Looking Back on a Fabulous Evening

From our EVP and CEO, Joyce Dubensky…

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A program journal on a guest's seat.

Today I finally have a minute to catch my breath and to enjoy the memories of our annual Gala on Monday night. As always, it was so busy that I didn’t have time to really talk with all the friends who were there.

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Joyce Dubensky talking with guests from State Street Bank.

What was especially nice this year was having so many Tanenbaum partners with us.  And the laughter.  Jim Gandolfini cracking jokes when he came to the stage to introduce the video he narrated for Tanenbaum.  Peter Steinfels saying that rather than give a lecture, he’d save some time and give a lecture–ette.  Reynold Levy knocking Newark, New Jersey and getting a hearty shout-down from a table of guests from New Jersey.

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Honoree Reynold Levy with award presenter John Whitehead.

What struck me most, though, was the comments that people made to me after I spoke.  I actually shared a story from my childhood, when my brother and I were ostracized from all the other kids on our block because of anti-Semitism.  It’s a very ugly memory, very painful.  I shared it with the audience because it is one of the reasons I work so hard at Tanenbaum: to keep other kids from experiencing hatred based on their religious (or non-religious) beliefs.

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Joyce Dubensky speaking.

Anyway, what was amazing to me was how many people said that I had struck a chord. “I remember as I used to walk to school…”  “They used to chase me…”  “I know just what you’re talking about…”  Every single person in the room knew what I meant.  Every one of them had a story of their own – every one had been a victim of ignorance, hatred and bias because of their very diverse beliefs.  It’s terrible, but it makes what we do here every day that much more important.

It was an impactful moment, one of many on what was a memorable night.

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Georgette Bennett with Reynold Levy and guests.

I thank our deserving honorees, Reynold Levy and Peter Steinfels, for sharing the evening with us; I can not think of more worthy recipients for our Corporate and Media Bridge-Builder Awards.

For those who were able to join us, thank you – and I’m sorry if I didn’t have the opportunity to spend time with you! To those who didn’t, I hope you’ll be able to share a future special event with us; thank you for being friends.

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