Donald Trump, honoree at the UJA Federation of New York Dinner, was awarded the “First Visionary of the Century Award”.
Black tie lovers included hotelier Jonathan Tisch, publicist Howard Rubenstein (who said the Hamotzi), his wife Amy, Broadway producer and founder of the Red Ball, Martin Richards, and actor Alec Baldwin (who seventeen years later would represent him on “Saturday Night Live! “). ” I’m from “Cheers” and “Murphy Brown,” Thomas said. For me, “being a visionary” means looking into the future and seeing thousands of people paying Mr. Trump ‘s rent.
“Once the laughter diminished, award presenter [then New York ‘s district attorney] Robert Morgenthau said: “Donald is a great New Yorker who has made this a great city.” He recalled an event that the New York-based Museum of Jewish Heritage: “they never served kosher food! One call to Donald who called back immediately: “We serve kosher, of course!” “Donald is a great friend,” said Sol Kerzner, CEO and developer of the Bahamas-based Sun International.
“It was the first kosher meal ever served in Mar-A-Lago.”
Fran Weisler who produced Broadway hits “Chicago” and “Annie Get Your Gun” with husband Barry at the time said: “We have our own way of paying tribute. Because Donald is a great fan of Broadway and comes to all our openings, we thought we’d produce a show about Donald’s life on Broadway. Here are some working titles: “A Building Inspector Calls”, “Fiddling With The Roof,” “A funny thing happened on the road to the foreclosure,” and of course the most obvious: “Rent.”
Although his presidential bid was short-lived, the emcee suggested, “it may be because of his campaign slogans, “one of which was “Give me freedom or give me the Statue of Liberty and I will build condos in her head.” “This was the best year of my life in a business sense,” Mr. Trump said. He paid tribute to his late father and brother in recognition of his mother and sons [Donald Jr. and Eric Trump]. “
“40 to 50% of the people helped by UJA are not Jewish,” said Trump, who told a battered woman who had come to his office ten years earlier after three suicide attempts. She now credited UJA with her recovery and, as she left, told me:’ I’m not Jewish.’ Forty to fifty percent of the people helped by UJA are not Jewish. Tony Bennett rang down the curtain that evening by performing a medley of his signature hits that ended with the classic title: “Who can I turn to when no one needs me?”