Friends and family of honorees came in scores to celebrate the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s 20th annual tribute dinner Thursday at the Beverly Wilshire.
Emcee J.J. Abrams said he completely understands why the evening’s top honors were going to Tom Cruise. As Abrams’ grandmother used to say, “He may not be Jewish, but he’s Jew-ish.”
Cruise has donated generously to the center’s Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles. “It’s an important part of my life,” he explained.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa expressed pride that the museum’s “iconic building” is in L.A. and its “satellite office” is in New York. “As it should be,” said the mayor.
“I’m proud to be a part of the ‘Jews love Cruise’ fan club,” shared producer Jeffrey Katzenberg.
Abrams added, “He’s the only man who could play a Nazi and still be honored” with the center’s top kudo, the humanitarian award. “But he was a good Nazi. Because we all know how many of those there were.” –