The 'Bonds' - Inside Their Hearts
by Gad Nahshon
"Where were you - Jews? Where were you when the killing was going on? When the six million were being burned and buried alive in the lime pits, where were you? Where was your voice crying out against the slaughter? We didn't hear any voice. There was no voice. You Jews of America! You Jews of England! Strong Jews, rich Jews, high-up Jews; Jews of power and genius! Where was your cry of rage that could have filled the world and stopped the fires? Nowhere! Because you were ashamed to cry out as Jews. You would rather let us die than speak out as Jews! A curse on your silence! That frightened silence of Jews that made the Germans laugh as they slaughtered. You with your Jewish hearts hidden in your American boots! You - with your Jewish hearts hidden behind English accents - you let the six million die - rather than make the faux-pas of seeming a Jew. We heard - your silence - in the gas chambers. And now, now you speak a little. Your hearts squeak - and you have a dollar for the Jews of Europe. Thank you. Thank you!"
This is a monologue by Marlon Brando as 'David' in Ben Hecht's Broadway hit, A Flag is Born, Sept. 5, 1946. This event is sponsored by the Bergson Group.
The 'Bonds' in their young hearts. They are young and rich. They are great Americans. And to be a great American means to express love and solidarity with Israel in days of crisis, in days when Jews in Israel and even in other countries are being assaulted. They came to attend the tribute luncheon which took place, recently, at the Hilton in NYC. No one dared to miss this event.
All the guests are members of the Israel Bonds Real Estate New Leadership Cabinet. They also came to honor Archie Gottesman, a young executive vice president of Edison Properties and young Roger A. Silverstein, senior vice president of Silverstein Properties. Roy L. Appel in the cabinet's chairperson together with Jonathan R. Serko.
Many guests of honor, many celebrities and many great touching speakers attended, but the most important fact was the unique ambience of deep love for Israel. One can learn from it about a new revival of Jewish support for Israel. One by one the guests declared their pledges to buy Israel Bonds. You could cut their expression of devotion to Israel with a knife!
Archie Gottesman expressed all of the young guests when she said: "I once asked my parents as to the terrible silence of Jews throughout the Holocaust era. Why? They responded: 'True, we did not do enough.' Today, we must do everything to guarantee the survival of Israel so that our grandchildren will not ask us: where were you when Israel was attacked."
400 young real estate celebrities, the ones which used to be defined as 'Generation X,' came to the event and demonstrated the fact that they support Israel, many like their older parents.
The Israel Bonds network has a long future. Furthermore, you do not have to be Jewish in order to support Israel. As justice Brandeis used to say: "To be a good Zionist is to be a good American." There is a strong, unusual bond between America and Israel. The highlight of this event was the fact that N.Y. State Controller, H. Carl McCall, came to the luncheon and bought on the spot, $10 million of Israel Bonds! (Retirement Fund).
In the last three years he bought Israel Bonds for $78 million! He said: "Israel continues to show unmatched investment potential." This lunch was an opportunity to introduce the new president of the 'Bonds', Joshua Matza, who was appointed by Ariel Sharon. Matza, a leader of the Likud party, a 14th generation Sabra from Jerusalem who served in the Knesset many years and was also Health Minister, discussed in his speech the need to support Israel. He stressed the importance of the American-Jewish support to Israel. Matza, who fought for the establishment of Israel as a young man, rejected the claims of the Arab propaganda as lies. He praised the behavior of the I.D.F. in the last 'Defense Shield' and called on the Jews to stand behind Israel.
Israel's consul-general, Alon Pinkas, was the keynote speaker. He explained Israel's new approach: no negotiations with Arafat because he is a corrupt leader. The P.L.O. must reform itself. And of course Arafat must stop his terrorist approach to the conflict and he must declare a cease fire. Pinkas believes that peace might be seen on the horizon.
Other speakers included Daniel R. Tishman of Tishman Construction Corporation, chairman of Israel Bonds' Real Estate and Construction Division, and New Leadership Cabinet chairmen Roy L. Appel of CB Richard Ellis and Jonathan R. Serko of Cushman & Wakefield. Highlights of the guests of honor:
Archie Gottesman is an executive vice president and owner of Edison Properties, the parent company of Edison ParkFast, Manhattan Mini Storage, The Hippodrome Office Building, and other real estate interests. She has held various positions since starting at Edison in 1987. Archie has been active in Israel Bonds since 1987. She also sits on the Women's Board of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center and is a member of the Young Men's/Women's Real Estate Association and the Steering Committee of the UJA's Real Estate Division.
Archie is a graduate of Northwestern University. She is married to Gary DeBode, Edison's chief operating officer. They live in Summit, NJ, with their daughters Lilli, Sophie, and Ella; their dogs Daisy and Bella; and an occasional foster dog on the ways to finding a permanent home.
Roger A. Silverstein is senior vice president of Silverstein Properties, a developer, owner, and manager of over seven million square feet of commercial real estate in the greater New York area and more than two million square feet in New Jersey, Connecticut, and Florida. The firm recently completed River Place, a 921-unit West Side luxury rental unit, and has also developed hotels, retail properties, and high-rise condominiums and converted over 1,000 residential units to cooperative ownership.
Roger directs leasing for midtown and downtown Manhattan properties and coordinates leasing and management for 529 and 530 Fifth Avenue, 570 Seventh Avenue, 120 and 140 Broadway, and 120 Wall Street. He has been active in Israel Bonds for 10 years and also sits on the boards of the National Jewish Center for Immunology and Respiratory Medicine and the Realty Foundation of New York.
Daniel R. Tishman is the general chairman of the Bonds' Real Estate and Construction Division together with James B. Emden, Harry Macklowe, Bertram L. Podel and Sheldon H. Solow.
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