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Warren Boroson
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Richard Wagner

Botstein on Wagner, Jewish violinists, and Puff Daddy

Cover Story Published: 07 August 2009

Leon Botstein was born in 1946 in Switzerland. He graduated from the High School of Music and Art in New York City, then obtained a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Chicago and a doctorate from Harvard. He has been the president of Bard College since 1975. He is music director and principal conductor of the American Symphony Orchestra and the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra.

This interview, which was conducted late last month, has been condensed and edited.


Bill Lippman

Taking stock of a celebrated investor

Cover Story Published: 24 July 2009

Why is William Lippman, at age 84, still working as a money manager? Why doesn’t he hightail it to Hawaii or Provence, relax on a hammock near some soothing body of water, enjoy cool breezes, sip expensive Champagne, listen to Mozart, and re-read Mark Twain or Jane Austen — instead of working in either too-hot or too-cold or too-rainy or too-noisy or too-dirty New Jersey?

“What a good idea!” he jokes to a reporter. “I never thought of that!”

Actually, he loves what he does. “Every day is different,” he says. “Every day surprises you.” In fact, it’s a message he repeats to his grandchildren: “If you love what you do, you’ll never work another day in your life.” He adds: “They must be tired of hearing it by now. But I tell them, if I tell you the same thing three times, you can tell me to stop telling it.”


Bill Lippman

Mr. Dooley on why Jews are in business

Cover Story Published: 24 July 2009

Bill Lippman

Famous Jewish businessmen

Cover Story Published: 24 July 2009

These days, it’s not always easy to identify famous businessmen who are Jewish, simply because many of them have changed their names. Sumner Redstone, for instance, was once Sumner Rothstein. Steven Wynn was Steven Weinberg. And Larry Ellison’s unmarried mother’s name was Spellman — his adoptive father had taken the name “Ellison” from the place he arrived at in this country (Ellis Island).

But here is a list of prominent North American Jews in the economic and business world.

Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer, Microsoft

Ben Bernanke, Federal Reserve Board chairman

Michael Bloomberg, Bloomberg Financial Media, Mayor of New York City


Speaker warns of Iran’s incitement to anti-Semitism

Local | WorldPublished: 26 June 2009

A second genocide may be in store for the Jews if Iran decides to explode a nuclear weapon in Israel, despite the risk of its own destruction.

That was a warning that Charles A. Small, director of the Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Anti-Semitism, gave during a talk Monday at UJA Federation of Northern New Jersey in Paramus.

Asked after his talk how likely it is that Iran would attack Israel, considering that Israel or the United States might then retaliate, Small replied, “When a regime is opposed to the existence of another state, in its very ideology, and has been claiming for 30 years that Israel does not have a right to exist, and has been building a nuclear weapon and threatening to use it to eradicate Israel, we must take the threat very seriously.” (The current Iranian regime is 30 years old.)


The man who gave the world Tofutti

Cover Story Published: 01 May 2009
who invented the world-famous dairy-free ice cream called Tofutti came within a hair’s breadth of giving up his search on any number of occasions.

After vainly seeking the magic formula for nine years, almost 24/7, says David Mintz, he would go to bed at night thoroughly discouraged and firmly determined to cut bait, to throw in the towel, to abandon ship. Come morning, the Bergen County resident would doggedly renew his pursuit — encouraged by his wife, Rachel. And eventually — in 1981 — he lit upon the secret. The sign: People who tasted the stuff finally gave their approval, and stores began begging him for Tofutti to sell.

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At the U.N., hypocrisy reigns, Israeli ambassador charges

Local | WorldPublished: 20 March 2009

Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations calls it a place of “hypocrisy and doublespeak,” where there’s a gap between what delegates say in the corridors and the angry accusations they spout in the General Assembly and the Security Council.

“It’s a hostile environment,” said Gabriela Shalev, a law professor appointed ambassador to the world body in September of last year. “We’re back to hard times” because of Israel’s recent invasion of Gaza.

To Israel’s opponents, she said, “the facts don’t matter — that Israel has the right and duty to defend its citizens. It bothers me a lot. Eight years of bombardments (onto Israel) was enough.

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Panelists urge women to take financial charge

LocalPublished: 13 March 2009

One bright spot in today’s dismal economic picture is that Americans may become less materialistic, less money-minded, and their children may no longer deserve being called the Entitlement Generation.

That was the contention of Gail Saltz, a psychiatrist with New York Presbyterian Hospital Weill-Cornell Medical Center, speaking last week at a forum held by the Women’s Division of the UJA Federation of Northern New Jersey and the federation’s Endowment Foundation.

Having more money doesn’t translate into happiness, Saltz warned. “The number one source of happiness,” she said, “is relationships. Money doesn’t buy happiness. And people are moving away from that idea.”

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Naming names

A look at luminaries who have — or have not — changed theirs

Cover Story Published: 17 October 2008

Have you noticed? These days, many Jewish Americans in the public eye have kept their identifiably Jewish names instead of changing them. Especially comedians.

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Taking (many) steps against mental illness

LocalPublished: 30 May 2008

There must be a heaven, because where else could Michael be now?"

That's what a friend said about Michael Jakovich, who killed himself at age 43 in Florida by throwing himself in front of a van. He had just been released, on Aug. 5, '003, from a psychiatric clinic, with no money, no medications, and only a bus pass.

His wife, Elena, had been frantically phoning the clinic not to let Michael go because he was talking about suicide. She was five minutes away from the clinic when Michael was released. He died from his injuries three weeks later, leaving a son, Nathan, now 9, who still hasn't been told how his father died.

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