Jewish National Fund - We Only Have ONE ISRAEL

Eye on People 3


Many distinguished guests attended the 'Awards Banquet' Dinner of Respect for Law Alliance (RFLA) which took place recently at the American Museum of Natural History in NYC. It was, as expected, a great success. Gen. (Ret) Arthur Gerwin, the founder-president of RFLA was the emcee of this unforgotten evening. You may define this dinner as 'Gen. Gerwin's Performing Art.' Certainly he developed a unique kind of event with his original ambience.

The following contributed to this event: U.S. Navy Bank Northeast, Diva Carol Kaszar, NYPC Emerald Society Pipe and Drums, Rabbi Dr. Donald B. Sobel, Monsignor Harry J. Byrne, Ms. Patricia L. Francy, Brigadier General Myron S. Lewis Aus (Ret), Hon. Barry W. Mawn and others.

The following were the awards recipients: Military Award to Gen. John P. Jumper, USAF Commander, Air Combat Command; Law Enforcement Awards to Special Agent Steven A. Bongardt and to Special Agent Ali H. Soufan from the F.B.I.; to Thomas E. Boylan, N.Y. State Police, Captain Robert Murphy, MTA Police Department; Hon. Bernard B. Kerik, Commissioner, Police Department, NYC, received RFLA's Leadership Law Enforcement Award; Prof. David Gergen, the famous media expert and editor at large for US News and World Report received RFLA's Journalist Award; The International Leader Award went to the famous diplomat who pointed out that Iraq is a permanent danger to world security, Ambassador Richard Butler from Australia; and the distinguished Congressman Ben Gilman, who could not attend the ceremony, received RFLA's Congressional Leader Award.

Among the officers of RFLA are: Chief Judge Gregory W. Carman, Judge Harold Tompkins, Barbara Gerwin, Esq., Judith Livingston Moore, Esq. and Ms. Patricia L. Francy.

Gen. (Ret) Arthur Gerwin, founder-president of Respect for Law Alliance (RFLA) recently hosted, at the request of the State Department, a guest from China: Ma Jinhau, Deputy President, Supreme Court of Jilin Province. The guest was honored at a party at the Harmonie Club in Manhattan, with RFLA's prestigious US-China Friendship Medal. The guest met with many NYC and US judges and with representatives of the FBI, NYPD, and other law enforcement leaders as well. Ma Jinhau also was hosted at a special reception at 'Sweet and Tart' restaurant.

NEW YORK - Youseff A. Nasr, president and chief executive officer of HSBC Bank USA and its American holding company HSBC USA Inc., was honored at a State of Israel Bonds testimonial dinner on Thursday, May 17, at the Grand Hyatt New York in Manhattan.

Nasr will be presented with the builder of Israel Award for his and HSBC's support of the Israel bonds program to strengthen Israel's economy. Richard Berenson, senior partner of the accounting firm of Berenson & Company LLP, was also honored at the dinner. Berenson received the Imre J. Rosenthal Achievement Award.

Upon becoming HSBC president and CEO in 1999, Nasr took the helm of one of the nation's leading financial services organizations. With combined assets of $83 billion and more than two million personal customs and 200,000 commercial and industrial customers, it is the third largest depository institution in New York State and has more branches throughout the state than any other bank.

Nasr joined the HSBC Group in 1976 after earning BA and MA degrees from Cambridge University and an MBA degree from Harvard University. Presently, he also serves as the Group's general manager for the United States, Mexico, and Central America.

Nasr has been instrumental in making HSBC one of only two banks in the greater New York area to participate in Israel Bonds' Note Financing Program. In communal life, he is a director of the New York Clearing House and the New York business Council and a member of the Lincoln Center Consolidated Fund's Leadership Committee.

Gen. (Ret) Ephraim Sneh is a talented Israeli (Labor) politician. Today he serves as a minister of transportation. He came to a press party which was sponsored by El Al's Cyril Stein, the great P.R. Director. He told the guests at the party that Israel would like to see more American Jewish tourism. Jews show pride, visit Israel. He said that this year EL AL will start its long process of privatization. Also he pointed out that Israel's Executive Jet is doing well.

Sneh, the son of the famous Israeli great leader Moshe Sneh, is also a physician like his father was. Michael Meir, EL AL's North American Director Alon Pinkas, Yehuda Jacob also attended this press party. All are worried as to the near future of the Israeli tourism as a negative reaction to the on-going wave of Palestinian Hizbullah terrorism.

The Lower East Side Tenement Museum (212-431-0233, ext. 440) features a new program: American Dreams: Plays About New York City and Immigrant Experiences (from June 7th to August 9th, 2001). The plays will be staged at 90 Orchard Street. The following are the playwrights: Stephen F. Kelleher, Nelson Rodrigues, LuLu LoLo, Florence Yoo, Julia Cho, Theresa Linnihan, Michael A. Johnson, Trisha Arlin, Susan Murakoshi, Luis Valdez and Ralf Sevush.

This Immigrant's Theater Project was founded in 1988 by Marcy Arim.

A unique event at the Council on Foreign Relations in NYC: former CIA Directors, Stansfield Turner (1977-1981), William H. Webster (1987-1991), R. James Woolsey (1993-1995), and John M. Deutch (1995-1996), discussed the following topic: The CIA from Carter to Clinton: What's Next?

It was an illuminating short event. Daniel L. Schorr was the moderator. The four experts discussed many issues. They agreed that the CIA's mission today is the same as it was in the past although the 'Cold War' is over. But Deutch said that our circumstance has been changed and the CIA does need a new rethinking, a new view, since the world of 1947 does not exist anymore. But we have issues of terrorism and weapons of mass destruction. Woolsey argued that there is room for stealing secrets but one can collect material without stealing. The four discussed issues such as 'covert actions.' We still need them but they must be discussed time and again. Turner said that some 'coverts' were failures. (The attempt to murder Castro!) Often they must be according to our values of morality and democracy. The four justified the support for the Mujahadin in Afghanistan: "Bin Laden was not trained by the U.S." said Webster. All agreed that covert actions must be used in the future as an alternative, as an option: "Recently, only 1% of the CIA's budget was allocated to covert actions" said Woolsey.

The four discussed the order not to murder the heads of the states: "I was pressured to murder Khomeini" revealed Turner. The four agreed that America should not target heads of state. Woolsey revealed that the CIA does not engage in industrial espionage and it does not enrich American corporations with secrets 'stolen' from other countries!

The four also discussed the CIA's failure to predict the collapse of communism in the USSR and the 1973 Yom Kippur War. They also expressed belief that the National Security Agency will be a great tool in the future.

Robert Weisberg, a famous media personality and a special consultant to television stations (HBO, Bravo and AMC) was honored by CAMERA (The Committee for Accuracy in the Middle East in America). CAMERA was established in 1982 and has a membership of 35,000 people. The ceremony took place at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, Manhattan. Senator Daniel P. Moynihan was the guest speaker and Eli Hertz was the dinner's chairman.

Weisberg received CAMERA's prestigious award "2001 Emet Award". Ms. Andrea Levin is the president of CAMERA, and Leonard Wisse, its chairman. Among the activists and the board members are: Saul Below, Rep. Dr. Tom Lantos, Ruth Popkin, Prof. Ruth Wisse, Cynthia Ozick, Prof. David S. Wyman, Sen. Rudy Boschwitz, Senator Charles Grassley, Merv Adelson, Saul Stern, Alan G. Hevasi, Mandel I. Ganchrow and others.

NEW YORK - State of Israel Bonds' Architects, Designers, Engineers & Builders Division honored noted architect Hugh Hardy, a founder of Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer Associates, at its annual testimonial luncheon on June 12, 2001 at The St. Regis.

Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations was the guest speaker at the luncheon, at which Hardy received the Builder of Israel Award for his leadership in the Division's program to strengthen Israel's economy. Widely known for his restoration projects, hardy is overseeing the restoration of the historic Central Synagogue, which was badly damaged in a 1998 fire. He previously directed the restorations of two major city landmarks - Radio City Music Hall and Bridgewater - and the New Amsterdam and New Victory theaters, which sparked the revitalization of 42nd Street. Hardy is also part of two teams to convert the Farley Post Office into the new Pennsylvania Station and to develop plans for new facilities in support of New York's bid for the 2012 Olympics.

Leonard Koven of Atkinson Koven Feinberg Engineers and Douglas C. Mass of Cosentini Associates were general chairmen of the luncheon.

The Yivo Institute (at 15 W. 16th Street, Tel: 212-246-6080), presents: "Ida Kaminska (1899-1980): Grande Dame of the Yiddish theater" a small new exhibition of a legend in the Yiddish theater. Many guests came to the recent opening night reception. Krysia Fisher was the curator. Among the guests were: Bruce Slovin, Yivo's president and the founding father of the Center for Jewish History, Yivo's distinguished archivist Marek Web, Ewa and Joseph Blass, David Roguff, Dr. Michael C. Steinlauf.

Ida Kaminska became famous after she won the Oscar for her role in The Shop on Main Street. She lived in Poland until 1968. She performed from the age of seven. Her mother Esther Rokl Kaminska was also a legend in the Yiddish Theater in Poland. In 1923, Ida Kaminska established the Warsaw Yiddish Art Theater and after World War II, she established the Jewish State Theater in Warsaw.

She was always dedicated to the best of the Yiddish playwrights: Avrum Goldfaden, Jacob Gordin and Shalom Aliechem. She was married to two great actors: Zygmunt Turkow and Meir Melman.

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