The Bronx Jewish Hall of Fame was established by the Bronx Jewish Historical Initiative in 2015. It is intended to honor Jewish individuals from the Bronx in recognition of their Bronx heritage and their lifetime achievement, epitomizing what makes our community great.
The Bronx Jewish Historical Initiative (BxJHI)
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr.
Invite you to
The Bronx Jewish Historical Initiative’s
Celebration of the Third Annual Induction
Bronx Jewish Hall of Fame
Class of 2017
MLB’s first designated hitter and the “great Jewish hope” of the
NY Yankees during the 1970’s
Former NYC Council Member, District 11
playwright, author, lecturer
designer, illustrator, artist
architect, artist, professor
Executive VP & CEO/Jewish Community Relations Council
Senior Correspondent and Anchor WPIX-TV
principal at Bernstein Global Wealth Management
Emcee: Juliet Papa, WINS 1010 Radio
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 2017
The Bronx Museum of the Arts
Ron Blomberg owns a spot in baseball history as the game’s first Designated Hitter. But for many New York Yankees fans he had another designation: “the Yankees great Jewish hope.”
He titled his autobiography, “Designated Hebrew.”
Blomberg loved being a part of New York’s sports scene. He was a No. 1 draft choice of the Yankees in 1967 and made it to the Bronx in 1969. His career lasted nearly a decade and he enjoyed the Big Apple atmosphere.
“To be able to play in front of 8 million Jews! Can’t beat it,” Blomberg once told New York Magazine. “I lit everyone’s candles for every bar mitzvah in the city. It was like I was related to everyone. They named a sandwich after me at the Stage Deli.”
Blomberg became a part of baseball history on April 6, 1973. He was the first Major Leaguer to appear as a designated hitter — meaning he just batted and did not play the field. It happened on Opening Day, in a game against the Boston Red Sox.
“When the DH first came out, nobody had any idea what it was,” Blomberg once told USA Today. “Everybody thought it was a glorified pinch-hitter. But it got stronger and stronger, more and more popular. The majority of people who go to games in American League cities love the DH because they know they will see a guy hit the ball hard.
“Watching National League pitchers trying to hit or even bunt is depressing. Most of them never hit before — not in college and not in the minor leagues, where everybody uses the DH.”
Blomberg was an overall No. 1 draft pick and some billed him as the “next Mickey Mantle.”
But Blomberg finished his Major League career with a respectable .293 batting average, with 52 home runs and 224 RBI.
June Eisland began her career in Public Service when Mayor John Lindsay appointed her to run the Mayor’s Urban Action Task Force in the North West Bronx. June was appointed by then Bronx Borough President Robert Abrams to her local Community Board where subsequently she became Chair. Additionally she served on numerous Boards, including Hebrew Home for the Aged, Francis Shervier Home, League of Women and Voters, and Riverdale Neighborhood House. She was also co-founder of the Skyview Tenants Association and the Riverdale Senior Center.
June M. Eisland spent twenty-three years as a member of the New York City Council, serving in several capacities, most notably as the chair of the Transportation Committee and as the Chair of the Committee on Land Use, Zoning, Franchises and Landmarks. June was the very first official in the City of New York to advocate for an Automated Fare Card, which evolved into the Metro-Card. She is still affectionately known as “Mother of the Metro Card”. June successfully led the effort to establish the first modern ferry service between New York City and New Jersey.
As chair of the Committee on Land Use, June became expert in the land use and zoning process. Major developments on the west side of Manhattan, the creation in Queens of “the train to the plane” by the Port Authority and the downtown commercial redevelopment and new court house in Brooklyn are just some of the myriad of projects that June presided over.
June was appointed by Mayor Koch to represent New York City at the National league of Cities where she became the Chair of the of the Advisory Board of the 5000member national organization
In 2002 June established Eisland Strategies, LLC., a consulting firm that provides marketing strategies, economic development programs, event planning and government relations for companies and other institutions such as real estate developers, colleges and conventions centers.
June Eisland is Vice President of the Bronx Chamber of Commerce.
Miriam Hoffman, an author, scholar and survivor of the Russian gulag and the Post-World War II DP Camps, has spent her life preserving the Yiddish language and culture that she cherishes so dearly. Her accomplishments in education, arts and literature have impacted both Jews and non-Jews alike.
As a child in the Post-War D.P. (Displaced Person) Refugee Camp in Ulm, Germany, she brought with her an Album of life in the DP camp as well as keeping a journal of over 80 songs in four different languages – Yiddish, Hebrew, Russian and Polish. The ULM album has been shared with the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. She has written over a dozen plays which have won awards and have been produced all over the world.
Hoffman recently retired from her position as professor of Yiddish Language and Culture at Columbia University. She has published over 2,000 weekly columns in New York’s Yiddish Forward as a feature writer. Additionally, Miriam has written university textbooks and was the founder of the Joseph Papp Yiddish Theatre with the worldrenowned Broadway impresario.
Q&A with Miriam Hoffman
1. Q. Why do you believe it’s important to keep the Yiddish language alive?
A. Because, in spite of the rumors to the contrary, it IS alive; 1000 years of life with the most significant body of literature and culture. Human, humorous, serious, literary and poetic, it is a language that represents the greatest survival of the Jewish people and the human experience. It has kept me creatively alive all these years.
2. Q. What is one piece of advice you would offer up to younger generations?
A. Enrich your life with your own cultural and traditional history, folklore and language. Discover yourself
through your roots.
3. Q. You’ve published two books in the past, and you’re gearing up to release your third. Can you tell us how your new book differs from the others you have written?
A. My first book was a textbook curriculum – Key To Yiddish – for college students and teachers that spanned a 30-year research and writing process. That book is taught all over the world today. The 2nd book was my 365 Day Yiddish Calendar, filled with proverbs, stories, idioms, humor and historical events. But this book – A Breed Apart – is a personal journey depicting my miraculous escape from the hell of Russian Slave labor camp to the freedom of personal expression and self-realization available only in my beloved United States of America.
Joel Iskowitz is one of few living artists to have had his artwork displayed in the Pentagon, the Capitol and the White House. He has created artwork for three decades that has graced the covers of books, periodicals, journals, public spaces, coins and postage stamps worldwide. He is also an active United States Air Force (USAF) artist and has a number of oils in the USAF permanent collection. Mr. Iskowitz has been invited twice to document Space Shuttle missions and his artwork is on permanent display at the NASA Kennedy Space Center Museum. He is the designer of both obverse and reverse of the New Frontier Congressional Gold Medal which was presented to the Apollo11 astronauts Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, Buzz Aldrin and Mercury astronaut John Glenn, by the leadership of the Congress on November, 16, 2011 in the Rotunda of the Capitol.
The artwork for this medal has earned the Bronze Prize in the 2012 International Design Awards. In 2015, John Glenn nominated Mr. Iskowitz to receive the National Medal of the Arts. Also in 2015, Mr.iskowitz became the first and only American artist to have his portrait of HRM Queen Elizabeth II grace the coinage of the United Kingdom. He has had designs for 17 Congressional Gold Medals selected and minted, the most recent of which itself won the Gold Medal in the 2016 International Design Awards Mr.Iskowitz’s work has been featured in many international journals; including profiles of his numismatic and philatelic art in CoinAGE Magazine; Watercolor Magazine, American Artist Magazine, Smithsonian Profiles and the Wall Street Journal; and his murals have been featured in Exhibit Builder Magazine.
He has been awarded both bronze and silver medals for his corporate illustrations and grand-scale public art in international competitions. His design for the American Numismatic Association’s Presidential Award won the 2008 silver medal in corporate illustration in the International Creative Shake competition. His design for the District of Columbia quarter dollar reverse was displayed at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History and his design for the reverse of the “Illinois” 2009 Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Cent is displayed in the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum and was displayed at the New York Historical Society Museum. His reverse design for the 2011 Medal of Honor Commemorative Gold Coin is on permanent display in the U.S. Capitol’s Emancipation Hall.
Mr.Iskowitz’s obverse design for the Congressional Gold Medal honoring the Nisei Soldiers of WWII will be displayed in major museums throughout the United States, including the National World War II Museum, New Orleans • Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum, Honolulu • Japanese American National Museum, Los Angeles • De Young Museum, San Francisco • Oregon History Museum, Portland• Chicago History Museum, Chicago• and the Holocaust Museum, Houston. It will be on permanent display in “The Price of Freedom,” an exhibition at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. A recently completed mural, which chronicles the history of aviation technology, has been installed at the Pentagon at the entry to the Department of the Air Force. A full-scale gicleé of this work is on display at Wright–Patterson AFB. His large scale painting” The Other side of the Coin” is installed in Airman’s Hall, the Pentagon and won international recognition in Artslant’s Showcase, 2011.
Mr. Iskowitz has also received the National Oceanic and Philatelic Society citation for his contributions to Space Philately. His obverse design for the Louis Braille Silver Dollar flew aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis on its mission to service the Hubble Telescope. He continues to present his artwork in illustrated lectures at universities and professional organizations, including the Fashion Institute of Technology, Syracuse University, Marywood College, The Society of Illustrators, Fordham University, Hunter College, Montclair State University, the American Numismatic Association, and the New York Numismatic Club. In 2015 CSPAN devoted an hour of air time to his presentation at the Smithsonian’s Museum of American finance,” Designing Congressional Gold Medals, An artist’s Perspective”. In May of 2011 he was inducted into the Hunter College Hall of Fame. In November of 2017,he was inducted into the Bronx Jewish Hall of Fame.
Polish-American architect, Daniel Libeskind is aninternational figure inarchitecture and urban design. Informed by a deep commitment to music, philosophy, and literature, Mr. Libeskindaims to create architecture that is resonant, original, and sustainable.Libeskind established his architectural studio in Berlin, Germany, in 1989 after winning the competition to build the Jewish Museum in Berlin. In February 2003, Studio Libeskind moved its headquarters from Berlin to New York City to oversee themaster planner for the World Trade Center redevelopment, which is being realized in Lower Manhattan today.Daniel Libeskind’s practice is involved in designing and realizing a diverse array of urban, cultural and commercial projectsaround the globe.
The Studio has completed buildings that range from museums and concert halls to convention centers, university buildings, hotels, shopping centers and residential towers.As Principal Design Architect for Studio Libeskind , Mr. Libeskind speaks widely on the art of architecture in universities and professional summits. His architecture and ideas have been the subject of many articles and exhibitions, influencing the field of architecture and the development of cities and culture.
Michael S. Miller is the Executive Vice President and CEO of the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York (JCRC-NY). He has served in that capacity since October 1986. JCRC-NY, a beneficiary of the UJA-Federation of New York, is the central coordinating body and unified voice for more than 60 major civic, communal, educational and religious organizations in the metropolitan area. Its four thematic pillars are Intergroup Relations (Center for Community Leadership), Public Affairs/Jewish Security, Jewish Intracommunal Affairs, and Israel and International Affairs. JCRC-NY’s special projects include Legal Assistance for Jewish Organizations, Jewish Heritage-NY, Celebrate Israel Parade, and the Israel Missions project. During Mr. Miller’s tenure, JCRC-NY has become widely recognized as the go-to strategic bridge builder in New York, as it strengthens relations internal to the Jewish community and with the broad array of local ethnic, racial and religious groups in the area.
Indeed, JCRC-NY’s Center for Community Leadership, has been hailed by the White House, Congress and City Hall for its trail-blazing programs focusing on community and coalition building, leadership training for diverse teens, young adults and adults, and crisis management. Furthermore, the professional and personal relationships he has forged with major figures in the halls of government in New York and Washington, D.C., key opinion makers in Israel, law enforcement officials (NYPD and FBI), and multi-ethnic leaders in the metropolitan area, have engendered respect for JCRC-NY as an organization dedicated to outreach efforts while protecting and defending Jewish rights and interests. An ordained rabbi, he began his career in Jewish communal service in 1976 as a U. S. Army Chaplain in Fort Knox, KY and was awarded the coveted Army Commendation Medal.
He then accepted an appointment as spiritual leader of a congregation in Springfield, MA, where he played an active role in Jewish communal affairs. His training and experience served him well when, years later, he volunteered after the September 11th disaster and was certified as an American Red Cross Chaplain, working in the area of Ground Zero, and, subsequently, in the aftermath of the American Airlines flight #587 crash in Queens. Mr. Miller is an honors graduate of Yeshiva University, where he earned a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Jewish history, as well as his ordination.
He has addressed audiences around the world on a range of local, national and international issues, and is the recipient of numerous awards. A native New Yorker, Mr. Miller and his wife, Phyllis, are the parents of three children – Nehama (Kohn), Nitza (Jerome) and Yonatan, and nine grandchildren. Mr. Miller is the son of the late Rabbi Israel Miller, Senior Vice President of Yeshiva University and past Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.
A member of the New York State Broadcasters Hall of Fame and recipient of 11 prestigious Emmy awards for journalistic achievement, Marvin Scott has done it all. Since joining WPIX in 1980, he has served in multiple capacities as anchor, reporter, host and producer. Scott is currently the station’s Senior Correspondent and anchor/host of the weekly issues-oriented program, “PIX11 News Close Up”
A veteran journalist with over 50 years of experience in both print and broadcast mediums, Scott’s background includes local, national and international assignments. He previously anchored “INN Midday Edition” and “USA Tonight Weekend,” nationally syndicated newscasts produced by WPIX’s Independent Network News. For several years Scott was co-anchor of the nightly “WB11 News at Ten.” He has co-hosted special programs, including the Emmy award-winning “OP SAIL ’92: An American Celebration”, “Operation Homecoming” and a number of Columbus and Puerto Rican Day parades.
Prior to joining WPIX, Scott was an anchor/reporter at WNEW-TV (now WNYW-TV). He held previous positions as anchor, correspondent and producer at CNN, Mutual Broadcasting System, and WABC-TV. In the print media, he was a feature writer for the New York Herald Tribune and a Contributing Editor to Parade Magazine. Scott’s career in journalism had its beginnings at the age of 14 when he sold news photos to the NY Daily News and the Daily Mirror and local magazines.
Scott’s assignments have taken him from the front lines of Iraq, Cambodia and the Middle East, to the highways of America’s South, where he covered civil rights protests with Dr. Martin Luther King. He spent Christmas 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2009 with New York soldiers in Iraq and 2013 in Afghanistan. He has interviewed six American presidents. Scott’s coverage of the Congressional Whitewater hearings won him an Emmy for “Outstanding Political Reporting.”
It was “Outstanding Entertainment Programming” that won him an Emmy in 2006 for his enlightening interview with the King of Comedy, Jerry Lewis. In addition to the eleven wins, Scott has received more than 40 Emmy nominations. During visits to the Middle East, he interviewed Golda Meier, Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat, among others. In New York, he has covered every Mayor since John Lindsay. A veteran reporter of the U.S. space program, Scott has witnessed the launch of numerous Gemini, Apollo and Space Shuttle flights. Scott has pulled 9 G’s in an F -16 jet, circled beneath the Long Island Sound in a nuclear attack submarine, and rang the closing bell of the New York Stock Exchange.
A graduate of New York University, Scott’s professional honors include a citation in the Congressional Record for his “responsible reporting” of urban riots. Associated Press Broadcasters awarded his reporting of the Three Mile Island nuclear plant accident, along with two AP honors for “Outstanding Interview.” The New Jersey Working Press Association presented him the “Terry Anderson Award for Professionalism in Journalism,” (the award named for the journalist held hostage in Lebanon). Scott’s work has been cited by the American Bar Association, Aviation Space Writers Association, New York’s Finest Foundation, and the Cops Foundation.
A native of the Bronx, Scott has been installed in the “Bronx Walk of Fame,” and he is a recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor for Distinguished Americans. In 2001 he was inducted into the coveted Silver Circle of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. In June of 2014, Scott was inducted into the New York State Broadcasters Hall of Fame.
Scott has written his first book. “As I Saw It—A Reporter’s Intrepid Journey. Scott is also an accomplished photographer whose work has been exhibited in New York galleries. A photo he took of JFK is in the Library of Congress. Active in community affairs, Scott has served on the Police Commissioner’s Executive Media Committee. He is a Governor of the Friars Club, a Governor and Awards Chair of the New York Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and former President of the Television-Radio Working Press Association. Scott is married to the former Lorri Gorman, and is the father of two adult children, Jill, a television reporter and Steven, an established comedian/actor.
Jeffrey S. Wiesenfeld is a Principal and Financial Advisor in Bernstein Private Wealth Management’s New York office. Working with the firm’s investment policy groups, he devises investment programs appropriate to private client and institutional needs, managing and advising an extensive client base. Jeff joined the firm in 2000 in his current position and was appointed a Principal in 2004. Previously, he was a regional director with the Empire State Development Corporation; an executive assistant to the governor of New York State, George Pataki; an executive assistant to US Senator Alfonse D’Amato; and chief of staff to the traffic commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation under Mayor Ed Koch. Jeff earned a BA in political science from Queens College of the City University of New York and attended the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia.
Jeff serves on the board of the World Jewish Congress as Treasurer; among other nonprofit entities. He is also an advisory board member of the Long Island Chapter of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America and the CUNY-Queensborough Community College Holocaust Resource Center; the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York; and the Gold Coast Arts Center. In addition, Jeff chairs the board of the National Yiddish Theatre; serves as vice president of the American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors; and the US president of the Israel Independence Fund. Jeff is a member of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA). By appointment of the governor, Jeff was a trustee of the City University of New York from 1999 to 2013.