Barbara Walters was thrilled to accept a humanitarian award from former Mayor Michael Bloomberg at the annual dinner of American Friends of Magen David Adom on Dec. 2 at the Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers in New York.
“As another Barbra would say, I’m kvelling," she said. “[Bloomberg] was my choice for a husband,” she added.
That remark amused Diana Taylor, who’s been Bloomberg’s companion for the last 14 years.
Walters explained that once on her ABC-TV talk show, “The View,” her female co-hosts were given a choice of three men to marry. Walters settled on Bloomberg, the New York mayor.
Her reason? “This man is so brilliant, so much fun, he can make things happen — and he’s filthy rich!”
Bloomberg said Walters was a tough interviewer. But he was a tough guest: “I didn’t cry once.”
Attorney Mark Lebow, AFMD national chairman, praised Bloomberg as the major donor of the Magen David Adom in Jerusalem. “We believe in saving everyone’s lives,” Lebow said.
More than 400 guests came to the AFMD benefit, which raised $4.5 million. That will help relocate Israel’s national blood center near Tel Aviv to a new facility to be built underground, safe from rockets and earthquakes.
The event also honored five others: Michael Strongin of Credit Suisse and his wife Nicole Strongin of Novartis Consumer Health; the Packin family consisting of Alexandra and David Packin, Itabella and Eugene Packin, and Judy and Joseph Packin; Noah E. Rockowitz, a legal consultant in the airline industry; philanthropist Haina Just-Michael; and the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, represented by trustee Sandor Frankel.
Tim Boxer was a columnist at the New York Post for two decades. At the same time he has been a columnist for The New York Jewish Week for 35 years, and editor of 15MinutesMagazine.com for 16 years. He is the author of Jewish Celebrity Hall of Fame, interviews of Hollywood stars about their Jewish roots.