Bintel Blog

Defying Threats and Madoff, the AICF Marches On

By Benjamin Ivry

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.

Read more


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




Find us on Facebook!
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • "Mark your calendars: It was on Sunday, July 20, that the momentum turned against Israel." J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis on Israel's ground operation in Gaza:
  • What do you think?
  • "To everyone who is reading this article and saying, “Yes, but… Hamas,” I would ask you to just stop with the “buts.” Take a single moment and allow yourself to feel this tremendous loss. Lay down your arms and grieve for the children of Gaza."
  • Professor Dan Markel, 41 years old, was found shot and killed in his Tallahassee home on Friday. Jay Michaelson can't explain the death, just grieve for it.
  • Employees complained that the food they received to end the daily fast during the holy month of Ramadan was not enough (no non-kosher food is allowed in the plant). The next day, they were dismissed.
  • Why are peace activists getting beat up in Tel Aviv? http://jd.fo/s4YsG
  • Backstreet's...not back.
  • Before there was 'Homeland,' there was 'Prisoners of War.' And before there was Claire Danes, there was Adi Ezroni. Share this with 'Homeland' fans!
  • BREAKING: Was an Israeli soldier just kidnapped in Gaza? Hamas' military wing says yes.
  • What's a "telegenically dead" Palestinian?
  • 13 Israeli soldiers die in Gaza — the deadliest day for the IDF in decades. So much for 'precision' strikes and easy exit strategies.
  • What do a Southern staple like okra and an Israeli favorite like tahini have in common? New Orleans chef Alon Shaya brings sabra tastes to the Big Easy.
  • The Cossacks were a feature in every European Jewish kid's worst nightmare. Tuvia Tenenbom went looking for the real-life variety in Ukraine — but you won't believe what he found. http://forward.com/articles/202181/my-hunt-for-the-cossacks-in-ukraine/?
  • French Jews were stunned when an anti-Israel mob besieged a synagogue outside Paris. What happened next could be a historic turning point.
  • 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.