Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The city’s daily life

Baby steps in Central Park. 3:00 PM. Photo: JH.
Wednesday, April 27, 2016. Cooler, yesterday in New York with dark clouds moving in the late afternoon providing a gentle rainfall in early evening along with even cooler temperatures.

The Social Season in New York is run mainly by the charities and philanthropies that bring people together both in volunteering and in massive fund-raising. Hundreds of millions are raised for hundreds of charitable and philanthropic organizations that serve not only the citizens of New York, but in many cases universally in the world. Many focus on specific medical, educational and cultural objectives, much of which is taken for granted as part of the city’s daily life.
Many of the lesser publicized perform some of the most crucial services to our citizens. I’m thinking specifically of those organizations like the neighborhood houses – Lenox Hill Neighborhood House, East Side House Settlement, Henry Street; like those providing food resources such as City Harvest, CityMeals on Wheels; and resources for children and young people as well as families such as New Yorkers for Children, New York Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Children, Publicolor, and many other distinguished organizations that make a profound difference in people’s lives.

Another area of such philanthropy that is gaining more and more prominence because of the increasing longevity of our citizens is what is classified as “eldercare systems” -- serving people in their 80s and 90s, many of whom are still actively engaged in their interests and intellectual and cultural pursuits, as well as taking care of each other (our brothers and sisters). One that comes to mind because of a recent fund-raising celebration is the New Jewish Home.
Gala MC Soledad O'Brien.
At its third annual Eight Over Eighty benefit gala at the Mandarin Oriental,  The New Jewish Home (formerly, Jewish Home Lifecare), one of the country’s largest and most diversified nonprofit eldercare systems, honored eight trailblazing New Yorkers over 80. More than 440 guests attended, raising $1.2 million for The New Jewish Home’s rehabilitation, skilled nursing, and home health care programs, which together serve 12,000 older New Yorkers each year.

The honorees, each of whom was celebrated in a video vignette created by filmmaker Nick Davis, were financier and jazz patron Bob Appel, singer and humanitarian Harry Belafonte, ballet great Jacques d’Amboise, philanthropist Joy Henshel, Broadway superstar Chita Rivera, legendary ad man Keith Reinhard, gossip queen Liz Smith, and Sesame Street’s Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch, Caroll Spinney. These accomplished men and women, still going strong in their 80s and 90s, prove that trailblazing is ageless.
Honoree Caroll Spinney; gala MC Soledad O'Brien; honorees Keith Reinhard and Joy Henshel; gala co-chair Tami Schneider; Audrey Weiner, CEO, The New Jewish Home; Elizabeth Grayer, Chairman, The New Jewish Home.
Honoree Harry Belafonte and Pamela Belafonte.
Gala co-chair Nancy Hirschtritt shares a moment with Oscar the Grouch and honoree Carroll Spinney.
Honorees Chita Rivera and Jacques d'Amboise. Audrey Weiner and Marcia Riklis.
Gala MC Soledad O'Brien, honoree Keith Reinhard, and gala co-chair Tami Schneider.
“Who better to teach us what it means to ‘age like a New Yorker’ than tonight’s extraordinary honorees?,” said Audrey Weiner, President and CEO of The New Jewish Home, quoting the organization’s  new tag line. Addressing the honorees she added, “If you represent what aging like a New Yorker is all about, sign me up." 

Among those on hand were the evening’s mistress of ceremony, Soledad O’Brien, Wynton Marsalis, Rex Reed, Valerie and Charles Diker, Carol and Dick Eisner, Francis L. "Shorty" Fraenkel, Eric Goldstein, CEO, UJA-Federation, Elizabeth Grayer, Chairman, The New Jewish Home; event co-chair Nancy Hirschtritt and Joel Hirschtritt, Rose and Richard Kalikow, Ruth and Sid Lapidus, Morris Offit, Amanda and Ned Offit, Dr. David Reich, CEO, The Mount Sinai Hospital; Marcia Riklis, event co-chair Tami Schneider, Sofia and Mike Segal, Jeffrey Solomon, President, Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies; Susie Stern, and Harold Tanner, President, Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.
Honoree Jacques d'Amboise with Valerie and Charles Diker, 2015 honoree.
Honoree Bob Appel and Helen Appel. 2016 honoree Joy Henshel and 2015 honoree Pat Jacobs.
Joel Hirschtritt, gala co-chair Nancy Hirschtritt, Audrey Weiner, Eric Goldstein, and Morris Offit.
Honoree Harry Belafonte at dinner.
Debra Spinney and honoree Caroll "Big Bird/"Oscar the Grouch" Spinney.
Honorees Bob Appel and Joy Henshel.
The New Jewish Home has been serving New Yorkers of all faiths and ethnicities for 168 years. It is transforming eldercare as we know it. One of the nation’s largest and most diversified not‐for‐profit geriatric health and rehabilitation systems, Jewish Home serves 12,000 older adults each year, in their homes and on three campuses, through short-term rehabilitation, long‐term skilled nursing, low-income housing, and a wide range of home health programs. Jewish Home believes that high quality care and personal dignity are everyone’s right, regardless of background or economic circumstances. Technology, innovation, applied research and new models of care put The New Jewish Home at the vanguard of eldercare providers across the country.

For more information, visit
Liz Smith, who was unable to make it to the event, was celebrated in a video vignette created by filmmaker Nick Davis.
Last Monday, a week, former mayor Michael Bloomberg was presented with the President’s Medal, the Architectural League’s highest honor, by the League’s president and Board of Directors. President Billie Tsien. Artist Christo, former Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell, and Shaun Donovan, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget at the White House, celebrated Mr. Bloomberg’s accomplishments with remarks at a dinner at the Metropolitan Club.

The Architectural League of New York nurtures excellence in architecture, design, and urbanism, and stimulates thinking and debate about the critical design and building issues of our time. As a vital, independent forum for architecture and its allied disciplines, the League helps create a more beautiful, vibrant, innovative, and sustainable future.
Cocktail hour at the Metropolitan Club.
Dinner hour.
Former Governor Rendell remarked that Mr. Bloomberg: “…Insisted on design excellence in public projects. Even though it may have cost taxpayers a little more, he understood that public buildings and public spaces should inspire us; should make us feel good about where we live; should make us feel motivated to do great things in our own city. And by doing this, we attract great architects.”

The dinner’s 330 guests included architects and designers Sir Norman Foster, Thom Mayne, Peter Eisenman, Maya Lin, Robert A.M. Stern, Rafael Viñoly, Steven Holl, Toshiko Mori, Ric Scofidio, Charles Renfro, Amale Andraos, Tod Williams, Enrique Norten, and Deborah Berke. Other attendees included current New York City Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen; former New York City Deputy Mayors Patti Harris and Dan Doctoroff; and former Director of New York City Department of City Planning Amanda Burden. Dean of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Michael J. Klag; and Director of the New Museum Lisa Phillips also attended.
Billie Tsien and Michael Bloomberg.
Recent recipients of The Architectural League’s President’s Medal include Henry N. Cobb, Richard Serra, Renzo Piano, Amanda Burden, Massimo and Lella Vignelli, Hugh Hardy, Richard Meier, Ada Louise Huxtable, Robert A.M. Stern, Kenneth Frampton, Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, and Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown.
Karen Stein, Rachel Judlowe, and Mary Burnham.
Michael Bloomberg and Rosalie Genevro.
Amanda M. Burden.
Susan Chin, Craig Dykers, and Elaine Molinar.
Dan Doctoroff.
Sarah Gore-Reeves and Enrique Norten.
Charles Renfro and Omar Toro-Vaca.
Richard Olcott and Rafael Viñoly.
Michael Bloomberg, Billie Tsien, and Christo.
Laurie Beckelman and Ted Hathaway.
Cathleen McGuigan and Deborah Berke.

Photographs by A. Hoyer (Eight Over Eighty); Ron Antonelli & Fran Parente (Architectural League)

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