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Jewish Journal

JewishJournal.com

December 14, 2006

Passing the Torch

http://www.jewishjournal.com/circuit/article/passing_the_torch_20061215

Passing the Torch -- Binah There...

Roz Goldstine and Ethel W. Schwartz received the prestigious Women's League for Conservative Judaism's Torah Fund Binah Award at a luncheon in Philadelphia.

The event hosted 1,300 women from across the country and featured Arnold M. Eisen, chancellor-elect of The Jewish Theological Seminary, as guest speaker. The mission of Women's League for Conservative Judaism is to strengthen and unite synagogue women's groups and their members, support them in mutual efforts to understand and perpetuate Conservative Judaism in the home, synagogue and community, and reinforce their bonds with Israel and with Jews worldwide. The Binah Award, which refers to the Hebrew word for insight and understanding, honors individuals for their distinguished record of loyalty to the values and ideals of The Jewish Theological Seminary, the academic and spiritual center of Conservative Judaism worldwide.

...Bank That!

Moti (Mordekhay) Levy-Tsedek has joined the Israel Discount Bank's downtown Los Angeles branch as vice president and manager. Levy-Tsedek, formerly with Bank Leumi both in Israel and the United States, brings more than 20 years of banking experience. In addition to a degree in advanced business management, Levy-Tsedek is a CPA and is fluent in Hebrew, Farsi and English.

Serving Children

Friends of Julia Ann Singer celebrated Singer's 90th anniversary with a luncheon and fashion show at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles that raised more than $100,000. The Julia Ann Singer Center was founded in 1916 as a division of Vista Del Mar and is a nationally recognized innovative therapeutic center serving children ages 2 to 12 with autism and Asperger's syndrome, severe emotional disturbances, learning disabilities and developmental delays. Friends of Julia Ann Singer was founded in 1955 to raise funds and conduct community outreach in support of the therapeutic services and activities of the Julia Ann Singer Center.

Rabbi Makes Rounds

Rabbi Shlomo Amar, the Sephardic chief rabbi of Israel, paid a historic visit to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center recently. Accompanying him on his trip were his wife and prominent members of the Los Angeles Jewish community. Rabbi Amar, who met with several hospitalized patients and their families, also toured the hospital's kosher kitchen and visited the Holocaust memorial on the South Plaza.

Life's a Charitable Beach

It was a day at the beach recently when Big Brother Big Sisters of Los Angeles and the Inland Empire honored top talent from the entertainment industry at its Rising Stars Gala. The scene was beachy keen and the dress was Hawaiian chic in the island decorated ballroom at the Beverly Hilton when the organization recognized members of the entertainment community providing inspiring and positive role models for young people.

Academy Award-winner John Lasseter, chief creative officer of Pixar and Disney Animation Studios and principal creative adviser of Walt Disney Imagineering, received the Walt Disney Man of the Year Award. Television anchor, legal analyst, trial attorney, actor and best-selling author Rikki Klieman Bratton received the Sherry Lansing Award for her support of philanthropic causes and passion for mentoring young people. Andrea Bowen of "Desperate Housewives" and Tyler James Williams of "Everybody Hates Chris" were recipients of this year's Rising Star Awards.

In keeping with the theme, the room was decorated with tropical neon lights, dolphins, palm trees and Tahitian tribal masks, while Hawaiian dancers performed during the cocktail reception (can you say "how did that hula dancer get her stomach that flat?").

Emcee Brad Garrett, unaware of the Hawaiian "Beach Chic" theme, arrived at the event in a suit. An assistant was dispatched to purchase a Hawaiian shirt, delivered to Brad during the program and which he gladly changed into and wore for the remainder of the evening.

Big Brothers works to empower children who face economic, emotional and social challenges through a variety of programs that provide a professionally supported, one-to-one mentoring relationship with a positive role model.

ORT Ovation

Education and life were celebrated at the Beverly Hilton's Rodeo Gallery in the Dec. 3 for the L.A. Chapter of American ORT's 26th Annual Chanukah Brunch honoring JDate and Sparks Networks founder Joe Shapira. A 1972 graduate of ORT Singalovski Institute of Technology in Tel Aviv, Shapira used his success to benefit ORT by sponsoring fundraising events as a part of ORT's elite international donor group, 1880 Society. Emceed by KNX 1070 reporter Laura Ornest, the event honored supporters' efforts over the past year and raised funds for the local technical school and elementary-, high school- and college-level institutions in 60 countries. Regional director Paul T. Owens applauded the L.A. chapter as the only one in 50 years to single-handedly raise more than $650,000.

-- Sara Bakhshian, Contributing Writer

Stand and Deliver

If anything points up the need for StandWithUs' (SWU) efforts to spread the truth about Israel, it was a short comedy skit presented at their annual Festival of Lights dinner Dec. 3. In the skit, random people on Hollywood Boulevard were asked questions about Israel like, "What is Ramallah?" Most people answered it was cocktail food. Although presented in the "Jewish Way" through humor, it drives home the point like a sledgehammer. Committed to fighting ignorance and hatred through the dissemination of knowledge the event honored Consul General of Israel Ehud Danoch, and Eshet Chayil Educational Award recipients Wendy Lewis, Roberta Seid and Shannon Shibata.

The dinner was chaired by Siona and Elie Alyeshmerni and Lonnie and Jimmy Delshad.

SWU national director Roz Rothstein said "it takes a village to create an organization that is able to accomplish the work of StandWithUs. We are thrilled at the outpouring of support we've received and the worldwide growth we've experienced in just five years. This is a clear indication that StandWithUs fills a need within the community."

"We treasure our sponsors, activists and volunteers," said Esther Renzer, SWU national president. "We were honored to be able to acknowledge Consul General Ehud Danoch and our three women of valor and pay tribute to their invaluable contributions to Israel advocacy." Kids Win by a KO

It was a knockout punch at the Beverly Hilton when The Oscar De La Hoya Foundation honored entrepreneur producer Sam Nazarian, actor Antonio Banderas and California State Controller Steve Westly at the ninth annual "Evening of Champions" Dec. 6. The evening's emcee, funnyman George Lopez brought the laughs and Macy Gray delivered a one-two punch with a crowd-pleasing performance. As a surprise for Banderas, uber Producer Jeffrey Katzenberg presented the Spanish hunk with his award. A spirited live auction raised $80,000 bring the evening's total to more than $750,000 raised. The money provides athletic and educational opportunities to the children of the East Los Angeles community. [CAPTION] (From left): George Lopez, honoree Antonio Banderas, host Oscar De LaHoya and presenter Jeffrey Katzenberg. Photo by Alberto Rodriguez/BEImages.

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