Gala in New York to mark the opening of the new wing and establishment of the center of Leon Charney

Friends and supporters of Beit Hatfutsot recently held their annual anniversary celebration in New York. Over 250 guests attended the gala, where plans for the next phase of the renewal of the Museum were revealed. The crowd was abuzz with talk of the recently inaugurated New Wing and the Renewal Plan of the Core Exhibition. “Since May, over 55,000 guests visited Beit Hatfutsot to discover the unique and ongoing story of the Jewish People,” Irina Nevzlin, Chair of Board of Directors told the crowd. “To continue our efforts to complete The Museum of the Jewish People we need your support; we need your partnership in this outstanding endeavor.”

The evening was chaired by Steve Forbes, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of Forbes Media, and co-chaired by Ambassador Ido Aharoni, leading Israeli diplomat and dedicated friend to Beit Hatfutsot.

The event honored Leon and Tzili Charney for establishing The Leon H. Charney Digital Center at the Museum. The center will pay homage to Charney’s intellectual, journalistic and musical legacy. This digital collection, which includes TV programs, films, books and recordings, will be added to Beit Hatfutsot’s online databases which are free of charge and available to the public. The Charneys’ passion for Jewish history and culture — and their love of the Jewish people — led to the generous and impactful establishment of The Leon H. Charney Digital Center at Beit Hatfutsot.

“Beit Hatfutsot is a magnet for Jews the world over, a hub for Jewish Peoplehood and the heart and soul of Jewish life, dealing with the fundamental aspects of the global Jewish experience and the interaction of Jewish civilization with other cultures.” Said Tzili Charney.

The festive gala was planned by Daniel Pincus, President of American Friends of Beit Hatfutsot, Shula Bahat (CEO of Beit Hatfutsot of America) and Gloria Golan (Director AFBH). Outstanding Jewish community leaders attended the event, including distinguished guests such as Senator Joseph and Hadassah Lieberman, Ingeborg and Ira Rennert, Fanya Gottesfeld Heller, Harvey Krueger, Sofia and Mike Segal, Ruth and Sandor Frankel, Malcolm Hoenlein, Alisa Doctoroff, Rabbi Dr. Elie Abadie, Nina Weiner, Wolf and Lynn Blitzer, Stephen Greenberg (who was also the emcee), Eric Goldstein, Deborah Halberstam, Bryna Wasserman, Kenneth and Ann Bialkin, Eitan Wertheimer, Simona and Jerome Chazen, Claudio and Penny Pincus, Louise and Sidney Banon and many more.

The David Krakauer Acoustic Klezmer Quartet provided the musical entertainment, and a highlight of the evening was the screening of an original video commissioned by Beit Hatfutsot. The video, which depicts cantors performing the Unetaneh Tokef Yom Kippur prayer, is currently on display in the Alfred H. Moses and Family Synagogue Hall in the glorious New Wing of the Museum. “The diversity of the Jewish people is beautifully depicted in the sixth century Unetaneh Tokef  prayer,” Senator Lieberman enthused, “which is so fitting to screen as we approach the High Holidays.”

Steve Forbes Honoring Leon Charney at the gala

Steve Forbes Honoring Leon Charney at the gala