The Shmooze

Jean Shafiroff Feted at JBFCS Benefit

By Masha Leon

  • Print
  • Share Share

It was wall-to-wall photo-op smiles as Jean Shafiroff, stunning in an azure blue strapless above the knee silk dress, and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg faced the Red Carpet photo blitz at the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services 2013 Spring Benefit on April 24. Proceeding from The Plaza’s Palm Court, past its “Great Gatsby” costume exhibit, to the Terrace Room, the 375 guests — who helped raise $1.3 million for JBFCS — looked up at the terrace’s balcony level from which the mayor joked : “This is another of those times I am singing for my supper…You are so generous. You are an organization that has done an enormous amount in the past century to help New Yorkers in need. Whether it is providing residential foster care, child abuse prevention facilities…JBFCS [a beneficiary of UJA-Federation of New York] has been in the forefront of reducing the stigma that’s often associated with mental illness…No one is turned away because they cannot pay [or] are too difficult a case.” The mayor praised JBFCS for “being on the ground helping families in need in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.”

Before departing for the “next place where maybe they will feed me,” the mayor congratulated the evening’s honorees: Seymour R. Askin, a JBFCS advisor, Jerold D. Jacobson, a partner at Proskauer Rose, LLP, Paul Levine, JBFCS’s Executive VP & CEO and Jean Shafiroff, a JBFCS board member. Often described as “a socialite” the nomenclature overlooks her solid credentials which include an MBA from the Graduate School of Business at Columbia University, a BS in physical therapy from Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, and a Wall Street finance career.

Karen Leon
Jean Shafiroff and Mayor Bloomberg

During my private chat with Shafiroff, I mention her recent Metropolitan Museum of Art near catastrophe: two days earlier, she literally caught fire at a gala at the museum when her red bouffant “Oscar de la Renta” gown was singed by votive candles on the floor near the museum’s Temple of Dendur’s reflecting pool. A quick-thinking guard saved her from what could have been a Joan of Arc moment. Shafiroff dismissed this tidbit with a wave of her hand. “It’s not about me,” she said. “We’re a means to an end. JBFCS changes the lives of people. It’s truly a beautiful, beautiful charity.” Shafiroff, whom I have dubbed “the lady of the stunning gowns,” always touts JBSFC at nearly every event where we chance to meet.

Among the long list of JBFCS trustees and supporters at the dinner: JBFCS trustee Lynn Korda Kroll, John Ruskay, executive vice president & CEO of UJA, and socialite Sharon Bush mother of Lauren Bush Lauren.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: spring benefit, jewish board of family and children's services, michael bloomberg, mayor, jewish, jean shafiroff, new york city

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.




Find us on Facebook!
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
  • A grumpy Jewish grandfather is wary of his granddaughter's celebrating Easter with the in-laws. But the Seesaw says it might just make her appreciate Judaism more. What do you think?
  • “Twist and Shout.” “Under the Boardwalk.” “Brown-Eyed Girl.” What do these great songs have in common? A forgotten Jewish songwriter. We tracked him down.
  • What can we learn from tragedies like the rampage in suburban Kansas City? For one thing, we must keep our eyes on the real threats that we as Jews face.
  • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
  • "Sometime in my childhood, I realized that the Exodus wasn’t as remote or as faceless as I thought it was, because I knew a former slave. His name was Hersh Nemes, and he was my grandfather." Share this moving Passover essay!
  • Getting ready for Seder? Chag Sameach! http://jd.fo/q3LO2
  • "We are not so far removed from the tragedies of the past, and as Jews sit down to the Seder meal, this event is a teachable moment of how the hatred of Jews-as-Other is still alive and well. It is not realistic to be complacent."
  • Aperitif Cocktail, Tequila Shot, Tom Collins or Vodka Soda — Which son do you relate to?
  • Elvis craved bacon on tour. Michael Jackson craved matzo ball soup. We've got the recipe.
  • This is the face of hatred.
  • What could be wrong with a bunch of guys kicking back with a steak and a couple of beers and talking about the Seder? Try everything. #ManSeder
  • BREAKING: Smirking killer singled out Jews for death in suburban Kansas City rampage. 3 die in bloody rampage at JCC and retirement home.
  • Real exodus? For Mimi Minsky, it's screaming kids and demanding hubby on way down to Miami, not matzo in the desert.
  • 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.