night our organization, This World: The Values Network, hosted a
fascinating discussion entitled, “Values to Heal America” featuring
Prof. Elie Wiesel, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, Dr. Mehmet Oz,
America’s doctor, and Mayor Cory Booker of Newark.
What an event
it turned out to be! Truly, one of the finest dialogues I have ever
been involved with. I structured the evening by presenting to the
panelists with the seven greatest social ills that I believe are
plaguing America. I then offered a Jewish-values based solution to each
and asked the panelists to react. We dealt with depression, the terror
threat and foreign wars, broken families, materialism and greed, the
growing gap between rich and poor, and other pressing concerns.
To have three guests, each of whom is a world-leader in their field,
was spectacular and I strongly encourage each of you to go on our
websites and watch the full program. The questions from the audience
were equally riveting.
John Gosselin, from Jon and Kate Plus 8, joined us in the audience
and asked the panelists what were the most important values by which to
raise good kids. We alighted upon respect (Oz), setting a good moral
example (Booker), and teaching them to love learning (Prof Wiesel). I
spoke to Jon publicly about the need to use fame and celebrity to
highlight a cause larger than oneself, without which fame can become a
curse. He was very receptive and I commend him for having the courage
to get up in front of everyone and ask his question. His family clearly
needs healing and I have been speaking to him about changes he must
make in his life. Again, he is always very receptive. There is much
good in him and he has, I believe, a sincere desire to correct the many
mistakes he has made as he has been carried away with fame, as have so
many others in our culture.
Indeed, the obsession with celebrity was one of the most interesting
parts of the conversation and Mehmet Oz said that his wife Lisa, as
well as raising four children, keep him grounded amid his own
But the greatest treat for all of us was hearing Elie Wiesel, a
living legend, share his inspirational wisdom with us. Prof. Wiesel has
lectured to my organizations now for twenty years. Each time it is
memorable, uplifting, and historic. There is none like him.