Bronfman Shines at Universal
City of Hope didn't have to go far to present Vivendi Universal Executive Vice Chairman Edgar Bronfman, Jr. with its Spirit of Life Award. The Duarte-based cancer hospital and research center threw a black-tie bash right in Bronfman's backyard, the Universal Studios backlot, on Oct. 11.
Spirits flowed and hors d'oeuvres disappeared during the long cocktail portion of the evening, as an insatiable gauntlet of photographers lined the red carpet to greedily snap shots of Universal Music Group (UMG) recording stars Sheryl Crow, Sisqo, India.Arie, No Doubt's Gwen Stefani and R&B diva-in-training Terry Dexter.
The slim, trim Bronfman, 46, also set off the shutterbugs when he arrived with his second wife, Clarissa Allcock, whom he married in 1994.
Accepting his award, Bronfman singled out his chief UMG executives, Chairman/CEO Doug Morris, and President/COO Zach Horowitz, who is the major gifts chair for City of Hope's Music and Entertainment Industry Executive Board. Horowitz's father, Ben Horowitz, is the current vice chairman at City of Hope. He has been with the hospital for 41 years, 32 as its president and CEO.
"Now I understand where Ben's son gets his talent, his honor, his intelligence," Bronfman said. "He's one of the finest executives I've ever known."
Naturally, the war was on everyone's minds. From the stage, emcee Garry Shandling delivered a plea to Bronfman.
"Can't you just buy Afghanistan and get us the [expletive] out of this?" the 51-year-old comedian cracked to the crowd of 1,500.
By evening's end, The Circuit caught up with Rick Rubin, co-founder, with Russell Simmons, of Def Jam Records. Rubin, who left Def Jam in 1987, to head American Recordings, recently produced albums by Johnny Cash and Macy Gray. At the banquet, Rubin fraternized with his Def Jam successor, Lyor Cohen, the man who brought red-hot rapper DMX and punk-pop sensation Sum 41 to UMG.
"Edgar's shown me an enormous amount of respect," the New York-based Cohen told The Circuit. "It's nice to be a part of this."
The evening raised $5.1 million to start an honorary research fellowship in Bronfman's name.
Hadassah Southern California will hold its Women of Distinction Gala on Nov. 4 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, honoring singer Melissa Manchester; USC Professor of Medicine and Chief of Division of Hematology Dr. Alexandra Levine; Zacky Farms' co-owner/spokeswoman Lillian Zacky; and lifelong Hadassah member Barbara Miller Fox. Michael Feinstein will provide musical entertainment.
Jewish Reconstructionist Federation presented its Judith and Ira Eisenstein Award for Service to outstanding contributors to its community: Lorna Lembeck of Malibu Jewish Center and Synagogue; Marilyn and Stewart Lonky of Kehillat Israel of Pacific Palisades; Alexander Green of Congregation Dor Kadash in San Diego; Shel Osman of Whittier Reconstructionist Havurah; and David Shore of University Synagogue in Irvine.
Robert J. Lieber, professor of Government and Foreign Service at Georgetown University, presented an incisive analysis of the post-Sept. 11 world at the annual Jerome Nemer Lecture, hosted by USC's Casden Institute for the Study of the Jewish Role in American Life. The institute's director, Barry Glassner, is the author of "The Culture of Fear: Why Americans are Afraid of the Wrong Things," which has become one of the most quoted books among media mavens in recent weeks. -- Tom Tugend, Contributing Writer