JCAA Honorees Speak About Many Sides of New Jewish Culture

Held on Monday, June 10th at the Times Center in the heart of midtown Manhattan, the 2013 Jewish Cultural Achievement Awards featured stellar speeches from both honorees and presenters. Taken together, they provide an important glimpse into the state of contemporary Jewish culture. Here’s a look at what honorees and presenters had to say, including Scott Berrie and Angelica Berrie, Deborah Dash Moore and Irene Golden Dash, Michael Chabon and Nathan Englander, Leon Botstein and Judith Berkowitz, and State Senator Daniel Squadron and the family behind Russ & Daughters.

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In his talk, Michael Chabon riffs on the importance of Jewish puns. Introduced by Nathan Englander, who recalls what Chabon’s friendship has meant to him.

Video by Ben Donnellon

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“You want to honor me next to Chabon, one of the most celebrated writers of our generation?” quipped Scott Berrie, delivering his sly punchline: “Hold on, let me check my calendar.” Introduced by Angelica Berrie, who recalls the highlights of her step-son’s career.

Video by Ben Donnellon

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“What does Jewish culture mean today?” asked Leon Botstein before describing both the triumphs and challenges it presently faces.  Introduced by Judith Roth Berkowitz, who described Botstein’s storied career in Jewish arts and education.

Video by Ben Donnellon

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Deborah Dash Moore recalled the pleasures of being raised in the crucible of Jewish culture that is New York City. Introduced by Irene Golden Dash, who described her daughter’s remarkable accomplishments in the field of Jewish studies.

Video by Ben Donnellon

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Niki Russ Federman spoke about the central place that her family’s century-old business, Russ & Daughters, has occupied in the hearts (and stomachs) of Jewish Americans. Introduced by Senator Daniel Squadron.

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