Hillel International Board of Governors Chairman Edgar Bronfman and Hillel President Avraham Infeld joined many of New York's leading philanthropists recently to launch a $10 million endowment campaign for New York University's Edgar M. Bronfman Center for Jewish Student Life. The evening began on a high note with the announcement that 40 percent of the funds required to maintain the center's programs for Jewish students have already been committed.
The guests, including Hillel Board of Directors Vice Chair Adam Bronfman and long-time Hillel supporter Diane Belfer, also "roasted" and toasted Naomi Levine, a legendary New York fundraiser who spearheaded the Bronfman Center's development.
"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.
"It was an honor for us to be able to recognize the exceptional leadership of one America's great Jewish women, Naomi Levine, especially in the company of such distinguished leaders of NYU and the New York Jewish community," added Cindy Greenberg, director of the Bronfman Center. "Our hope is that by building an endowment, we will ensure a strong Jewish community at NYU in perpetuity."
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, she has maintained active ties with the Jewish community throughout her career. The Bronfman Center was established at NYU under 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.
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."