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American Friends Fete Israel Museum

Gala at Cipriani 42nd raises $2.4 million for museum.

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NEW YORK — The American Friends of the Israel Museum gala on Monday drew a fashionable crowd that included Vera Wang and her husband, Arthur Becker, William Lauder, Julie and Billy Macklowe and Josh Bernstein, star of the Discovery Channel’s “Into the Unknown.”

They came to Cipriani 42nd Street here to celebrate the museum in Jerusalem, which is in the midst of a major renovation to be completed in time for its 45th anniversary in May.

This story first appeared in the October 28, 2009 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

“Ninety percent of the museum is now under construction, and we still have half a million visitors a year,” museum director James Snyder said.

The event, which raised more than $2.3 million for the museum, had the theme “The Written Word,” and many of the night’s touches underscored that idea. David Stark, who designed the event, re-created the museum’s logo in a large installation made of newspapers. During the evening, artist Ellis G. was asked to create an original work on-site, so he transformed one of the decorative canvases into a piece inspired by the theme. The work was then auctioned.

Wang, who attended the gala with her friends Stacey and Matthew Bronfman, said, “I have never been to Israel but I am dying to go. I’ve been trying to get a trip planned for the past four years.”

Other guests included Jerome Fisher, Stefania and Alberto Sabbadini of Sabbadini Jewelry, Madge and Martin Miller, as well as artists James Turrell, Haim Steinbach, Ghada Amer, Annette Lemieux and Vera Lutter.

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