Today: How Sally Goodgold’s “Bagel Diplomacy” made New York City a far better place to live.
Politics in New York City are fierce. The home of Donald Trump and some other giant builders as well as the titans of Wall Street, the demands of the powerful can be uncompromising and public clashes are frequent. 10 years after 9/11, finally now the Ground Zero site is being rebuilt. Muslim Americans wanted to build a beautiful facility near the 9/11 site where an old rundown warehouse existed, it was yet another battle to get the approval.
In the face of all this ill will came Sally Goodgold, a volunteer who could battle the best of them as she worked tirelessly to make New York City a better place. Sally helped convince city officials that when giant developers build fancy new high rise housing, they should add additional affordable housing. She also persuaded the city to have those developers provide landscaped green belts and other public accommodations as part of their construction approvals.
Some builders fought it because it was costly for them but she brought everyone together: politicians, builders and neighbors in her 79th Street apartment to talk it out over bagels, which she called "bagel diplomacy." In a comfortable setting and munching on bagels, it helped them understand each other’s view points and find solutions as seemingly impossible battles got resolved.
Who was this bagel diplomat? Born to Samuel and Dora Gottfried in 1929, Sally graduated from Bucknell University and became a Beth Israel hospital volunteer, where she met and married heart specialist Dr. Murray Goodgold. They had a son and a daughter and when the kids grew up; Sally taught at Queen’s College and she became an activist.
Best known for her work with the Women’s City Club of New York (“Shaping Policy, improving lives”), she got involved in many civic causes including the Police Foundation, the Settlement Housing Fund and the Jewish Community Relations Council. But time catches up to even the most active among us and Sally passed away at the age of 82, on August 18th, 2011. She is survived by her son Jay and daughter Iris, by her sister Betty and by three grandchildren.
And Sally is also survived by a New York City that is a far better place because of her love for the city and because of her creative and loving "Bagel Diplomacy."
Success Tip of the Week:
You too could make a difference in your community. Like Sally, attend City Council Meetings and make your voice heard. And if it gets too nasty, away from the formal Council Chambers, bring bagels or other popular munchies and help everyone to cordially talk out and resolve their issues.
To learn more about Sally Goodgold, please see her New York Times obit: "Sally Goodgold, Civic Advocate Who Practiced 'Bagel Diplomacy,' Dies at 82."
In the next KazanToday:
A paraplegic shut-in who helped uplift the world.