July 17, 2008
Tony Shaloub, Carl Reiner, Solar Cookers, Green Hadassah, Zoo
What do Hollywood Jews and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) have in common?A banquet, at least. The two worlds came together at the ADL's Entertainment Industry Awards Dinner on June 3. Co-chaired by studio heads Ron Meyer (Universal Studios) and Jeff Zucker (NBC Universal), the annual dinner drew some big names in showbiz and raised $400,000 for the ADL. The casts of "Heroes," "Monk" and "Psych" didn't miss the opportunity to fete their boss Bonnie Hammer, who presides over NBC's cable division. She was lauded for her work with the USA Network shows "Erase the Hate" and "Characters Unite," which are theme-based programs that deal with issues of prejudice, intolerance and acceptance.
The best and brightest of SoCal's Jewish professionals were honored in May by Jewish Communal Professionals of Southern California. Elias Lefferman, president and CEO of Vista Del Mar Child & Family Services, was commended for creating the Nes Gadol Bar/Bat Mitzvah Program, which prepares children with special needs for their Jewish rite of passage. Also honored were Lee Rosenblum, director of development for USC Hillel; H. Eric Shockman, president of Mazon; Marla Abraham, senior vice president of endowment and premier philanthropy for The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles; and Larry Baum, fundraising consultant for Cedars-Sinai.
Hillel 818, the marriage of Pierce and Valley Colleges Hillel and CSUN Hillel held its annual dinner celebration at Valley Beth Shalom on May 29 and honored outstanding alumni -- the late Sally Golub, Hope and Harvey Schechter and Sandy Levin.
Organic food, green appletinis and sustainable architecture comprised "Green Nights: An Evening in the Home of Tomorrow," hosted by Hadassah Southern California Metro Area Young Leaders Council. The event gave young leaders a glimpse into modern, sustainable living when architect Jesse Bornstein gave a grand tour of "Green on 19," one of five new townhomes in Santa Monica that embodies green living on every level.
Reiner King of Comedy
At a dinner fundraiser for the Westside Center for Independent Living, Carl Reiner told an audience of 120 guests that his improvisation is better than Shakespeare. The actor and comedian was referring to his early days in showbiz, when he ad-libbed a line in "Hamlet" and had the audience in stitches. He regaled the crowd of center supporters with a stand-up routine at the Beverly Hills Tennis Club on June 20.
After learning of their relief efforts focused on the genocide in Sudan, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS) wrote a $25,000 check to Jewish World Watch (JWW). The Utah-based church directed its funds toward JWW's Solar Cooker Project, an effort designed to reduce violence against women and girls who are often attacked when they leave camp to collect firewood. The availability of solar cookers reduces the risk of encountering Janjaweed terrorists and provides women with training they can parlay into income opportunities. Elder John Dalton, LDS leader, presented the donation to Rabbi Harold Schulweis at the JWW offices.
In a city with myriad fundraising affairs, the Beastly Ball is consistently one of the most popular and most fun. Never mind that the casual safari collected close to $1.3 million for the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association -- guests were treated to after-hours animal feedings and viewings, as well as a decadent palette of culinary offerings from 17 L.A. restaurants.