37th Annual Purim Ball Raises Record $3.2 Million for the Jewish Museum

The Jewish Museum's 37th Annual Purim Ball at the Plaza on Tuesday, March 14, 2023.

Release Date: March 16, 2023

37th Annual Purim Ball Raises Record $3.2 Million for the Jewish Museum

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Event Honored Brad S. Karp and Bang on a Can, With Special Tribute to Jewish Museum Director Claudia Gould

New York, NY, March 16, 2023--The Jewish Museum held its 37th Annual Purim Ball at the Plaza on Tuesday, March 14, 2023. Over 1,200 distinguished guests were in attendance for the festive dinner and After Party hosted by the Jewish Museum's Young Patrons group. This year's Purim Ball raised a record $3.2 million for the Museum. The event honored Brad S. Karp, Chairman, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, and Bang on a Can, the multi-faceted peforming arts organization.

Guests were greeted by poodles, the unofficial mascot of Purim Ball, on the red carpet. Robert Pruzan, Chairman of the Museum’s Board of Trustees, and Claudia Gould, the Museum’s Helen Goldsmith Menschel Director, gave welcoming remarks. Karp was introduced by Eric S. Goldstein, CEO of UJA Federation, and Bang on a Can was introduced by Michael Kushner, Executive Vice President, Business & Legal Affairs and General Counsel, Atlantic Records, and Bang on a Can Board President. A special tribute to Claudia Gould, who is stepping down as the Museum’s director in June, was given by Robert Pruzan. As a surprise for Gould, Pruzan announced that the Museum’s Board raised $2 million to establish the Claudia Gould Curatorial Fund. These monies will be used to ensure the continuation of outstanding exhibitions, and the publications, research, marketing, and staffing needed to support them.

The historic Plaza was transformed by David Stark Design and Production, with decor inspired by our current exhibition, The Sassoons. Guests were escorted to dinner with an electrifying performance by the Grammy-nominated musical collective Innov Gnawa. Dinner began with a surprise performance by Young People’s Chorus of New York City singing an original composition by Bang on a Can. Many attendees wore masks and used groggers to drown out Haman’s name. The Choir of Trinity Wall Street closed the dinner program with a rousing performance of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah. Throughout the evening, guests were treated to tarot card readings by Larry & Raven: The ESP Couple, enjoyed the signature cocktail Pomegranate Rosemary Tito’s Fizz, made with Tito’s Handmade Vodka, and took their photos at the Smilebooth. Music was provided by DJ Timo

Shari and Jeff Aronson • Debbie and Glenn August • Melissa and Scott Barshay • Marc Becker and Caryn Seidman-Becker • Cheryl and Blair Effron • Katherine Farley and Jerry Speyer • Molly and Bill Ford • Jane Fraser • Dana and Robert Kraft • Jeanette Lerman-Neubauer and Joseph Neubauer • Felicia and Sander Levy • Beth and Joshua Nash • Tracey and Robert Pruzan • Valerie Radwaner and Steven Virany • Marc Rowan • Harriet and Leonard Schleifer • Pamela Seymon and Robert Schumer • David Shapiro and Liz Lange • Jane and James Stern

Jonathan and Darcie Crystal • Nomi Ghez and Michael Siegal • Catherine Klema and David Resnick • Gina and Jonathan Krane • Betty and John Levin • Dayna and Steve Novenstein • Nancy and Morris W. Offit • Nicole and David Sambur • Susan and Stephen Scherr • John Shapiro and Shonni Silverberg • Audrey and Zygi Wilf • Jane and Mark Wilf • Susan and Benjamin Winter

Masked Purim balls have been given for charitable purposes since the end of the fifteenth century. The holiday commemorates events that occurred during a period of Jewish history known as “the Babylonian exile,” in the 6th century BCE. Aided by her uncle Mordecai, the Persian king’s beautiful Jewish queen, Esther, thwarted a plot against the Jews devised by Haman, her husband’s chief minister. The Jews of Persia rejoiced at their deliverance and sent gifts to one another. Centuries later, these events are celebrated every year with jubilant parties, feasting, and the wearing of costumes and masks.

About the Jewish Museum

The Jewish Museum is an art museum committed to illuminating the complexity and vibrancy of Jewish culture for a global audience. Located on New York City’s famed Museum Mile, in the landmarked Warburg mansion, the Jewish Museum was the first institution of its kind in the United States and is one of the oldest Jewish museums in the world. The Museum offers diverse exhibitions and programs and maintains a unique collection of nearly 30,000 works of art, ceremonial objects, and media reflecting the global Jewish experience over more than 4,000 years. The public may call 212.423.3200 or visit TheJewishMuseum.org for more information.

Press contacts

Daniela Stigh, dstigh@thejm.org