Reception at Ambassador Aharoni's Residence, N.Y.
Ambassador Ido Aharoni, Israel’s Consul General in New York, and his wife Julie, hosted a special reception at their residence on October 4, 2011 marking the renewal of Beit Hatfutsot.
The residence was filled to capacity with a prestigious assembly of friends, benefactors, and dignitaries, representing the diversity of the Jewish community celebrated at Beit Hatfutsot.
Ambassador Aharoni stressed the importance of Beit Hatfutsot in redefining the evolving relationship between Israel and world Jewry. He underscored that in his position as Israel’s representative in the tri-state area, he has a keen appreciation of Beit Hatfutsot’s role in reinforcing understanding of and connection to Israel as a Jewish state.
He welcomed Ambassador Alfred H. Moses, and his wife, Fern Schad, and congratulated Ambassador Moses on being the honoree at Beit Hatfutsot’s Gala on December 1, 2011. He underscored that Ambassador Moses' private and public careers are informed by his passion for Jewish values, his love for Israel and commitment to the Jewish people.
Indeed, in his remarks, Ambassador Moses emphasized the centrality of the Jewish people. In his words, “We need to celebrate 3,000 years of Jewish history, not just survival, but also the glories and accomplishments embedded in Jewish life and the unifying thread of purpose that brings meaning to our lives as Jews. Jewish peoplehood encompasses all the pillars of Jewish life across the religious spectrum and beyond to those for whom religion is not central to their Jewish being. The new Beit Hatfutsot will be the Center for the Jewish People, to which all Jews can relate and celebrate what being Jewish means for them.”
Ambassador Alfred H. Moses
Avinoam Armoni, CEO of Beit Hatfutsot invited all those present to visit Beit Hatfutsot and witness the transformation taking place. There were cheers and applause as he read the government’s official announcement of its additional grant of 24 Million NIS for the development of the new museum. "Beit Hatfutsot is the museum of the Jewish People and an educational center that is engaged in strengthening the sense of belonging and pride among all groups of the Jewish People around the world," said a statement issued by the Prime Minister's Office. “It is of supreme importance vis-à-vis strengthening the historic awareness of the younger generation in Israel and the Diaspora by telling the fascinating story of the Jewish people, including its culture, art and contributions to humanity as a whole."
Avinoam Armoni, Shula Bahat, Fern Schad, Ambassador Alfred H. Moses,
Ambassador Ido Aharoni, Julie Goodman-Aharoni
Patrick Gallagher, the renowned museum designer, who is leading the team planning the new core exhibition, spoke about the vision behind the developing plans: "The Museum of the Jewish People will be a profound experience in self-discovery and defining Jewish identity, through the lens of history all the while framing a dynamic perspective to the future".
Ambassador Ido Aharoni
Cheryl Fishbein, President of the American Friends of Beit Hatfutsot, and Judith Stern Peck, Chair of the Gala Steering Committee, encouraged those attending to take part in forthcoming events in New York, namely, the opening on November 2, 2011 of Beit Hatfutsot’s exhibition “Let My People Go! The Soviet Jewry Movement, 1967-1989” at the Museum of Jewish Heritage and the December 1, 2011 Gala at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in New York City.
Shulamith Bahat, CEO of Beit Hatfutsot of America, indicated that this flurry of activity reflects Beit Hatfutsot's aspiration to make a mark in America by providing content to various Jewish institutions through programs such as My Family Story, an interactive educational program and international competition sponsored by Manuel Hirsch Grosskopf; and seminal exhibitions such as “Light and Shadows: The story of Iran and the Jews” sponsored by the Y&S Nazarian Family Foundation, with additional generous support from the David Berg Foundation, Diamond Charity Foundation, Global Mashadi Jewish Federation, Iranian American Jewish Federation of New York, Maccabee Foundation and individual philanthropists.
Judith Stern Peck & Avinoam Armoni