Tim Boxer: JCRC Lauds Hyphenated Americans

With all due humility, Fox News Channel president Roger Ailes said, “I’m a boy from Ohio—really a goy from Ohio—who’s introducing an African American woman for a Jewish award.”

Ailes introduced H. Mitsy Wilson, senior vice president of diversity development at the News Corporation, who accepted the corporate leader award from Janice Shorenstein, outgoing president of the Jewish Community Relations Council at the Pierre Hotel.

Mitsy was a Catholic schoolgirl in Bronx, Aisles related. One day her teacher was so frustrated that she called everybody stupid.

“If you’re stupid, stand up,” the teacher said.

Nobody stood, except Mitsy.

“Are you saying you’re stupid?” the teacher asked.

“No,” Mitsy said, “but I didn’t want you to be standing alone.”

More than 550 dinner guests were amused, among them former Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau, UJA-Federation executive vice president John Ruskay, Israeli Consul General Asaf Shariv, New York City Comptroller John Liu, incoming JCRC president Alan Jaffe, Lt. Gov. Richard Ravitch, and HarperCollins Publishers president/CEO Brian Murray.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg observed how “in America we hyphenate our nationality—Jewish Americans, Irish Americans, Spanish Americans, African Americans or whatever. We live as a mosaic of different parts, rather than a mixture. People of all ethnic backgrounds walk the streets of New York together.”

Shorenstein, retiring after three years as president, announced that the dinner raised $1.3 million. “We help to build and secure communities in New York.”

William Rapfogel, CEO of the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, credited dedicated volunteers as the backbone of the success for a charity.

“It took one volunteer to build the ark — and thousands of professionals to build the Titanic.”

Shorenstein presented awards to real estate builders Jeffrey E. Levine and son Benjamin, Deutsche Bank managing director Jacques Brand, and BlackRock vice chairman Bennett Golub.

Ailes, who regaled the crowd with his vast repertory of stories, retold the one about O’Brian who had fish every Friday. He was annoyed at the odor of barbecued steak wafting in from next door.

Finally O’Brian took his neighbor to church where the priest sprinkled water on his head and pronounced, “You were born a Jew, raised a Jew, now you’re a Catholic.”

Next Friday O’Brian was stunned to see his neighbor barbecuing a steak. The man was sprinkling and saying, “You were born a cow, raised a steak, now you’re a fish.”

Tim Boxer is editor of 15MinutesMagazine.com.

Signup for our weekly email newsletter here.

Check out the Jewish Week’s Facebook page and become a fan! And follow the Jewish Week on Twitter: start here.

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.