They were all there, Vin Scully, the voice of the Dodgers, Tommy Lasorda, the Dodgers “Ambassador” and Sandy Koufax, the Dodgers’ brightest star. Sunday night at the BevHilton, Dodgers owners Jamie and Frank McCourt received the Scopus Award from the American Friends of the Hebrew University with the keynote speaker Al Gore.
It was a busy Sunday for Gore, as earlier in the day he won the L.A. Film Critics Award for best documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth.” Gore was electrifying in pre-award presenting remarks. He shifted from his global warming theme to put the heat on Iran as that country was about to shoot off its mouth on its sickening denial of the Holocaust. “Iran’s nuclear ambition is completely unacceptable, we cannot remain silent,” Gore emphasized.
In his remarks, he praised the contributions of Jewish culture throughout the ages and that the University “can make a difference in the world in which we live.” Gore received a standing ovation. I asked him if he’d consider running again for the Presidency (which he’d once won!) and he said, thoughtfully, “I’m not planning on it, but I’m not ruling it out.”
Vin Scully narrated a video illustrating the life and contributions of the McCourts whom I interviewed here last month. $3 million was raised for the Hebrew University, once attended by Jamie McCourt. Frank McCourt allowed, in accepting the award, “When you honor us, you honor the Dodgers.”
The evenings program included an invocation by Rabbi David Baron of Beverly Hills’ Temple of the Arts; a tribute to education by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa; a toast-and-roast by Don Rickles, who was hysterically intro’d by Lasorda; a video on the Hebrew University narrated by Jason Alexander; a description of the campuses by its President, Menachem Magidor, ; and a dynamic interlude by William Joseph and his strings. Dinner hosts were Richard Ziman and wife Daphna, Beth and Joshua Friedman, and Mary Hart and Burt Sugarman. Play ball!