The Shmooze

Chelsea Clinton Receives Interfaith Award from AJC

By Masha Leon

  • Print
  • Share Share

A poised in a black suit and white shirt Chelsea Clinton, recipient of the American Jewish Committee’s Interfaith Award at its Spring Luncheon, brought back the memory of the 16-year old First Family daughter when I first met her in August 1996 at President Bill Clinton’s 50th birthday-cum-Democratic Fund raiser trifecta.

At the ($1500 ticket) crush which took place at the New York Sheraton Hotel, a poised, smiling Chelsea in a black silk satin dress — next to mom (Hillary Clinton) in an all pink ensemble — made the first cut into the $14,000 vanilla 300 lb. (kosher by William Greenberg, Jr.) American-flag-shaped cake.

This was followed by a Radio City Hall star-studded extravaganza emceed by Whoopi Goldberg at which 6000 people ($300-$600 ticket) sang “Happy Birthday, Mr. President!” and ended with a late night $15,000/plate private dinner. Teenage Chelsea was poised and never stopped smiling.

This time around, 350 guests at The Pierre looked on as a blonde Clinton and Prof. Linda Mills —co-founders of the Of Many Institute at New York University — received the AJCS’ Interfaith Leadership Award for their program which offers academic courses and dialogue events to “deepen understanding among different faiths on campus and in the NYC community in general.” The Institute was inspired by the “increasing cooperative relationship between Imam Khalid Latif and Rabbi Yehuda Sarna, NYU’s Muslim and Jewish chaplains.

Ellen Dubin Photography
Chelsea Clinton

During the 30-minute conversation with AJC Executive Director David Harris, Clinton — who serves on the boards of the School of American Ballet, Weill Cornell Medical College and “Common Sense Media,” (among others) and mommy-to-be, amplified: “I am deeply optimistic that this work will be taken up on other campuses and in other communities.”

Mills, Vice Chancellor for Global Programs and University Life at NYU, co-produced and co-directed the documentary film “Auf Wiedersehen: ‘Til We Meet Again,”exploring the intergenerational transmission of trauma from the Holocaust to 9-11. Mills is also directing (along with with Chelsea Clinton) a new documentary short called “Of Many,” about a friendship between an Orthodox Rabbi and Imam that unites a community around multi-faith dialogue and action.

Dr. Julie Gerberding, president of Merck Vaccines, was presented with the AJC’s Women’s Global Leadership Award by its president “Stanley Bergman.” A passionate advocate for sustainable solutions for global health, Dr. Gerberding served as Director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from 2002-2009 and led the agency through more than 40 emergency responses to public health crises including anthrax bioterrorism, SARS, food-borne disease outbreaks and natural disasters. She was named to Forbes Magazine’s 100 Most Powerful Women in the World in 2005-2008 and to TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2004.

Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: jewish, american jewish committee, chelsea clinton, interfaith

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!
  • "I’ve never bought illegal drugs, but I imagine a small-time drug deal to feel a bit like buying hummus underground in Brooklyn."
  • We try to show things that get less exposed to the public here. We don’t look to document things that are nice or that people would like. We don’t try to show this place as a beautiful place.”
  • A new Gallup poll shows that only 25% of Americans under 35 support the war in #Gaza. Does this statistic worry you?
  • “You will stomp us into the dirt,” is how her mother responded to Anya Ulinich’s new tragicomic graphic novel. Paul Berger has a more open view of ‘Lena Finkle’s Magic Barrel." What do you think?
  • PHOTOS: Hundreds of protesters marched through lower Manhattan yesterday demanding an end to American support for Israel’s operation in #Gaza.
  • Does #Hamas have to lose for there to be peace? Read the latest analysis by J.J. Goldberg.
  • This is what the rockets over Israel and Gaza look like from space:
  • "Israel should not let captives languish or corpses rot. It should do everything in its power to recover people and bodies. Jewish law places a premium on pidyon shvuyim, “the redemption of captives,” and proper burial. But not when the price will lead to more death and more kidnappings." Do you agree?
  •'s Allison Benedikt wrote that Taglit-Birthright Israel is partly to blame for the death of American IDF volunteer Max Steinberg. This is why she's wrong:
  • Israeli soldiers want you to buy them socks. And snacks. And backpacks. And underwear. And pizza. So claim dozens of fundraising campaigns launched by American Jewish and Israeli charities since the start of the current wave of crisis and conflict in Israel and Gaza.
  • The sign reads: “Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Zionists are not under any circumstances.”
  • Is Twitter Israel's new worst enemy?
  • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
  • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • 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.