects the personal and the communal and serves as a vehicle to relate to the world at large.
Outstanding Jewish community leaders attended the event, including distinguished guests such as Ingeborg and Ira Rennert, Ambassador Dani Dayan, Sofia and Mike Segal, Ruth and Sandor Frankel, Jerome Chazen, Malcolm Hoenlein, Alisa Doctoroff, Rabbi Dr. Elie Abadie, Nina Weiner, Wolf and Lynn Blitzer, Stephen and Sandra Greenberg, Richard Stone, Eric Goldstein, Deborah Halberstam, Bryna Wasserman, Eitan Wertheimer, Claudio and Penny Pincus, Sidney Banon, Wunan Xiao, who headed a delegation from China, and many more.
The David Krakauer Acoustic Klezmer Quartet opened the event and a highlight of the evening was the screening of an original video commissioned by Beit Hatfutsot which depicts stirring renditions of the Untaneh Tokef prayer currently on display in the Alfred H. Moses and Family Synagogue Hall in the New Wing of the Museum. “The diversity of the Jewish people is beautifully depicted in the sixth century Untaneh Tokef prayer,” Senator Lieberman enthused, “which is so fitting to screen as we approach the High Holidays.
The evening was a testament to Beit Hatfutsot’s vision of celebrating Jewish life in variety of unique and transforming approaches that inspire people to associate and identify, passionately, with the Jewish people and Israel. It has a universal significance, as it tells how a people can live among other peoples, cultivate distinctive culture and value system, contribute to the society at large, deal with multiple identities and thrive notwithstanding trials, tribulations and major challenges.
Join our family of friends of Beit Hatfutsot. Contributions to the American Friends of Beit Hatfutsot are tax deductible to the extent of the law.
Shula Bahat, CEO, Beit Hatfutsot of America:
Gloria Golan, Executive Director, American Friends of Beit Hatfutsot:
The American Friends:
Daniel Pincus, President
Sam E. Bloch, Chairman
Ruth Shamir Popkin,
Rita Spiegel, Vice President
Stephen M. Greenberg*, Treasurer
Elissa Blaser, Secretary
Shula Bahat, CEO, Beit Hatfutsot of America
Gloria Golan, Executive Director, American Friends of Beit Hatfutsot
Gisele Ben Dor
Dr. Aaron Feingold*
Dr. Cheryl Fishbein*
Harvey M. Krueger Z”L*
Milton and Tamar Maltz
Ambassador Alfred H. Moses
* Past President