Jewish Journal

Jewish Community Day transforms Chavez Ravine into hub of pride

by Ryan Torok

June 30, 2014 | 7:34 pm

From left: Hazzan Mimi Haslkorn of Temple Aliyah; Valley Beth Shalom's Men's Club president Jason Stern; and Shaarey Zedek congregant Michael Halpern and his children, Benjamin and Emma, participated in a pre-game recognition ceremony at Dodgers Jewish Community Day on June 29. Photo by Ryan Torok.

Dodgers hats, where the team name was written in Hebrew, dotted the Reserved-level sections at Dodgers Stadium last Sunday.

It was Jewish Community Day at Chavez Ravine, and Tribe pride was in effect before and after the game. A representative of the Dodgers group sales office estimated 800 tickets were sold to Jewish community groups for the game.

“I’m feeling just kind of excited about how successfully the community came together for this event," Valley Beth Shalom Brotherhood/Men's Club president Jason Stern, who participated in a pre-game recognition ceremony, said to the Journal. "Anytime you can get this much of the community together for anything it’s always a challenge but to have people turn out in this kind of numbers and all be excited and having this much fun, you can’t ask for more of this.”

Stern was honored for selling over 300 tickets to the game to members of his congregation and other synagogues across Los Angeles.

Additional honorees included Hazzan Mimi Haselkorn of Temple Aliyah; Shaarey Zedek congregant and former president Michael Halpern; Neil Wedge of Chabad of Beach Cities and Beverly Hills Little League board member Eric Weissman

“I’m here today to represent the synagogue for Jewish Community Day...and embrace Jewish Community Day,” Halperin, who was joined on the field by his children -- 15-year-old Benjamin and 10-year-old Emma -- told the Journal.

Synagogue represented included Temple Aliyah, Shomrei Torah Synagogue, Congregation Ner Tamid, Temple Ramat Zion, Temple Etz Chaim, Temple Adat Shalom and others.

Ramat Zion congregants Steve and Karen Willinger and their children Matthew and Elia were among those in Reserved section, which was where the majority of tickets for Jewish groups were located. 

“It’s a particularly cool hat,” Steve Willinger told the Journal, sporting the complimentary Hebrew Dodgers headwear. 

Throughout the day, attendees Jewish and non-Jewish lined up for Jeff Gourmet Sausage Factory's glatt kosher hot dogs. The stand was brought in specially for the game. The hot dogs steam-cooked onsite, with a Kehilla Kosher rabbi supervising the process.

Jeff Rohatiner, owner of the Pico Robertson sausage business, told the Journal he was thrilled to be taking part in the day's event.

During the seventh-inning stretch, Elliot Yamin, an Israeli-Iraqi singer and former "American Idol" contestant, sang "God Bless America.

The afternoon marked the 15th annual Jewish Community Day at Dodgers Stadium.

The Jewish community wasn't the only winner: The Boys in Blue shut out the St. Louis Cardinals, 6-0.

Shomrei Torah Synagogue's Rabbi Richard Camras and many others turned out.

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