May 24, 2007
Saluting the Alliance; Bully for Binah; Right on, Rifkinds!
Philanthropists Beth and Joshua Friedman and Alliance board of director's president, Raymond R. Michaud Jr., were feted for their charitable endeavors and dedication to education, at the 2007 awards dinner at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.
The upbeat evening featured TV journalist Giselle Fernandez, a live auction conducted by Viveca Paulin and a special treat when multiaward-winning singer and songwriter Brian Wilson performed. Dr. Barbara Natterson-Horowitz and Bruce Newberg co-chaired the event that raised more than $1.5 million for the charity.
Together, the Friedmans are a major force in the Los Angeles philanthropic community, serving on the boards of numerous organizations and generously sharing their time, talent and resources for the betterment of the community.
"Our involvement comes from our hearts," said Beth Friedman, who has served as chair of the board of directors of the Zimmer Children's Museum in Los Angeles, and on the board of directors of the Jewish Television Network for 15 years.
"When you have seen it growing up, it becomes a part of you. You become a person with an innate sense of empathy and compassion and a strong desire to help others. I feel very strongly about Alliance, and its dedication to diversity."
She and her husband, who serves on the board of trustees of the Los Angeles Science Center as well as the Jewish Community Foundation, generously donate to many organizations, but say education is a particular passion.
As headmaster of the John Thomas Dye School since 1980, Ray Michaud Jr. has set a standard of excellence in education. For nearly 30 years, he has been responsible for the overall academic program and financial operation of the school.
The Alliance is an organization of 45 private, independent elementary and secondary schools that endeavor to increase their diversity. It provides assistance to families of color with the application process to its member schools and, if necessary, how to apply for financial aid.
For more information on the Alliance, visit www.thealliance-la.org.
Bully for Binah
Roz Goldstine of Los Angeles and Ethel W. Schwartz of Boynton Beach, Fla., received the prestigious Women's League for Conservative Judaism's Torah Fund Binah Award at a luncheon at the Horizons Rooftop Ballroom in Philadelphia. The event, where Jewish Theological Seminary Chancellor-Elect Arnold M. Eisen was the guest speaker, was just one of the many highlights of the Women's League Biennial Convention, attended by 1,300 women from across the country.
The mission of the league 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 (insight and understanding) Award 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.
To Your Health
More than 350 guests raised more than $1 million at a recent benefit for the Louis Warschaw Prostate Cancer Center at the Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Merv Griffin hosted the event at the Skirball Cultural Center, which honored Rep. John P. Murtha (D-Penn.), and featured entertainment from comic Tim Conway and Jack Sheldon and His Quartet.
Sunset in the Garden
Residents and friends of Sunset Hall, which defines itself as a "nonprofit program for free thinking elders," enjoyed its 17th annual garden party on the lawns of Paramount Studios. Sunset Hall, founded in 1923, by the First Unitarian Church of Los Angeles to house aging "religious liberals," has, over the years, provided a home for many senior Jewish radicals-political and social activists who continued their activism into their ninth and 10th decades.
The Stephan H. Fritcham Humanitarian Award was presented to Hershl Hartman for his lifelong commitment to progressive Jewish secular humanism and activism. Hartman, the education director of Los Angeles's Sholem Community, a secular Jewish educational and cultural organization, has been teaching classes in Jewish history and culture and Yiddish literature at Sunset Hall for more than a decade.
"The wonderful thing about the Sunset Hall program," Hartman said, as the celebrations wound down, "is that it creates a feeling of intercultural friendship through an understanding of the historical and cultural background of Jewish heritage."
Right on, Rifkinds
David and Helen Rifkind were honored with an Outstanding Leadership Award for their philanthropic work and long-standing involvement in the community at Heschel West Day School's annual gala at the Four Seasons Hotel in Westlake Village.
David Rifkind, principal/ co-managing director of George Smith Partners, Inc., recently served as president on the school's executive board and is a fellow of The Wexner Heritage Foundation, a program that focuses on developing Jewish professionals and volunteer leaders in North America.
For the past nine years, Helen Rifkind has held leadership positions in Heschel West's parent organization and created the Taking Hold of Torah program that culminated in the writing of the school's Torah.
Both are also active supporters of The Washington Institute for New East Studies.