TONIGHT ON METROFOCUS

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney is here to discuss President Trump’s plan to militarize the Mexican border, the census “citizenship” question, and gun legislation amongst other things. A must see interview! Nearly 1.3 million New Yorkers struggle to afford food for themselves and their families every day. Meet the organization that has helped feed them for over 35 years. The violin virtuoso Itzhak Perlman and his wife Toby turn movie critics and the subjects of the upcoming “American Master” documentary “Itzhak.” Tune in for their intimate review and reflections.

Aired on April 5, 2018. 

TRANSCRIPT

> TONIGHT ON 'METROFOCUS,' MILITARY ON OUR SOUTHERN BORDER, THE CITIZENSHIP CENSUS AND GUN CONTROL.

JUST A FEW OF THE ISSUES CONGRESSWOMAN CAROL MALONEY IS PREPARED TO DEAL WITH.

> AND GOING HUNGRY, NEARLY 1.3 MILLION NEW YORKERS STRUGGLE TO PROVIDE FOOD FOR THEMSELVES AND THEIR FAMILIES.

AND THE ORGANIZATION THAT'S BEEN THEIR LIFELINE FOR THOSE IN NEED FOR OVER 35 YEARS.

> AND A NEW DOCUMENTARY THAT CAPTURES THE MUSIC OF ITZHAK PERLMAN AND HIS WIFE ARE HERE TO DISCUSS HIS MUSIC AND THE FILM.

> ALL THAT AND MORE AS 'METROFOCUS' STARTS RIGHT NOW.

> THIS IS 'METROFOCUS,' WITH RAFAEL P. RAMON, JACK FORD, AND JENNA FLANNIGAN.

FUNDING FOR THIS PROGRAM WAS PROVIDED BY --

FUNDING FOR THIS PROGRAM IS ALSO PROVIDED BY THE JPB FOUNDATION AND THE FORD FOUNDATION.

> GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO 'METROFOCUS,' I'M JACK FORD.

THERE ARE A LOT OF MOVING PARTS FOR THE ACTION GOING DOWN ON CAPITOL HILL WITH A WHITE HOUSE SEEMINGLY IN TURMOIL, WITH BOTH PARTIES AT ODDS ON MANY THINGS, FROM GUN REGULATION, TAXES AND THE CENSUS.

> FIRST OUR BREAKING STORY, TONIGHT, PRESIDENT TRUMP ORDERING TROOPS ALONG THE MEXICAN BORDER TO HELP EASE THE FLOW OF ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS.

APPREHENSIONS THERE ARE AT THEIR LOWEST LEVEL IN 37 YEARS, WHILE ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION SPECIFICALLY FROM MEXICO IS AT ITS LOWEST LEVEL IN 50 YEARS.

JOINING US WITH A LOOK AT ALL OF THAT, ALL THAT'S GOING ON, IT'S OUR PLEASURE AS ALWAYS TO HAVE CONGRESSWOMAN CAROLYN MALONEY.

ALWAYS NICE TO SEE YOU.

ALWAYS NICE TO SEE YOU AND TO BE ON YOUR IMPORTANT SHOW.

LET'S START WITH THE NOTION OF TROOPS NOW BEING SENT TO THE MEXICO BORDER.

YOUR PERSPECTIVE, DO YOU THINK IT'S NECESSARY AT THIS POINT?

NO, I DON'T AND I DON'T WANT TO MILITARIZE OUR BORDER, NOR DO I THINK DEMOCRATS WANT THE MILITARY AT OUR BOARDER AND I DON'T THINK THE MILITARY THEMSELVES WANT TO BE THERE.

I THINK THAT THE PRESIDENT YESTERDAY HAS CALLED FOR THE NATIONAL GUARD, OF THE GOVERNORS TO SEND THE NATIONAL GUARD TO THE BORDER.

THIS IS SOMETHING THAT PRESIDENT OBAMA, AND PRESIDENT -- I CAN'T ON SAY HIS NAME.

THE AUTHOR OF TWO WARS AND $15 TRILLION AND AND A FINANCIAL SURPLUS.

HE ALSO SENT THE NATIONAL GUARD TO THE BORDER.

THERE WAS REPORTS THAT THERE WAS SUPPOSED TO BE A HUGE INFLUX, BUT WE HAVEN'T SEEN IT YET.

BUT THE NATIONAL GUARD IS AN APPROPRIATE FALL BACK POSITION.

I DO NOT BELIEVE AMERICA WANTS TO MILITARIZE AND ARM THE BORDER WITH ONE OF OUR CLOSEST ALLIES.

TWO PREVIOUS PRESIDENTS HAVE TAKEN SIMILAR STEPS.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA SENT 12,000 NATIONAL GUARD TROOPS, PRESIDENT BUSH SENT ABOUT 6,000.

THEY WERE TOLD SPECIFICALLY THEY WERE THERE NOT TO BE ARMED BUT TO ASSIST IN VARIOUS FUNCTIONS.

SO THE ADMINISTRATION HAS SAID WE ARE JUST DOING WHAT PRESIDENTS BEFORE US HAVE DONE.

ISN'T THERE SOME VALIDITY TO THAT ARGUMENT?

NATIONAL GUARD WAS VALIDITY, BUT HIS FIRST REGARD WAS TO SEND THE AMERICAN MILITARY, TO HAVE TRAINED TROOPS THAT ARE THERE TO DEFEND US, TO HAVE THE MILITARY ITSELF THERE AND ARMED.

LIKE ALL OF HIS TWEETS, IT'S NOT CLEAR AT ALL THAT THE POLITICS HAVE BEEN WORKED OUT AND IN WHAT FORM.

I DO NOT SUPPORT MILITARYIZING OUR BORDER.

BUT WE HAVE USED THE NATIONAL GUARD IN TIMES OF STRESS WHEN WE DO NOT HAVE ENOUGH BORDER PATROL.

IF IT TURNS OUT THAT THE IDEA IS TO MIRROR ESSENTIALLY WHAT PRESIDENT OBAMA AND PRESIDENT BUSH DID, NATIONAL GUARD TROOPS, NOT ENGAGED SPECIFICALLY IN LAW ENFORCEMENT, BUT JUST AS A PRESENCE, WOULD YOU BE OKAY WITH THAT?

IT DEPENDS ON WHAT IS THE THREAT.

THEY SAY THERE'S THIS LARGE GROUP OF ASYLUM SEEKERS, ALMOST 1,500 MARCHING TOWARD THE BORDER.

IF THAT IS HAPPENING, AND YOU HAVE TO SEE THE SPECIFICS.

THEN IT MAY BE APPROPRIATE.

BUT LIKE ANYTHING, IT'S HARD TO TALK ABOUT WHAT IFS.

I AM TOTALLY AGAINST HAVING THE MILITARY AT THE BORDER, BUT THE NATIONAL GUARD HISTORICALLY HAS COME IN AND PROVIDED ASSISTANCE TO BORDER PATROL WHEN THEY FEEL THEY NEED IT.

SO I THINK IT NEEDS TO BE LOOKED AT AND THE SPECIFICS HAVE TO BE PRESENTED TO CONGRESS.

IT'S A TWEET.

WE NEED THE DETAILS.

YOU NEED TO KNOW WHAT IS TRULY BEHIND IT.

IS THERE IN FACT -- THERE'S BEEN SOME REPORTS THAT IT'S BEEN DISBANDED, I DON'T KNOW, THIS SO CALLED INFLUX OF ASYLUM SEEKERS.

WE DON'T KNOW AND WE'LL HAVE TO SEE WHAT THE FACTS ARE.

WE'LL BE BACK IN WASHINGTON, D.C. ON THURSDAY, AND I'LL GIVE YOU THE DETAILS, BUT RIGHT NOW IT'S NOTHING MORE THAN A TWEET.

GUNS, THERE'S BEEN A SIGNIFICANT UPTICK IN DISCUSSIONS, CONVERSATIONS, PROPOSALS ABOUT GUN SAFETY.

YOU'RE INVOLVED NOW, YOU HAVE SOME SUGGESTIONS THAT YOU WANT TO PUSH FORWARD IN CONGRESS.

TELL US ABOUT THE ELEMENTS OF YOUR PROPOSAL.

I HAVE ROUGHLY SEVEN DIFFERENT BILLS BEFORE CONGRESS AND I TRULY FEEL THAT SOMETHING'S DIFFERENT NOW, BECAUSE THE AMERICAN PUBLIC HAS JUST HAD IT AND THE STUDENT LEADERSHIP, NOT JUST IN FLORIDA, I WOULD SAY ACROSS THE COUNTRY IS HAVING SUCH A GREAT IMPACT.

I SAW THE TERM YOUTH QUAKE.

IN THE OMNIBUS BILL THEY MADE TWO CHANGES, ONE IS THEY REMOVED THE PROHIBITION ON STUDYING GUN SAFETY.

AND I HAVE HAD SENATOR MARKEY ON THAT FOR YEARS, AND THE OTHER WAS TO STRENGTHEN THE NATIONAL INSTANT BACKGROUND CHECK, FBI CENTRAL AREA WHERE WE CHECK FOR BACKGROUND CHECKS.

THE BILL I'M INTRODUCING WHEN I GO BACK ON TUESDAY AND REALLY MEETING WITH GUN GROUPS TODAY, IS THE NIX FIX BILL, THAT WOULD ALLOW THE FBI TO HAVE THE ABILITY ON BACKGROUND CHECKS.

IN 2004, THE REPUBLICANS CHANGED THE SYSTEM THAT YOU ONLY HAD 24 HOURS TO AUDIT AND THEN IT HAD TO BE DESTROYED.

PRIOR TO 2004, IT HAD TO BE 90 DAYS.

THEY FOUND THAT MANY PEOPLE GAMED THE SYSTEM, USED FALSE NAMES.

SO THIS WOULD KEEP THE RECORDS AVAILABLE FOR 90 DAYS, JUST TO MAKE SURE THERE'S NOTHING THERE THAT GOT MISSED?

SO THE CRIMINALS WHO ARE DANGEROUS TO SOCIETY, THEY CAN GO BACK AND TAKE THOSE GUNS AWAY FROM THEM?

IS THERE A SENSE THAT THERE'S SOME BIPARTISAN SUPPORT FOR THAT ELEMENT?

I CERTAINLY HOPE SO, JACK.

THIS YOUTH EARTHQUAKE IS HAVING SOME IMPACT.

THEY HAVE ALSO CALLED FOR EVERY MEMBER OF CONGRESS TO HAVE A TOWN HALL MEETING THIS WEEKEND, I'M HAVING MINE AT VELAZQUEZ MIDDLE SCHOOL IN BROOKLYN, YOU CAN GO TO MY FACEBOOK CALENDAR OR MY WEBSITE TO FIND OUT WHERE IT IS.

SO EVERY MEMBER OF CONGRESS, REPUBLICAN AND DEMOCRAT SHOULD BE HAVING THAT.

THIS STUDENT LEADERSHIP, I WAS PART OF THE MARCH FOR OUR LIVES AND MANY OTHERS AS SUPPORT FOR THESE STUDENTS.

AND ALSO THE WALKOUT.

HOW DUMB CAN YOU BE?

TO NOT HAVE SENSIBLE GUN SAFETY LAWS.

IF GUNS MADE YOU SAFER, WE WOULD BE THE SAFEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD.

WE HAVE MORE GUNS THAN ANY OTHER INDUSTRIALIZED COUNTRY BY FAR.

THE YOUNG PEOPLE ARE SAYING I WANT TO BE SAFE TO GO TO SCHOOL.

IN THE NEWS RECENTLY THERE'S BEEN SOME SUGGESTIONS BY THIS PRESIDENT THAT THEY WANT TO HAVE A QUESTION ABOUT CITIZENSHIP IN THE UPCOMING SCENSUS.

EVERY 10 YEARS, WE'RE REQUIRED BY THE CONSTITUTION TO CONDUCT A CENSUS.

THERE'S BEEN A NUMBER OF ATTORNEYS GENERAL WHO ARE IN THE PROCESS OF FILING SUIT.

THEY WANT TO STOP THIS.

WHY DO YOU BELIEVE THAT IT'S INAPPROPRIATE TO INCLUDE A QUESTION ABOUT CITIZENSHIP ON THE CENSUS?

IT'S IMPORTANT IN REPRESENTATION AND THE DISTRIBUTION OF OVER 700 BILLION IN FEDERAL FUNDS AND THE CITIZENSHIP QUESTION WAS THROWN IN WITHOUT BEING STUDIED, MOST OF THE QUESTIONS ARE STUDIED FOR THREE YEARS.

I HAVE A BILL THAT SAYS YOU DON'T PUT IN QUESTIONS AT THE LAST MINUTE THAT HAVE NOT BEEN STUDIED AND APPROVED BY THE CENSUS BUREAU AND THE PROFESSIONALS.

FIVE OF THE LAST CENSUS DIRECTORS HAVE COME OUT IN BOTH ADMINISTRATIONS AGAINST THIS PROPOSAL.

THE IDEA IN THE CONSTITUTION IS THAT YOU SHOULD COUNT EVERYONE.

AND PROFESSIONALS ARE SAYING THAT THE CITIZENSHIP QUESTION WILL RESULT IN AN UNDERCOUNT IN IMMIGRANT POPULATIONS AND URBAN AREAS LIKE NEW YORK CITY AND CALIFORNIA AND OTHER STATES BECAUSE THEY WON'T ANSWER IT.

THEY'LL GO UNDER GROUND, THEY WON'T ANSWER IT AND PEOPLE WHO SYMPATHIZE WITH IMMIGRANTS, IMMIGRANT FAMILIES WON'T ANSWER IT SO IT WILL RESULT IN AN UNDERCOUNT SO THAT YOUR FUNDING FORMULAS WON'T BE ACCURATE AND FEDERAL FUNDING FORMULAS ARE ALL TIED TO CENSUS NUMBERS SO IT'S CRITICAL.

ALSO YOUR REAPPORTIONMENT NUMBERS ARE ALSO TIED TO THE CENSUS.

IF YOU'RE NOT COUNTED, YOU'RE NOT REPRESENTED AND YOU'RE NOT COUNTED.

AND THE PRIVATE SECTOR RELIES ON IT TREMENDOUSLY FOR RESEARCH, WHERE IS THE COUNTRY GOING, WHAT'S HAPPENING?

IT'S THE MOST IMPORTANT SCIENTIFIC DOCUMENT THAT WE PRODUCE IN OUR COUNTRY AND IT SHOULD BE ACCURATE.

WHY DO A CENSUS IF YOU'RE GOING TO PUT A QUESTION ON THAT EVERY PROFESSIONAL INCLUDING FIVE CENSUS DIRECTORS HAVE SAID, BOTH REPUBLICAN AND DEMOCRAT, HAVE SAID DON'T DO IT, IT'S WRONG, IT'S GOING TO PRODUCE AN UNDER COUNT.

SOME ATTORNEYS GENERAL INVOLVED IN LITIGATION, AND HOPEFULLY WE'LL GET YOU BACK HERE AND TALK ABOUT THIS MORE.

GOOD TO SEE YOU.

TAKE CARE.

> 35 YEARS AGO THE NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION CITY HARVEST WAS FOUNDED BY A GROUP OF PEOPLE WHO RECOGNIZED TWO MAJOR PROBLEMS FACING OUR CITY, HUNGER AND FOOD WASTE.

THESE PIONEERS TOOK A FOOD VAN TO RESTAURANTS ALL OVER MANHATTAN TO RESCUE FOOD BY DELIVERING IT TO SOUP KITCHENS.

TODAY THEY'RE HELPING MORE THAN 1.3 MILLION NEW YORKERS.

WE'RE SHINING A LIGHT ON THE GOOD WORK OF CITY HARVEST.

HERE WITH THE LATEST INFORMATION ON WHAT THE ORGANIZATION IS UP TO IS CITY HARVEST CEO JILLIE STEVENS.

JILLIE, WELCOME TO THE PROGRAM.

THANK YOU FOR SLHAVING ME.

WITH SO MUCH EMPHASIS ON THE CITY HARVEST PROGRAM, TELL US WHAT YOU DO.

CITY HARVEST IS ON THE ROAD SEVEN DAYS A WEEK, RESCUING GREAT FOOD FROM RESTAURANTS, WHOLESALERS ACROSS THE REGION AND GETTING THAT GREAT FOOD TO HUNGRY NEW YORKERS.

WE'RE SERVING CLOSE TO 1.3 MILLION NEW YORKERS.

MANY OF THEM ARE GOING TO BE HOMELESS.

MANY MORE HAVE HOMES, HAVE JOBS, JUST IN ONE OF THE MOST EXPENSIVE CITIES IN THE COUNTRY, IF NOT THE MOST EXPENSIVE.

IT'S NOT ALWAYS EASY TO GET BY, PAY RENT, UTILITY COSTS AND STILL HAVE MONEY TO PUT FOOD ON THE TABLE.

NEW YORK ALSO SEES KIDS WHO HAVE A HARD TIME GETTING FREE LUNCHES AT SCHOOLS AS WELL.

RECENTLY THERE WAS A MOVE TO MAKE UNIVERSAL BREAKFAST AND LUNCH FREE FOR NEW YORK CITY PUBLIC SCHOOL CHILDREN, WHICH WAS A GREAT ADVANCE FOR THE CITY.

CLOSE TO ONE IN FIVE CHILDREN IN NEW YORK CITY DON'T KNOW WHERE THEIR NEXT MEAL IS GOING TO COME FROM.

SO THAT SCHOOL MEAL IS ESPECIALLY CRITICAL FOR THEM.

CITY HARVEST WORKS HARD TO MAKE SURE THAT AGENCIES LIKE SOUP KITCHENS AND FOOD PANTRIES HAVE WHAT THEY NEED THEN TO SUPPORT THESE FAMILIES DURING THOSE LONG SUMMER WEEKS WHEN SCHOOL'S OUT AND FAMILIES NEED EXTRA FOOD TO HELP KEEP THEIR CHILDREN GOING.

SO A LOT NEEDS TO BE DONE AND THERE HAVE BEEN SOME GOOD ADVANCES.

WITH SO MUCH TALK ABOUT HOW PEOPLE NEED TO LESSEN THEY WERE FOOTPRINT AND USE LESS.

IS THAT SOMETHING THAT PERHAPS THE RESTAURANTS, I DO UNDERSTAND THAT WOULD IMPACT A GROUP LIKE CITY HARVEST, BUT IF THE RESTAURANTS JUST USED LESS FOOD, THEN THEY WOULDN'T HAVE ALL THIS EXCESS WASTE.

IT'S A REALLY INTERESTING QUESTION, BECAUSE CITY HARVEST WAS FOUNDED 35 YEARS AGO.

WE WERE FOUNDED BY VOLUNTEER WHO WENT TO RESTAURANTS TO PICK UP THAT EXTRA FOOD TO DELIVER IT TO SOUP KITCHENS AND FOOD PANTRIES THROUGHOUT THE CITY.

OF THE FOOD THAT WE COLLECT, VERY LITTLE OF IT WILL COME FROM RESTAURANTS.

RESTAURANTS DO A VERY GOOD JOB, THEY DON'T HAVE MUCH LEFT OVER FOOD.

WE'RE BRINGING IN ATRACTOR TRAILER LOADS, A LOT OF EMPHASIS ON FRUITS AND VEGETABLES.

A LOT OF THE FOOD THAT WE RESCUE IS FRESH FRUIT AND VEGETABLES.

SO THAT'S COMING UP IN LARGE QUANTITIES.

IMAGINE A FARMER UPSTATE WHO'S GROWN A FIELD OF RADISHES AND THEY'RE JUST A LITTLE BIT TOO BIG.

CITY HARVEST CAN GET THOSE RADISHES.

NOW WE CAN GET THAT FOOD AND GET IT OUT TO THE FAMILIES WHO NEED IT.

THE FARMERS ARE NOT LOSING THEIR INVESTMENT IN THE CROP, AND SO A LOT OF OUR FOOD IS COMING THAT WAY NOW, BIG, BIG TRUCKS AND LARGE SCALE.

IT SOUNDS LIKE IT'S GROWN INTO ITS OWN ECONOMY AT THIS POINT.

IT REALLY HAS.

AND WE'RE NOT GROWING FOR THE SAKE OF GROWING, WE'RE GROWING BECAUSE THE HUNGER AND THE NEED IN NEW YORK CITY IS STILL PERSISTENTLY HIGH.

WITH 1.3 MILLION NEW YORKERS NOT ALWAYS KNOWING WHERE THEIR NEXT MEAL IS COMING FROM, AND CLOSE TO HALF OF FOLKS IN THE CITY IN FACT, STRUGGLING TO MAKE ENDS MEET, WE HAVE TO GROW AND HELP PEOPLE PUT FOOD ON THE TABLE.

BECAUSE FOOD IS AN ELASTIC EXPENSE.

YOU CAN'T DECIDE NOT TO PAY YOUR RENT OR ELECTIELECTRICITY, BUT N DECIDE TO GO TO A SOUP KITCHEN OR A FOOD PANTRY.

THERE CONDI CONTINUES TO BE IN THE CITY.

IT CALLS FOR US TO FIND MORE FOOD, GET IT INTO THE HANDS OF THOSE NEARLY 1.3 MILLION NEW YORKERS, CONTINUED EMPHASIS ON FRESH FRUITS AND VEGETABLES.

WHAT WE HEAR FROM THE AGENCIES THAT WE TAKE THAT FOOD TO, IS THAT THEY WOULD LIKE A GREATER VARIETY.

SO WE'RE PUTTING EMPHASIS ON IF WE CAN GET SOME DIFFERENT FRUITS, IF WE CAN GET THE CITRUS IN, THE GOODS ALWAYS LOVE THE CITRUS THAT WE CAN DELIVER.

WE ARE CONTINUING TO GROW, AND THERE'S STILL A LOT TO DO TO GET FOOD TO OUR HUNGRY MAKES.

THANK YOU FOR JOINING US AND TELLING US WHAT YOU'VE BEEN UP TO FOR THE PAST 35 YEARS.

THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.

> ITZHAK PERLMAN ENJOYS SUPERSTAR STATUS RARELY AFFORDED A CLASSICAL MUSICIAN.

16 GRAMMYS, PERFORMING AT EVERY MAJOR EORCHESTRA AND A PRESIDENTIAL MEDAL OF FREEDOM.

PEARLMAN IS BELOVED FOR HIS CHARM AND HIS MASTERFUL TEACHING.

ITZHAK EXPLORES PERLMAN'S LIFE AS AN IMMIGRANT SURVIVOR AND THE ENDURING RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN HIM AND HIS WIFE TOBY, HERE'S A LOOK.

ANYTHING THAT HAPPENED IN MY CHILDHOOD HAD TO DO WITH YES PRACTICE, NO PRACTICE.

HE APPROACHES MUSIC THE WAY HE APPROACHES EVERYTHING IN LIFE, WITH PASSION AND WITH JOY.

MY DAUGHTER WAS BLOWN AWAY BY ITZHAK'S PLAYING.

AND JOINING ME NOW ARE THE STAR OF ITZHAK, ITZHAK AND TOBY PERLMAN.

SUCH AN HONOR TO HAVE YOU BOTH HERE.

LET'S GO BACK TO YOUR PARENTS, WERE YOU PARENTS MUSICAL?

MY PARENTS WERE MUSICAL BUT THEY WERE NOT MUSICAL AND THEY WEREN'T WEREN'T PROFESSIONAL MUSICIANS.

WHERE DO YOU THINK YOU GOT THIS GIFT?

I HAVE NO IDEA.

I HEARD IT PLAYING ON THE RADIO IN ISRAEL AND SAID THAT'S WHAT I WANT TO DO.

AND IN YOUR DOCUMENTARY YOU SAY YOU CHOOSE YOUR MUSIC BECAUSE OF THE MUSIC YOU HEAR IN YOUR HEAD, VIOLIN IS WHAT YOU HEARD?

WHEN I HEARD THE VIOLIN, I THOUGHT IT WAS SOMETHING I WOULD LIKE TO PLAY.

SO YOU WERE BORN IN ISRAEL AND YOU LIVED THERE, AND THE PLAN WAS AS THE DOCUMENTARY SHOWS, TO COME TO THE UNITED STATES WHERE YOU COULD PERFECT YOUR CRAFT AND LAUNCH YOUR CAREER.

BUT SURPRISING TO ME, YOUR DISABILITY GOT IN THE WAY INITIALLY?

I DID NOT REALIZE THAT IT WAS MY DISABILITY THAT GOT IN THE WAY.

I JUST THOUGHT THAT SOMETHING GOT IN THE WAY BUT I HAD NO IDEA BECAUSE WHERE MY PARENTS WERE CONCERNED, THEY WERE CONCERNED ABOUT MY PRACTICING AND MY DOING THE BEST I COULD AS A PLAYER.

THE POLIO THAT I HAD DID NOT COME INTO SOMETHING THAT WAS VERY IMPORTANT.

PEOPLE LOOKED AT IT, THEY THOUGHT IT WAS SOMETHING THAT WAS SERIOUS.

BUT I DIDN'T THINK SO.

I AGREE WITH YOU THAT THE FOCUS WAS NOT ON YOUR DISABILITY AT ALL.

I CERTAINLY NEVER FOCUSED ON IT AND I DON'T THINK YOUR PARENTS DID EITHER.

I THINK WE FOCUS ON IT NOW BECAUSE NOW THAT YOU'RE IN A SCOOTER, WE HAVE ALL KINDS OF PROBLEMS RELATING TO ACCESS AND AIRPLANES AND NOTHING BUT PROBLEMS, REALLY.

IT'S VERY DIFFICULT.

HOW DID YOU GUYS MEET?

WE MET AT A SUMMER MUSIC CAMP.

WAS IT LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT?

FOR ME IT WAS LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT.

BUT FOR HIM, HE WAS ALWAYS THE NO GUY.

HE SAID NO TO EVERYTHING.

IN FACT YOU ASKED HIM TO MARRY YOU?

YES.

DID HE SAY YES?

HE WAS SPEECHLESS FOR THE FIRST TIME IN HIS LIFE.

I WAS 17 FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE.

WHEN SOMEBODY COMES TO YOU AND SAYS WILL YOU MARRY ME, YOU STOP FOR A SECOND.

SO YOU SAID YOU WERE GOING TO MARRY SOMEONE ELSE?

I WAS JUST UNHAPPY, YOU KNOW, I REALLY WAS UNHAPPY.

WE EVOLVED.

IT WORKED OUT IN THE END, YES.

ALTHOUGH YOU GUYSGUYS ---BUT YOU'RE VERY DIFFERENT, YOU COME FROM VERY DIFFERENT BACKGROUNDS, YOU WERE BORN HERE, YOUR PARENTS WERE BORN IN NEW YORK, YOUR PARENTS WERE BORN IN THE POLISH GHETTO?

BUT THE VALUES WERE THE SAME, IT'S ALMOST AS IF WE WERE BROUGHT UP TOGETHER, WE COME FROM ENTIRELY DIFFERENT PLACES BUT AT THE SAME TIME THE SAME PLACE.

THERE WAS NEVER ANY FRICTION BETWEEN YOUR BACKGROUNDS?

NO.

WELL, LET'S JUST TALK ABOUT THE MUSIC DIFFERENCE.

YOU WERE RAISED AS A PERFORMER.

RIGHT.

RIGHT.

A SPECIAL PERFORMER, UNLIKE ANYTHING ELSE, THAT'S FOR SURE.

BUT YOU ALSO DO MORE MUSIC ACTUALLY.

BUT I WAS RAISED BY A FATHER WHO ACTUALLY PLANNED WHAT I WAS LISTENING TO WHAT I WAS ALLOWED TO LISTEN TO, WHAT I WASN'T ALLOWED TO LISTEN TO, WHO THOUGHT ABOUT THE WHOLE BIG PICTURE AND IN THE END, OF COURSE, I'M SO GRATEFUL TO HIM BECAUSE I WAS ABLE TO SLIDE INTO THIS LIFE IN A VERY COMFORTABLE FASHION.

SO THE MARRIAGE BEGAN A BRILLIANT PARTNERSHIP, A PARTNERSHIP IN MANY RESPECTS.

YOU SAY IN YOUR DOCUMENTARY, THAT YOU ARE HIS BIGGEST CRITIC.

HOW DOES THAT MANIFEST IT?

I TRUST HER.

YEAH?

MORE THAN ANYONE ELSE?

ABSOLUTELY, I TRUST HER BECAUSE I KNOW THAT TOBY, AT LEAST OUR RELATIONSHIP, TOBY DOES NOT FEEL THAT SHE CANNOT SAY ANYTHING THAT SHE FEELS IS A PROBLEM IF SHE HEARS IT WHEN I PLAY.

AND I WELCOME THE CRITICISM FROM HER.

BECAUSE I KNOW THAT SHE'S NOT GOING TO JUST SAY OH, THAT SOUNDED REALLY GOOD.

AND I CAN TELL WHEN IT'S GOOD AND WHEN IT'S SORT OF OKAY.

I MEAN, LIKE, MMM, HOW WAS IT?

IT WAS GOOD.

BUT EVERYBODY NEEDS A COACH.

I MEAN LOOK AT BASEBALL, THESE GUYS THEY HAVE A BATTING COACH AND A PITCHING COACH.

AND TENNIS PLAYERS HAVE COACHES AND THEY TRAVEL WITH THE PLAYERS, AND WE'RE TALKING ABOUT THE GREATEST PLAYERS IN THE WORLD.

EVERYBODY NEEDS ANOTHER SET OF EYES AND EARS.

BUT IT'S FUNNY BECAUSE INSTRUMENTALISTS DO NOT HAVE COACHES.

YOU THINK ABOUT IT, ANYBODY WHO PLAYS AN INSTRUMENT, THEY MAY HAVE SOMEBODY THAT THEY TRUST, BUT THEY DON'T HAVE CULTURES -- SINGERS ARE, THAT'S THE TRADITION TO HAVE A COACH, BUT WE DON'T HAVE THAT TRADITION.

LET'S TALK ABOUT THE PERLMAN MUSICAL PROGRAM.

YOU FOUNDED IT RIGHT?

YES.

WE HAVE SEVERAL PROGRAMS UNDER THAT UMBRELLA NAME, AND I GUESS THE MEAT AND POTATOES PROGRAM IS A SEVEN-WEEK EDUCATION SCHOOL.

AND IT DOES TRY TO CREATE -- I WANT TO SAY FAMILY LIKE ENVIRONMENT, BUT THAT'S NOT RIGHT EITHER, BECAUSE FAMILIES, YOU KNOW, SQUABBLE ALL THE TIME.

IN FACT, IT SURPRISED ME.

YOU SAID THE MUSIC IS JUST AN EXCUSE, IT'S ABOUT LIFE.

THAT'S RIGHT, IT'S ABOUT LIFE, IT'S ABOUT HOW TO TELL THE TRUTH, IT'S ABOUT HOW TO TAKE A CHANCE.

AND IN TERMS OF ASKING THEM TO TAKE A CHANCE, WE HAVE TO CREATE A SAFE ENVIRONMENT.

THEY DON'T HAVE A TEACHER WHO YELLS AT THEM.

THEY HAVE A TEACHER INSTEAD THAT SAYS, HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT HOW THAT WENT?

WHAT DO YOU THINK WE COULD CHANGE?

HOW DO WE WANT TO WORK ON THIS CONCERTO.

I THINK WE HAVE HAD A GOOD DEAL OF SUCCESS WITH OUR KIDS, IN THAT THEY ARE CLOSE TO ONE ANOTHER.

THAT'S THE OTHER THING THAT'S IMPORTANT, HOW THEIR RELATIONSHIP WITH EACH OTHER, HOW DO YOU TREAT YOUR COLLEAGUE, YOUR FELLOW STUDENT, HOW DO YOU DO THAT?

LET ME ASK YOU THIS, YOU LOOK AT THIS DOCUMENTARY, FROM THE OUTSIDE, IT LOOKS LIKE YOU HAVE A EXAMPLED LIFE.

EVERYTHING'S GREAT.

IS THERE ANYTHING YOU WOULD HAVE DONE DIFFERENTLY IF YOU COULD DO IT AGAIN?

EVERYTHING'S KIND OF TURNED OUT PRETTY GOOD.

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

DID IT TURN OUT PRETTY GOOD?

I WOULD HAVE HAD MORE BABYSITTERS.

I WOULD HAVE HAD MORE HELP.

I'M EXHAUSTED JUST THINKING ABOUT WHAT WE DID.

MORE BABYSITTERS, I AGREE WITH THAT.

I'M GLAD YOU GUYS DID WHAT YOU DID, IF THAT MEANT THAT YOU WOULD BE HERE WITH ME TODAY.

I HAVE ABOUT 20 MORE QUESTIONS, BUT I'M OUT OF TIME.

ITZHAK AND TOBY, IT'S BEEN A REAL PLEASURE TALKING TO YOU.

ITZHAK THE DOCUMENTARY IS PLAYING IN NEW YORK CITY IN THEATERS NOW, AND IT WILL BE RELEASED AT A LATER DATE.

FUNDING FOR THIS PROGRAM WAS PROVIDED BY --

CORPORATE FUNDING FOR MET T 'METROFOCUS' WAS PROVIDED BY MUTUAL OF AMERICA, YOUR RETIREMENT COMPANY.

AND BY PSE&G, SERVING CUSTOMERS, STRENGTHENING THE SEINVESTING I FUTURE.

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Denise Schwartz, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Janet Prindle Seidler, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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