Every year, I leave a World Values Network gala and say to myself, “How Can Rabbi Shmuley top this event next year?”
Picture sitting on the tenth floor of Carnegie Hall, eating a gourmet dinner, sipping delicious, Israeli wine from Psagot Winery and all of a sudden, out comes Michael Feinstein with his “two and half Jewish” backup musicians performing standards from your favorite American performers.
Boteach’s World Values Network held its annual gala on March 28 in the Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall. Rabbi Shmuley Boteach’s organization also honored Marion Wiesel, the wife of the late Elie Wiesel, Larry Kudlow, White House Chief Economic Advisor, Jason Greenblatt, Assistant to the President and Special Representative for International Negotiations.
Greenblatt stated, “While being fully grounded in the complexity of the issues, reimagine the possibilities,” adding, “We hope for honest, realistic soul-searching dialogue among those affected by the conflict.”
Other awardees and speakers included: Academy award-winning actor Jon Voight, who hand wrote a speech and delivered it to the Wiesels with tears in his eyes, Sir Clive Gillinson, Executive and Artistic Director of Carnegie Hall, Candi Carter, executive producer of The View on ABC, Bret Stephens, Journalist and Political Commentator, Danny Danon, Israel’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations and Dana White, who served as the Pentagon Chief Spokesperson for both the Department of Defense and Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis.
White was elated upon receiving the WVN Champions of Communications Award and trip to Israel:
“Even after serving as Chief Spokesperson for the US Department of Defense, I was struck by how little I knew of the challenges Israeli citizens face every day. During my trip to Israel, I saw the signs that warn Israeli citizens from entering areas administered by the Palestinian Authority—Bethlehem, Jericho—at the risk of their lives. I consider my award from the World Values Network a vehicle to share my experience and respect for Israel, a thriving democracy in a region of despots and to celebrate the values that bind the United States with Israel as well as people of faith around the world.”
Even better, White and I will follow up our meeting by spearheading a campaign to improve Black-Jewish relations and educate others of our history fighting hate from the extreme left and right, and working together to overcome obstacles
There was also a concert by Israeli Eurovision winner Netta.
According to Boteach, “Over years, Larry Kudlow has shown himself to be proud supporter of Israel and the Jewish people,” Rabbi Shmuley said. “In the face of unfair global attempts to turn Israel into a pariah state, Larry has stood by her side. Not only has he defended Israel’s right to protect its citizens against those who seek to murder them, but also in the way Israel goes about this often painful but sacred work.”
In addition to Kudlow, Boteach kept his promise to host an unforgettable celebration of the values that unite Jews and all other people of conscience and moral clarity.
In a unique twist, Psagot owner Simon Falic, together with Gabe Groisman, Mayor of Bel Harbour, treated the crowd to a musical performance of Jewish standards. Psagot, one of Israel’s most honored wineries, donated the wine for the gala.
The World Values Network
The World Values Network, was founded by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach in 2006 to disseminate universal Jewish values in politics, culture, and media, making the Jewish people a light unto the nations. The organization has proven uniquely effective in promoting Jewish Values and defending Israel in mainstream and international media.
Together with world leaders from every sphere, they tackle today’s pressing issues through debates, panels, forums, and lectures at venues worldwide. They’ve have orchestrated massive and immensely effective ad campaigns to protect the Jewish State and introduce Americans to the beauty of Jewish values. The organization recently took out a controversial full-page ad in The Washington Post attacking Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar on the opening day of the AIPAC Policy Conference.
In 2013, Rabbi Shmuley launched the inaugural Champions of Jewish Values International Awards Gala, a prestigious platform recognizing those who strive to positively affect society.
Previous honorees include President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, Sir Ben Kingsley, Sean Penn, Senator Robert Menendez, Speaker Newt Gingrich, Senator Cory Booker, Caitlyn Jenner, Pamela Anderson, and Dr. Mehmet Oz, among many others
Boteach has been labeled “America’s Rabbi,” and is one of Israel’s best-known and most respected advocates in global media and has defended Israel in celebrated public debates throughout the world. He is widely acknowledged as one of the foremost spiritual leaders, values exponents, and relationship experts of our time. The author of more than thirty books, the latest of which is Lust For Love, with Co-Author Pamela Anderson, Rabbi Shmuley’s syndicated columns, TV and radio shows, including Shalom In The Home and Divine Intervention, appear in media throughout the world.
Rabbi Shmuley was labeled “a cultural phenomenon” and “the most famous rabbi in America” by Newsweek magazine and The Washington Post, one of the fifty most influential Jewish personalities in the world by The Jerusalem Post, and is the only rabbi ever to win the highly prestigious London Times Preacher of the Year award. Having served for eleven years as rabbi at the University of Oxford, Rabbi Shmuley founded The World Values Network, one of the leading organizations defending Israel against its detractors in global media.
Cindy Grosz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org