Maccabi Team Los Angeles held its gala awards dinner "A Night of Maccabi Champions" on Jan. 20 at the Universal Hilton. Cohosted by the New JCC at Milken, the event honored Jerry Bobrow, Landon Lerner and the outstanding athletes from the 2006 JCC Maccabi Games. The occasion -- made possible by dinner chairs Linda and Hal Sandler along with JCC assistant executive director Michael Jeser -- highlighted Bobrow's contribution to the JCC Maccabi Games as chairman of the organizing committee for 18 years.
Since Bobrow -- who has authored more than 100 top-selling test-preparation books and coached basketball and baseball teams -- became chairman in 1988, more than 3,000 Los Angeles Jewish teenagers have been involved with the games. One of those former players is Lerner, who received the Barry Sandler Memorial Award for his dedication to baseball and to his education.
Many in the ballroom shared Lerner's sentiment about Bobrow when he said, "Without you, this doesn't happen." The current first-year student at Southwestern University of Law spent four years playing for Team Los Angeles and one year for Team USA in the Pan American Maccabi in Chile, winning gold medals in all those competitions. Among the athletes, coaches and relatives in attendance were master of ceremonies Fred Roggin from NBC4, Los Angeles City Councilman Dennis Zine, Olympic gold medalist Lenny Krayzelberg and former Dodger Steve Yeager.
The outstanding athletes in baseball, basketball, soccer, softball, swimming, table tennis, tennis and track and field included: Jacob Adler, Josh Albert, Bradley Bernet, Brett Berns, Dara Deaton, Michelle Fassberg, Justin Fredlender, Amanda Gard, Jaclyn Gersh, James Goldstein, Matthew Graditor, Spencer Horowitz, Brandon Katz, Adam Landecker, Alexander Lichtenberg, Carly London, Danielle Mofsowitz, Allison Schneider, Lindsay Schwartz, Ben Sperling, Sam Stapleton and Lisa Zeitlin. Swimmer Alex Fullman received the JCC Maccabi Leadership Award.
-- Sara Bakhshian, Contributing Writer
Really N-ice Camp
Children with special needs enjoyed four days at the Friendship Circle's annual Winter Camp 2006. The kids participated in trips to Big Fun Gymnasium, the California Science Center and the Valley Ice Center, where many of them had their first opportunity to be on ice.
It's A First I
Dr. Jeffrey N. Wilkins received the Lincy Foundation/Andrew Heyward-Amy Moynihan Endowed Chair in Addiction Medicine at Cedars-Sinai on Jan. 24. Wilkins is the inaugural holder of the chair, which will fund research and teaching efforts focused on the causes of and treatments for addiction.
Wilkins is vice chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences, as well as director of Addiction Medicine at Cedars-Sinai.
"The endowed chair we inaugurate today will shine the light of science on the mysteries of addiction," said John C. Law, chairman of the board of directors, during his opening remarks at the event. "In our time, the understanding of this disease will grow. It will evolve into new approaches and treatments. Fewer lives will be damaged and fewer hearts will be broken."
The chair is funded jointly by the Lincy Foundation, a nonprofit formed by Kirk Kerkorian's company Tracinda Corporation; Andrew Heyward, chairman and chief executive officer of DIC Entertainment; and Amy Moynihan, vice president of marketing at the Los Angeles Times.
It's A First II
Spencer Lord was named recipient of the inaugural Jack H. Skirball Community Justice Award bestowed by Bet Tzedek-The House of Justice, a Los Angeles-based provider of free legal services to the elderly, low income and disabled.
The honor was presented Jan. 31 at the 19th annual Bet Tzedek dinner gala at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza. Lord has been a Bet Tzedek staff paralegal for the past 18 years, and has spent more than two decades in the U.S. Army. He developed significant expertise in Social Security, veterans and other public benefits programs. Lord is one of only 10 advocates in the United States certified by the Veterans Administration to provide hearing and appellate representation to veterans.
Mitchell A. Kamin, Bet Tzedek's president and CEO, applauded Lord's dedication: "Spencer's selection as the first recipient of this new award is a wholly fitting tribute. He exemplifies not only the best values of Bet Tzedek, but of Jack Skirball as well: humility, loyalty and service to others."
Back the Badge
Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton presented a Specialist Reserve Chaplain badge to Rabbi Bentzion Kravitz. In addition to the LAPD, Kravitz is a chaplain for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and the Los Angeles Airport Police. He is an advanced critical incident stress counselor, and during more than a decade of service Kravitz has responded to numerous incidents, including the 2002 attack at the LAX El Al ticket counter. Kravitz is also the founder of the Los Angeles-based counter-missionary organization Jews for Judaism.