He­brew Home Helps for Hur­ri­cane

Forward Magazine - - Front Page - with Masha Leon For Masha Leon’s com­plete cov­er­age of this event and for a re­mem­brance of Isa­iah Sh­ef­fer visit www.for­ward.com/sec­tions/on-the-go

As harp and vi­o­lin mu­sic played gen­tly in the back­ground, the buzz among the 500 black-tie guests at the He­brew Home at Riverdale Foun­da­tion’s 95th an­niver­sary din­ner on Novem­ber 11, which raised $2.2 mil­lion, was about the dev­as­ta­tion in­flicted by Hur­ri­cane Sandy. Pre­vi­ously called the He­brew Home for the Aged, the or­ga­ni­za­tion is a full-ser­vice ge­ri­atric care fa­cil­ity of­fer­ing var­i­ous pro­grams. “Where were you and your fam­ily? Any dam­age?” peo­ple asked one an­other. From across din­ner tables at the Wal­dorf-As­to­ria’s Grand Ball­room, guests de­scribed how they and their loved ones, neigh­bors and friends had been af­fected by this dis­as­ter. Jef­frey Mau­rer, the He­brew Home’s board chair­man thanked event co-chair­men Mau­rice “Hank” Green­berg, chair­man and CEO of C.V. Starr & Co., and San­ford Weill, chair­man emer­i­tus of Cit­i­group Inc., for their “time, re­sources and wis­dom.” The He­brew Home’s pres­i­dent and CEO, Daniel Rein­gold, de­scribed the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s work dur­ing the hur­ri­cane: “Our pro­fes­sion­als helped hun­dreds of New York­ers re­lo­cate through its 24-hour call cen­ter... took in crit­i­cal pa­tients through the night when NYU Hospi­tal Lan­gone’s gen­er­a­tors went out.... Staff mem­bers knocked on doors of their 2,000 res­i­dents to make sure they were okay.” The event’s hon­oree was Ron­ald Perel­man, chair­man and CEO of MacAn­drews & Forbes Hold­ings Inc.

“Fifty years ago we moved He­brew Home from Har­lem [where it was founded in 1917] to Riverdale, [a] lo­ca­tion over­look­ing the Hudson River on an 18-acre cam­pus” Rein­gold said. “Boy! Did they have a vi­sion! Who could have imag­ined they were smart enough to lo­cate us 100 feet above the wa­ter line! Last year we were able to ob­tain an ad­di­tional 14-acre par­cel of land. The 32-acre cam­pus, the largest water­front cam­pus in New York City, will be named the Mau­rice R. [“Hank”] and Corinne P. Green­berg Cam­pus. It is par­tic­u­larly mean­ing­ful to make this an­nounce­ment on Vet­er­ans Day, be­cause Hank [Green­berg] is one of the vet­er­ans here tonight. He left home at 17, was [with] the U.S. Army Rangers and among the first wave to storm Omaha Beach on D-Day. Hank [helped] lib­er­ate Dachau and re­turned to ser­vice in Korea and re­ceived the Bronze Star.” Rein­gold in­tro­duced Green­berg as com­ing “from hum­ble be­gin­nings... [to] build [Amer­i­can In­ter­na­tional Group] into the largest in­sur­ance com­pany in the world.... As Tom Brokaw wrote about him in [his book] ‘The Great­est Gen­er­a­tion,’ ‘it’s next to im­pos­si­ble to get Hank to talk about what he went through... He is too busy mov­ing along to his next ob­jec­tive.’”

A chipper 87-year-old Green­berg bounded to the podium: “The Home means a great deal to my fam­ily. My mother... and cur­rently my daugh­ter-in-law’s mother are there.” Sur­vey­ing the room, he said: “There are a num­ber of vet­er­ans in the au­di­ence this evening, and many in harm’s way in coun­tries around the world. I’d like to show sup­port for them.” Sev­eral World War II and Korean War vet­er­ans re­sid­ing at the He­brew Home were rec­og­nized and ap­plauded.

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