Bintel Blog

Defying Threats and Madoff, the AICF Marches On

By Benjamin Ivry

  • Print
  • Share Share

Visitors to the America-Israel Cultural Foundation website see bad news and good in anticipation of this year’s gala fundraiser January 10th at Carnegie Hall. The bad news, announced in a banner: “Unfortunately, the bulk of AICF’s endowments were invested with Bernard L. Madoff Securities.” The good news, AICF is one of the few charities to underestimate its own impact, since its slogan, “Building a Better Israel through the Arts,” is far too modest. Since 1939, the AICF has handed out over 100 million dollars to Israeli artists and cultural institutions, thereby making the world a better place, not just Israel.

No single concert or event can encapsulate the AICF’s full range of scholarship support in music, art & design, dance, film, and theatre. At the January 10th event, some of the most touching performances will doubtless be by veteran performers whose scholarships date back to the 1950s, like the ardent violinist Miriam Fried and the warmheartedly engaging pianist Joseph Kalichstein.

Absent at Carnegie Hall but very much present on the world scene are some still-young past recipients like the pianist Ran Dank, whose rigorous performances of Bach are in the great tradition, and the remarkable clarinetist Moran Katz who plays with transcendent passion.

Another scholarship recipient is the multi-talented actor Itay Tiran, who combines the stage presence of a younger Ewan McGregor with a moving, Broadway-style voice. The jazz scholarship program has been especially strong, supporting the pianist Alon Yavnai, an interpreter of somber grace and eloquence and the Sonny Rollins-influenced alto sax player Uri Gurvich.

The serenely masterful guitarist Gilad Hekselman aptly comments on the AICF website: “It’s great that in a country that is constantly under threat, there is an organization so devoted to the arts. It’s rare! From a culturally developed reality — peace will come.”

Watch past AICF scholarship winner Sivan Magen, a spectacularly expressive harpist who plays at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall on Feb. 17.

Watch past AICF scholarship winner Inbal Segev, a radiantly vigorous cellist who performs a recital on March 10 at the West Bloomfield, Michigan’s Jewish MusicFest.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Alon Yavnai, Gilad Hekselman, Inbal Segev, Itay Tiran, Joseph Kalichstein, Miriam Fried, Moran Katz, Ran Dank, Sivan Magen, Uri Gurvich

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.


Comments
Andreas Carter Fri. Feb 19, 2010

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now. Keep it up! And according to this article, I totally agree with your opinion, but only this time! :)




Find us on Facebook!
  • "You wouldn’t send someone for a math test without teaching them math." Why is sex ed still so taboo among religious Jews?
  • Russia's playing the "Jew card"...again.
  • "Israel should deal with this discrimination against Americans on its own merits... not simply as a bargaining chip for easy entry to the U.S." Do you agree?
  • For Moroccan Jews, the end of Passover means Mimouna. Terbhou ou Tse'dou! (good luck) How do you celebrate?
  • Calling all Marx Brothers fans!
  • What's it like to run the Palestine International Marathon as a Jew?
  • Does Israel have a racism problem?
  • This 007 hates guns, drives a Prius, and oh yeah — goes to shul with Scarlett Johansson's dad.
  • Meet Alvin Wong. He's the happiest man in America — and an observant Jew. The key to happiness? "Humility."
  • "My first bra was a training bra, a sports bra that gave the illusion of a flat chest."
  • "If the people of Rwanda can heal their broken hearts and accept the Other as human, so can we."
  • Aribert Heim, the "Butcher of Mauthausen," died a free man. How did he escape justice?
  • This guy skipped out on seder at his mom's and won a $1 million in a poker tournament. Worth it?
  • Sigal Samuel's family amulet isn't just rumored to have magical powers. It's also a symbol of how Jewish and Indian rituals became intertwined over the centuries. http://jd.fo/a3BvD Only three days left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • British Jews are having their 'Open Hillel' moment. Do you think Israel advocacy on campus runs the risk of excluding some Jewish students?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.