Gala Honoring Ambassador Alfred Moses
An Evening to Remember
Beit Hatfutsot Gala Honoring Ambassador Alfred Moses
500 prominent guests from across the US, Israel and around the world came together for an exceptional Gala evening celebrating the renewal and future of Beit Hatfutsot. The huge crowd that gathered at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in New York City on December 1st paid tribute to the renaissance of Beit Hatfutsot as the Center and Museum of the Jewish People, a dynamic educational and cultural institution dedicated to strengthening Jewish identity, heritage and peoplehood worldwide.
Ambassador Alfred H. Moses was the Gala honoree. He was presented with the Yakir Beit Hatfutsot Award for his outstanding commitment to the Jewish people, and as a devoted leader and benefactor of Beit Hatfutsot.
Accepting the award, Ambassador Moses said,that the new core exhibition at Beit Hatfutsot “will show the wholeness of Jewish life through the centuries, not just the tragedies, but also the joys – the closeness of families and communities. The Museum of the Jewish People will allow viewers to see themselves as part of the Jewish story by tracing their heritage, while looking at contemporary Jewish life and exploring future possibilities."
Ambassador Moses is Chair of the Beit Hatfutsot International Council, Co-Founder and COO of Promontory Financial Group, LLC, chairman of UN Watch, and honorary president of the American Jewish Committee.
"The Gala marks the beginning of a new chapter in the history of Beit Hatfutsot," added Avinoam Armoni, Beit Hatfutsot Chief Executive Officer, who is responsible for implementing the strategic plan for the new Museum. Under Mr. Armoni’s tutelage, Beit Hatfutsot has begun a comprehensive transformation to rebuild the Museum of the Jewish People as a novel and relevant center that emphasizes pluralistic expressions of Jewish identity and dilemmas of contemporary Jewish life, while simultaneously telling the ongoing and unique story of the Jewish people.” Conceptual plans for the new Museum of the Jewish People at Beit Hatfutsot, scheduled to open at the end of 2014, were presented by renowned museum designer Patrick Gallagher.
Beit Hatfutsot saluted the Bnai Zion Foundation, one of the oldest and most respected Zionist organizations in America and one of Beit Hatfutsot's earliest and enduring partners. Beit Hatfutsot also saluted three organizations that connect young Jewish leaders to their distinct cultural legacies and the larger Jewish community: Dor Chadash, 30 YEARS AFTER, and RAJE: Russian American Jewish Experience.
The youngest person to address the Gala attendees was 10-year old Miles Povich Agus. Miles summed up the impact of the A-B-See-Do exhibition on our youngest visitors as he described his experience at Beit Hatfutsot during his visit last summer. “At Beit Hatfutsot, you can see Judaism through the ages, as I compared Jewish rituals and customs practiced all over the world to my own practice at home in Los Angeles. Using the database, I found out my great grandpa Nathan Povich lived in the shtetl Butrimonys in Lithuania and moved his family to Maine in 1889. The new children’s wing, A-B-See-Do, is like a huge indoor jungle gym, a place for kids of all ages and from all countries to hang out together and play fun games that everyone can understand, even if they don’t speak the same language.”
Beit Hatfutsot was honored to have the support of dedicated, talented and prominent individuals who contributed to making this event a success.
Eugene A. Ludwig and Leonid Nevzlin co-chaired the Gala. Ludwig is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Promontory Financial Group, LLC, and previously served as vice chair at Bankers Trust/Deutsche Bank and Comptroller of the Currency for former President Bill Clinton (1993-98). Leonid Nevzlin is Chair of the Beit Hatfutsot Board of Governors, and is an international businessman and philanthropist who established the NADAV Foundation and initiated the Museum of the Jewish People.
Prominent leader and philanthropist Judith Stern Peck, a member of the Beit Hatfutsot Board of Governors served as Chair of the Gala Steering Committee. Judith's active involvement and commitment helped ensure the success of the Gala.
Among those notable personalities who served on the Gala Tribute Committee were: former Vice President and US Senator Walter Mondale; former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright; Senators Ben Cardin, Joseph Lieberman and Sheldon Whitehouse; Irina Nevzlin Kogan, President of the NADAV Foundation and member of Beit Hatfutsot's Board of Directors; Alisa Doctoroff, Chair of the Board, UJA-Federation of New York; Dan Doctoroff, CEO and President of Bloomberg, L.P.; Richard Plepler, Co-President of HBO; Paul Tagliabue, former NFL Commissioner and Chairman of the Board of Directors Georgetown University; Elaine Wolfensohn, a philanthropist focusing on education and arts education; Sir James Wolfensohn, former President of the World Bank; George Rohr, real estate developer and philanthropist; Irene Pollin, founder and president of the Sister to Sister: The Women’s Heart Health Foundation; Morris W. Offit, Chairman of Offit Capital Advisors, and Nancy Offit; Charles Bronfman, businessman and philanthropist; Claudio Pincus, President of The Quantic Group, and Penny Pincus; Ambassadors Ido Aharoni, Moshe Arad, Stuart Eizenstat, David Ivry, Max Kampelman, Sallai Meridor, Richard Schifter, and Clifford Sobel; Honorable Matthew Nimetz, prominent lawyer, businessman and diplomat; Prof. Deborah Dwork, Director of the Strassler Family Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies in Clark University; Major Generals (res.) Amos Yadlin and Eitan Ben Eliahu.
A special thank you is given to Ambassador Stuart and Fran Eizenstat for sponsoring the table center pieces which comprised of translucent images from the Beit Hatfutsot permanent exhibition and architectural renditions of the new Core Exhibition.
Heartfelt thanks are also extended to all those who joined the celebration from near and far, whose commitment enables Beit Hatfutsot to fulfill its vital mission of providing visitors with a deeper understanding of Jewish identity and peoplehood.
Dr. Cheryl Fishbein
Angelica Berrie, Morris & Nancy Offit
Hannah Hamburger, Lizika Sagy, Gideon Hamburger
Tanaz Eshaghian, Ellie Cohanim, Sharon Baradaran
Harvey Krueger, Avinoam Armoni, Marcia and Stephen Saft
Jeffrey Solomon, Cheryl Fishbein, Phil Schatten, Jaime Kelstein
Dor Chadash and 30 YEARS AFTER
Salai Meridor, Alisa Doctoroff, Jacob Perry, Eitan Ben Eliahu
Robert Rifkind, Robert Elman
Rita Spiegel, Harvey and Connie Krueger
(Photographs by Ellen Dubin and Mark Von Holden)