The Spielberg matriarch, Leah Adler, was there. Her daughters Nancy and Sue Spielberg, were there. But son Steven Spielberg was nowhere to be seen at the annual Chabad’s Children of Chernobyl (CCOC) dinner Nov. 21 at Chelsea Pier 60.
Emcee Jon Voight explained that Spielberg was in Richmond, Virginia, shooting “Lincoln.”
“I thought Lincoln was shot already!” Nancy exclaimed.
The spotlight that evening fell on Kirk Douglas, who turns 95 on Dec. 9. His son Michael Douglas presented him with an award on behalf of CCOC. The organization rescues children exposed to radiation following the1986 Chernobyl nuclear reactor meltdown in Ukraine. Since 1990 it has airlifted 2,786 stricken children to medical facilities in Israel.
Addressing his dad, Michael said, “I’m honored to present the Children at Heart Award to Issur Danielovitch Demsky. Issur’s father came to the United States from an area in Belarus downwind from Chernobyl.”
“That’s my boy!” Issur, aka Kirk, exclaimed.
Michael Douglas and wife Catherine Zeta-Jones
Michael noted that his parents, through their Anne and Kirk Douglas Foundation, have built 400 playgrounds in the Los Angeles school district. He announced that the 401st playground will be built at Chabad’s Children of Chernobyl campus in Israel.
On videotape, Steven Spielberg said, “As a Jew, as a parent, I want to congratulate you, Kirk, for the work you do.”
Kirk Douglas and Leah Adler
CCOC also honored sisters Elle and Dakota Fanning, Joshua Chaitovsky and Elaine Gold.