$10 Million Campaign to Support NYU’s Bronfman Center

Some of New York’s leading philanthropists gathered to “roast” and toast Naomi Levine, a legendary New York fundraiser, at a dinner last night. “Fundraisers honoring philanthropists is a common event; philanthropists gathering to honor a fundraiser is a rarity,” said developer Larry Silverstein who, with his wife Klara, were the host and hostess of the dinner.

The dinner launched a $10 million endowment campaign for NYU’s Bronfman Center for Jewish Life with the announcement that 40 percent of the funds required to maintain the Center’s programs for Jewish students have already been committed.

The dinner was held at NYU’s Kimmel Center. Mrs. Levine is credited with spearheading campaigns to raise $2 billion for NYU as the university’s Senior Vice President for Development.

Formerly Executive Director of the American Jewish Congress, Mrs. Levine has maintained active ties with the Jewish community throughout her career. The Bronfman Center was established at NYU under Mrs. Levine’s leadership to offer Jewish students an opportunity to develop and maintain the traditions of Jewish life and to create a setting for outreach and understanding among students of all religions. Serving one of the largest and most dynamic Jewish student populations in the world, The Center has become a leader and model for Hillels around the country.

According to Edgar M. Bronfman, who purchased the building in which the Center is housed in 1996 and made the lead gift of $1 million to launch the current campaign: “Through her commitment to young people and to Judaism, Naomi Levine has been single-handedly responsible for transforming Jewish life and scholarship at New York University. I have enjoyed working with this dynamic woman in building and supporting the Bronfman Center, and it is a joy to see it flourishing.”

President of the World Jewish Congress since 1979, Mr. Bronfman is President of The Samuel Bronfman Foundation, which focuses on projects dedicated to fostering a Jewish renaissance. He is a major active supporter of Hillel: The Foundation for Campus Jewish Life, with which the Bronfman Center is affiliated.

Others at the dinner, or greeting Mrs. Levine via a made-for-the-evening film, included:

  • Attorney Joseph Flom, of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom
  • Alan “Ace” Greenberg, chair of the Executive Committee of Bear Stearns
  • Philanthropist H. Dale Hemmerdinger and Elizabeth Hemmerdinger
  • Philanthropists Martin and Helen Kimmel
  • Martin Lipton, chair of the NYU Board of Trustees; senior partner, Wachtell Lipton, and chair of the Partnership for New York City
  • Tony-winning director Lynne Meadow
  • Philanthropist Brooke Neidich
  • NYU President John Sexton
  • NYU President Emeritus L. Jay Oliva
  • President and CEO of Silverstein Properties, Inc. Larry Silverstein and Klara Silverstein
  • Philanthropist Joseph Steinberg, president, Leucadia National Corporation
  • Philanthropist Michael Steinhardt, Managing Partner, Steinhardt Management Inc.
  • Leonard Stern, Chairman, Hartz Corporation
  • Billie Tisch, widow of Larry Tisch, philanthropist and former NYU Board Chair
  • Philanthropists Tommy and Alice Tisch and Andrew and Ann Tisch
  • Founding Chairman of the Lillian Vernon Corporation, Lillian Vernon

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