Celebs Ask: What Kind Of Name Is AJWS?

American Jewish World Service (AJWS) marked 25 years of helping poverty stricken people in developing countries. Naturally that called for a dinner last month at the Frederick Rose Hall at Lincoln Center to honor its president, Ruth Messinger.

ABC News anchor Christiane Amanpour called Messinger “a model of global citizenship.” She added, “You are our conscience and you teach us what it means to be a human being.”

Messinger, who served as Manhattan borough president during the ‘90s, also celebrated her 70th birthday at the dinner. She introduced a short promotional film called, “A Public Service Announcement by Judd Apatow and Jordan Rubin Not Approved by AJWS.”

For this PSA, writer/director Apatow and comedian Rubin got their Jewish and gentile friends together to roast AJWS and raise some money for its programs. Some 22 names responded, among them Gilbert Gottfried, Helen Hunt, Julie Louis-Dreyfus, Tracy Morgan, Jerry Seinfeld, Sarah Silverman (the funniest of the bunch), Kiefer Sutherland and Patrick Stewart.

Lindsay Lohan was happy to participate, but whispered to no one in particular, “These things pay well, right?”

Andy Samberg got into the spirit of the public service announcement and told viewers to call the number at the bottom of the screen. Realizing there is no number, he said you should text dreidel. “All right, just send a donation with a self-addressed stamped matza.”

Ben Stiller argued that AJWS is an awful acronym. “Change it to Jewish American Service—then you’re saying JAWS. Now that’s punchy! You can have a JAWS month on the Discovery Channel.”

Triumph, the Insult Dog, suggested something simple, like “Jews Helping Goyim.”

“People ask if I’m Jewish because of the way I talk,” the Insult Dog said, chomping on a cigar. “I choose to be like Madonna. I don’t want to announce I’m Jewish until I need the publicity.”

Brian Williams admitted he’s not Jewish but supports the organization. “Why? As Tevye said, it’s tradition.”

Tim Boxer is editor of 15MinutesMagazine.com.

About the Author
Tim Boxer is a former New York Post columnist, and is longtime columnist for the New York Jewish Week. He is also editor of 15MinutesMagazine.com, is the author of Jewish Celebrity Hall of Fame, interviews of Hollywood stars about their Jewish roots.