L.A. peaceniks turned out in force to honor one of their own, Dick Gunther, on the publication of his book “How High Is Up?” (Emerald Book Company). The June 18 evening event was hosted by Lee and Luis Lainer, sponsored by the local Americans for Peace Now chapter and featured a Q-and-A between the author and Gerald Bubis, founding director of the School of Jewish Communal Service at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.
“How High Is Up?” is Gunther’s frank autobiography, containing adventures, some downs but mostly ups and loving tributes to his wife Lois, Dick’s “anchor” and “fact-checker.”
Gunther’s formula for a balanced life, he said, is to devote one-third of his time to business, one-third to the family and adventure, and one-third to community service and philanthropy. Of course, that doesn’t leave much time for sleeping.
Among those spotted in the audience and around the cake table were Stanley Sheinbaum, Irwin Field, Larry Silverton, Irwin Daniels, Rabbi Chaim Seidler-Feller and Jay Sanderson.
— Tom Tugend,Contributing Editor
Lakers’ Farmar Speaks to Young Professionals
More than 300 young Jewish professionals gathered at a Beverly Hills mansion on June 25 to celebrate the Young Leaders’ kickoff event for the American Friends of the Citizens’ Empowerment Center in Israel (CECI), a group founded by Izak Parviz Nazarian to advance democratic initiatives in Israel.
Journal columnist David Suissa emceed the event, and L.A. Lakers point guard Jordan Farmar, a newly minted NBA champion, gave the keynote speech.
“I think that people tend to give back to causes that they feel connected with,” Farmar said. “They are really trying to give back to the people of Israel, and I think that’s a great thing.”
Thursday’s event, which raised $20,000, was a night centered on the hope and vitality of youth and connecting the Jewish Diaspora with their Israeli counterparts. The money raised goes toward educating Israeli students about civic responsibilities and democratic rights.
“At the end of the event, a lot of people came and asked how they could get involved in the group,” said Soraya Nazarian, CECI’s development director.
— Laura Stampler, Contributing Writer
Henry Gluck Named Ronald Reagan Medical Center Chair
Henry Gluck, the former CEO of Caesars’ World, has been elected to chair the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center board of advisors.
Gluck graduated from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Finance and Commerce and became president of Monogram Industries, a leading company on the New York Stock Exchange, before he reached the age of 40. The accomplished businessman devotes much of his time to sitting on boards and advisory committees. He has been a member of the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center board of advisors since 2001. Gluck has also served as a member of the National Council of the Salk Institute, as a trustee of City of Hope and as chair of the Business Institute of Gerontology at USC’s Ethel Percy Andrus Gerontology Center.
David Polak Awarded HonoraryDoctorate by Technion
David Polak, a Beverly Hills investment executive and philanthropist, has been awarded an honorary doctorate from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. Polak received this honor during a June 1 ceremony at the Technion International board of governors meeting in Haifa.
Polak and his wife, Janet, are Technion Guardians, which connotes the highest level of support for Technion and the American Technion Society (ATS).
Polak has been involved with ATS at the local and national levels for almost 20 years. He is the founder and former chair of Los Angeles-based NWQ Investment Management, LLC. Polak is a graduate of M.I.T., holds a master’s in science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a master’s in business administration from UCLA’s Anderson Graduate School of Management.