“There is nothing on my calendar that we have to do that does not involve the JCRC, Ido Aharoni, Israel’s consul general in New York, told the guests at the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York at its April 30 Gala at The Pierre.
A Jewish event that ran like clockwork, the evening honored New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg with JCRC’s Visionary Leadership Award; Silvercup Studios’ CEO Alan Suna and his brother, Studio president Stuart Match Suna received JCRC’s Community Builders Award. Adena Friedman, CFO and Managing Director of The Carlysle Group was given JCRC’s Corporate Leader Award.
Among the networking, glad-handing, and photo-opping politicians, guests and communal leaders were former NYC mayor David Dinkins, and mayoral wanabees NYC Council Speaker Christine Quinn, NYC public advocate Bill de Blasio, New York City Comptroller John Liu, the city’s former comptroller William Thomson, CEO and president of Red Apple Group, John Catsimatidis, and helping everyone feel safe, NYC Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.
Accepting the award from JCRC Executive and CEO Michael Miller, Bloomberg joked: “You should watch yourself age twelve years in four minutes,” a reference to a video overview of his years in office. “JCRC is the kind of group that pulls New York City together, “ said the mayor. “When I was a young man, studying for my bar mitzvah, if I told my rabbi that one day I would be receiving a Visionary Leadership Award from one of the most important Jewish organizations in the world, he would have said I was a meshugener.”
Lamenting that “245 days from now I will be unemployed,” he petitioned: “Anybody got any ideas? I work for $1 a year.”
Then, soberly reflecting on “The Boston Tragedy and 9/11,” Bloomberg cautioned: “ We have a responsibility as Americans and particularly, I think, as Jews, to help everyone. And if we don’t help others and give them the right to practice their religion, then someday, somebody will come along and take away our right to practice our religion. God help us all if we ever forget that message.”
Touting the Suna Brothers’ philanthropic involvement, award presenter and event co-chair Jeffrey Levine chairman, Levine Builders & Douglaston Developers, said: “Alan is board chairman of the Queens Museum of Art which has doubled in size under his leadership, chairperson of the Children’s Tumor Foundation and founder of The Hamptons Film Festival.”
Levine noted that he has been friends with the Suna Brothers — at whose studios “The Sopranos,” “Sex and the City,” “30 Rock,” “When Harry Met Sally,” “The Devil Wears Prada” were filmed — for so long that “I am their brother from another mother.”
At the event: JCRC president Alan Jaffe, past JCRC president Martin Begun, dinner vice chair Howard Rubenstein, president, Rubenstein and Associates, Jerry Levin, President, UJA-Federation of New York, Bob Greifeld, CEO, The Nasdaq OMX Group, Inc., JCRC-NY Board Members Amy Rubenstein, Jeffrey Wiesenfeld.