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Jewish Journal

The Circuit

by Michael Aushenker

August 23, 2001 | 8:00 pm

America's Sweetheart

Erin Brockovich was the keynote speaker at the sixth Annual Israel Cancer Research Fund (ICRF) "Women of Action" luncheon, which took place Aug. 8 at the Beverly Hilton.

ICRF honored five women of outstanding professional achievements and contributions to the community. Brockovich was joined on the dais by Hedva Amrani Danoff, renowned Israeli singer; Dr. Alexandra Levine, medical director of the USC/Norris Cancer Hospital; Superior Court Judge Marsha N. Revel; and Real Estate Commissioner Paula Reddish Zinnemann. Attorney Edward Masry, who worked with Brockovich to settle the popularized multimillion-dollar lawsuit against Pacific Gas and Electric, introduced his colleague. In her address, Brockovich spoke humorously about the accuracy of Julia Roberts' sassy speech and attire in her Oscar-winning performance. However, her speech turned serious as she spoke about cancer. "The people of Hinkley, California, are my heroes. It was their suffering that had inspired me," she said, referring to the cancer victims that she and Masry represented. Since the movie, Brockovich has been lecturing around the country at conferences and colleges about the cancer-causing effects of toxic contamination and her crusade for the triumph of the human spirit. Her book, "Take it From Me, Life's a Struggle, But You Can Win" (McGraw-Hill) comes out this fall, and she will appear in a series of ABC specials. -- Orit Arfa

Green Day

Israel Humanitarian Foundation (IHF) held its second annual California Golf Challenge on the greens of the Valencia Country Club. The event, one of three golf tournaments hosted nationwide each year by IHF (Miami, Fla., and Long Island, N.Y., are the others), grossed $40,000 for to help support Cure Autism Now and Israel's Society for Autistic Children.

A Jolly Good Fellow

Bernard Shapiro, executive director of the Freeman Center for Strategic Studies, a Houston-based research facility and political action group, announced that local attorney, journalist and author Avi Davis will assume a position as the center's senior fellow. Davis will be responsible for the development of a Los Angeles branch of the Freeman Center. The center, whose aim is to aid Israel in its survival in a hostile world, was founded by Shapiro in 1992. It has adopted an ambitious expansion plan that involves the establishment of branches in Los Angeles, New York and Israel.

Come Together

Every Sunday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., a small group of concerned Angelenos show up on the corner of Veteran and Wilshire boulevards in support for Israel. L.A. resident Suzanne Davidson planned the demonstrations, which began July 1.

"I had reached my limit on what I was reading in the newspapers," she told The Circuit, "and the news was so biased against Israel. I have relatives in Israel who felt that they weren't getting support." Soft drinks, water and security are all provided.

From week to week, the group has grown from an initial dozen to about 30 people, including Russian and Cuban Jews. Davidson encourages more people to join her.

For more information, call Suzanne Davidson at (818) 395-0414.

Cartoon Networking

On the penultimate panel at the World Animation Festival, held Aug. 7-12, International Creative Management (ICM) animation voice-over agents Larry Hummel and Natanya Rose were among the industry names who gave aspiring vocal artists advice on the protocol of landing gigs on animated cartoons.

"If we've taken you on as a client, you have to represent us as well," Rose said, touching on the importance of being professional. Asked how he broke into the business, the Long Island-raised Hummel replied, "I hopped into my '73 Oldsmobile Centurion convertible and drove out to L.A. I don't think anybody goes to their high school guidance counselor and says, 'I want to be a voice-over casting agent when I get out.'"

Behind Door Number One

Vista Del Mar Child and Family Services raised more than $420,000 for abused and troubled youngsters at its 23rd Annual Sports Sweepstakes. More than 400 people attended the June 11 event at the Beverly Hills Hilton, chaired by Black Equities CEO Stanley Black. Attendees included astronaut Buzz Aldrin and former L.A. Laker Jamal Wilkes. Former "Let's Make a Deal" host Monty Hall was recognized, at the banquet, for his humanitarian and philanthropy interests.

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