MANHATTAN SOCIETY February 4, 2011
THE COMMON GOOD HONORS RUTH GRUBER: Messages “Ahead of Time” From The Paley Center & Inside The Egyptian Revolution of 2011
By Christopher London
The Common Good (TCG) paid tribute this evening to an extraordinary American and citizen of the world at the Paley Center for Media on 52nd Street here in Manhattan. Catherine Crier served as the evening’s emcee. Today Show Anchor Ann Curry presented TCG’s American Spirit Award to Ruth Gruber.
Gruber, the youngest PhD in the world, a former Bridge & Tunnel New Yorker born in Brooklyn, just like me. In the words of TCG founder Patricia Duff: “Ruth is one of the most extraordinary and inspiring women of the latter half of the 20th century for her film-worthy exploits and accomplishments in journalism, government, and social activism.” The event was hosted by: Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Catherine Keener, Kelly Klein, Barbara Kopple, Former First Lady of New York Michelle Paige Paterson, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, Bob Richman, Rachel Roy, and Naomi Wolf. A packed amphitheater of politically and philanthropically engaged New Yorkers, including professionals in media, law, medicine, finance as well as artists, writers, political and community leaders, all of whom came to see the screening of “Ahead of Time”, a profile paying tribute to Ms. Gruber’s extraordinary life.After witnessing and photographing Gruber’s acceptance of the American Spirit Award, I briefly stopped taking photos to listen to her more carefully. What was most memorable was Grubers’ recollection of one of her discussions with David Ben-Gurion who told her that there would be peace in the Middle East. And when Ruth asked how and when, Ben-Gurion advised her “in yours or your children’s life time and it will come through Egypt.” The historical irony of Ben-Gurion’s statement was lost on few people, especially given the tumultuous situation in Egypt at the present time.