Philanthropists Bonnie and Charles Bronfman and Madge and Martin Miller gathered at the Waldorf-Astoria on Monday night for the American Friends of the Israel Museum “Israel at 60” celebration.

This story first appeared in the October 31, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The Grand Ballroom was designed by David Stark, with indigenous greens and starry-night decorations meant to evoke the natural elements of Israel.

The American Friends of the Israel Museum works with the Israel Museum in Jerusalem to raise funds and acquire art. The group also hosts several events in Palm Beach, Fla., and Beverly Hills every year.

The gala raised $2.8 million. Guests also included real estate tycoon Harry Macklowe and his wife, Linda; socialite Dori Cooperman, and Glamour magazine editor in chief Cindi Leive.

“The cultural institutions in Israel need to have a presence,” said Judy Baron, a board member of American Friends.

“This is a great organization that really promotes culture and peace in the long run,” said Mimi Perlman, a supporter of the group.

James Snyder, the Anne and Jerome Fisher director of the Israel Museum since 1996, said the museum is host to objects, art and antiquities ranging from the ancient world to contemporary art.

At 43 years old, the museum is “one of the most complete museums in the whole world,” he said. “Being in Jerusalem, in some ways, it’s the end of the earth, and in other ways, it’s also the center of the universe.”