Haim Saban had a busy week.
Thursday, December 9. He hosts a fundraiser in Century City, Ca, for the Israel Defense Forces and, along with former Seinfeld star Jason Alexander and Andrea Bocelli, raises $9 million:
“At the conclusion of Hanukkah, we remember how the Maccabees triumphed in the face of odds,” Haim Saban] said while addressing the crowd. “Let’s not forget that the Jewish people overcame the Syrian-Greeks, the Roman empire, the Spanish Inquisition, the Russian pogroms, the Holocaust. We are a resilient people, a strong people, a successful people.” And with a defiant voice, as if he were speaking directly to Israel’s enemies, he said: “We are here to stay and stay forever.”
…he kicked off a kind of bidding war that brought the fundraiser’s total from an initial $2.5 million to $8,750,000.
“On the way in, [wife] Cheryl said to me, ‘I think we should match what we raise tonight,’” Saban told 1,000 dinner guests from the podium. “I said, ‘You’re the boss.’”
The “unprecedented sum” of $2.5 million—which, until that moment had been the highest amount raised during the Sabans’ tenure as chairs—became $5 million.
Friday, December 10. The next day. Haim Saban must have a private plane; he’s at the Saban Center of the Brookings Institution in Washington. So is Hillary Clinton:
” [...] I appreciate the friendship that you and Cheryl have given to me and to my family. You’ve been friends for many years. And certainly, as anyone who knows Haim understands, as an entrepreneur, a philanthropist, he is unparalleled, but also as a champion for peace. He represents in many ways in the best qualities of both Israel and America. He’s generous, he’s irrepressible, and absolutely unstoppable. And he has dedicated his energy and support to so many important causes and helped so many people. But he has probably no deeper passion than the one we are here discussing tonight – strengthening U.S.-Israeli relations and securing a just and lasting peace in the Middle East. [...]“
Thanks to Jeff Blankfort.