Jewish Journal


August 5, 2009

Dine Out for the Cure, Jewish Vocational Service, Vista Del Mar


Dine Out for the Cure

In what will likely become an annual tradition, Susan G. Komen for the Cure’s Los Angeles affiliate partnered with more than a dozen of the city’s most popular restaurants on July 15 for Dine Out for the Cure. The event raised money for the organization’s breast cancer treatment and awareness programs, with participating restaurants donating 10 percent of their gross profits to the group whether diners knew it or not.

“It’s not about sending out a direct mailing, but getting people you love together to enjoy a great meal,” said Catherine Mullally, executive director of Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

Leading the effort was celebrity chef ambassador Benjamin Ford, executive chef and proprietor of Ford’s Filling Station in Culver City. “I’m known as a restaurateur who got involved in this profession not just for putting food on the plate, but for being involved in community and promoting things that I feel strongly about and for the betterment of the community,” said Ford, sporting a pink ribbon on his chef’s jacket as he sat on the patio of his American gastro-pub on happening Culver Boulevard, a location he chose for its growing sense of community.

“Creating a community within a community and looking out for people standing next to us is a philosophy we share,” added Mullally, sitting next to Ford.

Promoting family and community is integral to the organization’s agenda, given its founding in 1982 out of sisterly love. After Susan Komen lost her battle with breast cancer, her sister Nancy decided to dedicate her life to fighting the disease.

Son of actor Harrison Ford (whose maternal grandparents were Russian Jewish immigrants), Ford credits his communal conscientiousness in part to his JCC involvement, first in Los Feliz (as a child), then in the Valley (as a teen), fondly recalling their family camps and art programs. Ford has since fallen out of Jewish communal life, and while admittedly not kosher (no kosher restaurants participated), he is known for adhering to the head-to-tail cooking philosophy and for using meat, poultry and seafood harvested responsibly.

by Orit Arfa, Contributing Writer

Commission on Aging Honors Meltzer

The Los Angeles County Commission on Aging (LACCOA) held its annual luncheon on June 24 at the Music Center’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. Barbara Meltzer, who has served with the LACCOA since 2007, received the 2009 Link Award. The award is presented to a commissioner who has volunteered superior services to the seniors of L.A. County.

by Rebecca Abeles

Touro Graduates Third Class

The third annual Touro College Los Angeles (TCLA) graduation took place June 21 at the home of Rudy and dean Esther Lowy. 

Dean Lowy handed diplomas to 22 students, the largest graduating class in TCLA’s history.

Speeches were delivered by graduate Roy Hadavi and CEO/senior provost Bernard Luskin. Rabbi Antony Gordon delivered the invocation, and words of Torah were shared by Rabbi Sholom Tendler.

TCLA was founded in 2005 with the intention of perpetuating Jewish values, heritage and traditions, while serving the community with social justice.

by Rebecca Abeles

Associates Raise Funds for Vista Del Mar

Vista Del Mar Associates, the main support group for the Westside mental health agency for children, teens and families, held its annual fundraiser on June 7. More than 1,000 supporters attended the evening event, which featured a buffet dinner and a performance by Broadway star Hershey Felder at the Saban Theatre. 

Vista Del Mar offers outpatient mental health services, a school for special education children, residential treatment, programs for autistic children, and adoption and foster care services.

The Associates raised almost $200,000 for the families Vista works to serve.

by Rebecca Abeles

JVS Holds 12th Annual Strictly Business Event

The Jewish Vocational Service’s (JVS) 12th annual Strictly Business L.A. luncheon, held on May 20 at the Beverly Hilton, honored those who have overcome obstacles and become successful despite a difficult economy. 

Sheriff Lee Baca presented Inspiration Awards to Robert Feinberg, Todd Hill and Bobby Townsend to honor their example as motivational job seekers after completing JVS programs. L.A. City Councilwoman Wendy Greuel honored Shelley Freeman, regional president of Wells Fargo, with the Leadership Award for her strong support of financial service training programs for low-income workers.

JVS raised more than $300,000 at the event.

by Rebecca Abeles

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