New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, American Jewish casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer and Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel are among the high-profile guests attending a red carpet event in New York City Sunday evening.
Hosted by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach and his organization, This World: Values Network, the second annual "Champions of Jewish Values International Awards Gala" will honor several individuals, among them actor Sean Penn for working to help free American Jewish businessman Jacob Ostreicher in Bolivia and New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, who will be awarded the Champion of the Human Spirit" award.
According to the report in Talking Points Memo, Boteach, who will be celebrating his 25th year as a rabbi, says it won't be a political event, despite the fact that U.S. presidential hopefuls will be there.
Christie, who is considering a run for the 2016 presidency, will be giving the keynote address at the event, which Adelson, a Republican megadonor, is sponsoring.
Last time Christie spoke in front of Adelson, he ended up apologizing after being slammed for using the term "occupied territories" to describe the West Bank.I took a helicopter ride from the occupied territories across and just felt personally how extraordinary that was to understand, the military risk that Israel faces every day, he reportedly said.
At the speech to the Republican Jewish Coalition in March, Christie, who expressed nothing but support and admiration for Israel, was nonetheless criticized for using the term and subsequently apologized.
Boteach said his organization was recognizing Christie for the governor's work responding to the effects of Hurricane Sandy in New Jersey -- which is also Boteach's home state.