Winnipeg Jewish Review  
Site Search:
Home  |  Archives  |  Contact Us
Features Local Israel Next Generation Arts/Op-Eds Editorial/Letters Links Obituary/In Memoriam

Tim Boxer

Tony Bennet congratulates Don Rickles at the Friars
Photo by Tim Boxer


Joan Rivers said she loved to watch Bob Newhart sitting among so many Jews. “He looks like Sarah Palin in a library.”

By Tim Boxer, Aug 1, 2013

[Editor's note: On July 17, I received an email from Tim Boxer which made my day. It opened with "Hi Rhonda, I read your superb magazine often, and find it  dazzling and informative. With fond memories of growing up in the North End, I would like to retain a connection with my birthplace. So I’m reaching out to you."
Boxer, who has been writing a column for the New York Jewish Week for 36 years, said he would be pleased to enable the Winnipeg Jewish Review to reprint his work, for which  I am very grateful.
Boxer has a very impressive resume, one which I'd like to share with readers.
Boxer left Winnipeg in 1952 after high school at St. John's Tech and United College (now the University of Winnipeg). He  lived on Pritchard and Powers in the North End. " My father Gabriel was a grocery store owner, and my uncle Jack was a founding president of Herzliya [Synagogue], " he wrote after I inquired to know more about him.

"I went to Chicago to study at the Hebrew Theological College for four years. In my spare time I was a reporter for a local weekly paper,covering night life on the Windy City's Gold Coast and Near North Side. That's where I met Dick Gregory, became his publicist, and made him a star overnight as the first black comedian to break the glass ceiling in the major supper clubs of America. After promoting Gregory in Chicago and NewYork, Hugh Hefner sent me to preside over the opening of the Playboy Club in New York. Then I worked for 20 years as assistant and ghost writer to syndicated gossip columnist  Earl Wilson of the New York Post. After he retired I wrote my own celebrity column there for five years."

Boxer is in his 36th year as a  columnist at the New York Jewish Week and also his 15th year as editor and publisher of,  covering celebrity and society in New York, and which appeals to a high-end audience.  He is the author of two books: "The Jewish Celebrity Hall of Fame" with an introduction by Bob Hope (who wrote, "What's a nice goy like me doing in a book like this?") and "Jewish Celebrity Anecdotes." Besides being a writer, he is also a photographer, and  Getty Images distributes his celebrity photos around the globe. His celebrity Polaroids are going on auction in November in New York. A sampling, which is really worth looking at, is displayed  at
In 1977 The Bay presented Boxer's celebrity photo exhibit and he gave a lecture on celebrity photography at the University of Winnipeg.
Boxer is currently writing his memoirs. "I live with my wife Nina in Queens, New York. Our firstborn, Gabriel, who's in the kosher catering business on Long Island, is married to Rebeka who has given us three grandchildren; our second, David, is a software engineer with IBM in Boston." he says.
Next time I am in New York Tim, I am definitely looking you up. Welcome and thanks for contributing.] 



by Tim Boxer, August 1, 2013


The comedians who populate the ranks of the New York Friars Club have endured beyond their expiration date. When we ask “how old is he” the answer is “deceased.”  George Burns passed on at 100; Henny Youngman departed at 92.

Even comedians’ marriages last forever. Ginny and Bob Newhart have been married 50 years; Barbara and Don Rickles, 48 years. Newhart has a theory: “I think if you can keep laughing you will stay together.”

I’m no comedian but my Nina hasn’t stopped laughing since the day I smashed the glass under the chupah 36 years ago.

After a robust effort to recruit fresh blood, there is now an infusion of youthful merrymakers swelling the club’s showbiz ranks. This mixture of the young and the old was evident at a recent Friars affair.

When the Friars Foundation, which supports various charities, presented a lifetime achievement award last month to the acerbic and insulting Don Rickles—the elder statesman of the comedy racket—his octogenarian colleagues, those not tethered to their wheelchairs, found their way to the Waldorf-Astoria to pay tribute to their fearless mentor.

Among the usual suspects were Tony Bennett , 86 in August;  Bob Newhart, 83 in September; Regis Philbin, 82 in August;  Lewis Black, 65 in August; Tony Danza, 62; sportscaster Bob Costas, 62; Billy Crystal, 65; and Bette Midler, 67.

Newhart, of Oak Park, Illinois, said proudly that he started at the Sahara in Las Vegas. Rickles, of Queens, New York, added, “I started on a wagon train going west. “

That prompted Joan Rivers who turned 80 in June to crack, “This looks like a walking bucket list.” Not to be outdone, Robert De Niro, 70 in August, remarked, “This is an impressive lineup for the Don Rickles memorial service.”

“I’m only irritated,” De Niro added, “that when I was in Israel celebrating Shimon Peres’s 90th birthday, I wasted my prayer at the Wailing Wall on Don’s memory.”

At some point during all this merriment the Friars Foundation managed to bestow  an Applause Award upon Barry R. Feirstein of Feirstein Capital Management Corporation, an investment management firm. A Brooklyn College graduate, he’s president of the Friars Foundation and a supporter of Manhattan’s Center for Jewish History.

Joan Rivers said she loved to watch Bob Newhart sitting among so many Jews.  “He looks like Sarah Palin in a library.”

Newhart mentioned that he and his wife vacation a lot with Rickles. “After that we take a vacation.”

On a trip to Israel they stayed at the King David Hotel. While driving around Jerusalem Don flattered himself with his keen knowledge of local landmarks. “I know that building. It’s where they keep Palestinian terrorists.”

“No, Don,” the guide said. “That’s the national library.”

In the Golan Heights Don was excited to see a row of tall poles on the mountain.  “Those poles are high so they can spy on the troops in Syria.”

“No, Don. Those are telephone poles.”

Jimmy Fallon, part of the new generation of Friars who proved their mettle, proposed a toast. “Here’s to Don, not for another 80 years, just 40 years. More than that is just overkill.”

At the end Rickles looked heavenward and dedicated the evening of fun to his Yiddish speaking mother Etta, and his son Larry, an Emmy Award-winning producer who died of pneumonia at age 41 in 2011.  “Larry, Dad was a hit tonight!”


Winnipeg-born Tim Boxer is editor and publisher of and celebrity columnist of



<<Previous Article       Next Article >>
Subscribe to the Winnipeg Jewish Review
  • RBC
  • Titi Tijani
  • Jewish Federation of Winnipeg
  • PC Party
  • Jewish Federation of Winnipeg
  • Orthodox Union
  • Karyn and Mel Lazareck
  • Booke + Partners
  • Accurate Lawn & Garden
  • Coughlin Insurance Brokers
  • Munroe Pharmacy
  • Jim Muir
  • Daniel Friedman and Rob Dalgleish
  • Artista Homes
  • Fetching Style
  • Munroe Dental Centre
  • Cavalier Candies
  • Ronald B. Zimmerman
  • Viscont Gort
  • Safeway Tuxedo
  • Karyn & Mel Lazareck
  • MCW Consultants Ltd.
  • Red River Coop
  • Winnipeg Beach Home Building Centre
  • John Wishnowski
  • John Bucklaschuk
  • Tyler Bucklaschuk
  • Ingrid Bennett
  • Gulay Plumbing
  • Nick's Inn
  • Taverna Rodos
  • Holiday Inn Polo Park
  • Bob and Shirley Freedman
  • Elaine and Ian Goldstine
  • Josef Ryan
  • Western Scrap Metals Inc.
  • CdnVISA Immigration Consultants
  • Simmonds and Associates
  • Doheny Securities Limited
  • Canada Awakening Ministries
  • Fair Service
  • Dr. Marshall Stitz
  • Shindico
  • Astroid Management Limited
  • Piston Ring
  • Commercial Pool
  • Robin Shapiro Photography
  • Broadway Law Group
  • Sorrento's
  • Roseman Corp
  • Laufman Reprographics
  • Equitable Solutions
  • CVA Systems
  • Chochy's
  • Amalgamated Drywall
  • Ambassador Mechanical
  • Renew Mobility
  • Abe and Toni Berenhaut
  • Grant Kurian Trucking
  • Shoppers Drug Mart
  • kristinas-greek
  • The Center for Near East Policy Research Ltd.
  • Sarel Canada
  • Santa Lucia Pizza
  • Roofco Winnipeg Roofing
  • Center for Near East Policy Research
  • Nachum Bedein
Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.