Even though home for actress Natalie Portman is New York, when she is asked to do something for Jerusalem (her birthplace), she seldom refuses. Thus, when the Jerusalem Foundation invited her to attend its gala fundraiser at Carnegie Hall, not only did she accept, but she was the first of the guests to arrive. Jerusalem Foundation President Ruth Cheshin arrived soon afterward and the two exchanged reminiscences of Jerusalem, where Portman spent time at the Hebrew University earning credits for her college degree.
The fundraiser was to benefit the Music Center at Mishkenot Sha’ananim, and the entertainment was provided by the Ariel Quartet, which received a big boost from the Music Center. In encouraging other guests to contribute, Portman stressed the importance of Jerusalem being not only the spiritual and political capital of Israel, but also the cultural capital, noting that cultural institutions could not thrive and survive without sufficient financial support.