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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

My life on the D-list: The Algemeiner J100 Gala (updated)

As I mentioned yesterday, last night I attended the Algemeiner J100 Gala dinner to be anonymously honored as one of "the top 100 people positively influencing Jewish life."

This was a $500/plate dinner chock full of famous Jews. Unfortunately I am really bad at recognizing faces, but I did manage to say hi to a few. I felt a lot like a "D-lister" who happened to be accidentally thrown in with the A-list. Even worse, my not wanting to be outed quashed what little desire I have to engage in small talk with people.

I saw Ron Prosor when he walked in; I shook his hand but didn't introduce myself. I saw Alan Dershowitz, who I interviewed once, but didn't get a chance to say hi.

I did say hi to Malcolm Hoenlein, who I had briefly met once before and who had known of my blog. Rabbi Shmeley Boteach didn't seem too interested once I refused to say my real name. Elie Wiesel was there but I couldn't see any benefit to bugging him. But I did introduce myself to the Algemeiner's editor, Dovid Efune.

The gala was hosed by Heather Nauert, a Fox News morning host and self-described "shiksa." But, she pointed out, you don't have to be Jewish to show love for Israel.

Oddly, the National Anthem was sung by Tony Orlando - the 1970s pop star. We were told that he had turned down singing the national anthem many times, including at Dodger Stadium, but he felt it important to do it here. The bad news - he made a few mistakes in the lyrics. Oh, well.

During the speeches I managed to find Emet from CiFWatch, whom I have met before, and he introduced me to some of the Algemeiner writers who know my stuff (including Zach Pontz, who has linked to me numerous times.)

The 100 names were listed in a special print edition of the Algemeiner that everyone received, but Heather announced the names of those who were at the gala itself - maybe 25 of us - asking them to stand when their names were read. She even announced me as an anonymous blogger. (No, I didn't stand.)

I tweeted to some other honorees who are also active in the cyber-world - Avi Mayer (winner of the 2013 Hasby award for tweeting), William Daroff (Vice President for Public Policy for The Jewish Federations of North America), Itamar Marcus (founder of Palestinian Media Watch) and Andrea Levin (founder of CAMERA.)

I did get one video interview with a fellow honoree who spoke as well, but that will have to wait...

UPDATE: My blurb is finally up on the Algemeiner site.