Jewish Journal

The Circuit

by Michael Aushenker

Posted on Jan. 3, 2002 at 7:00 pm

That's a Lot of Carving ...

Temple Beth Hillel Brotherhood served Thanksgiving dinners for 300 needy guests selected by the Valley Interfaith Food Pantry. The templewide project involved all ages of Temple Beth Hillel's membership. Scott Tessler of SilverSpoons Catering donated his time and expertise to supervise food preparation.

Thanksgiving Day Planners

Students of Sinai Akiba Academy presented 28 newly arrived immigrant Jewish families with Thanksgiving dinners. Each Akiba class "adopted" one family, reported parent volunteer Ronna Spiegel.

Festival of Enlightened

Meanwhile, Sinai Akiba's fourth graders visited first graders at Windsor Hills Magnet School to share menorahs and dreidel games at the primarily African American public school. The Sinai Akiba group was led by teachers Rhonda Nail, Bobbe Rothbart and Ginny Zemtseff. The Baldwin Hills school prepared Chanukah poems and stories and taught the Akiba kids about Kwanzaa, a 35-year-old holiday created by an African American professor to remind African Americans of their history and their struggles.

Memorable and Menorah-ble

The Beverly Hills Hotel marked the first night of Chanukah with the lighting of the historic Katowitz Menorah, led by 94-year-old Holocaust survivor Jack Glicksman and Rabbi Yosef Cunin of Chabad of California.

Two Solid "Bets"

Bet Tzedek, the House of Justice, which provides legal defense for the disadvantaged, will hold its 14th annual dinner gala honoring SunAmerica CEO Jay Wintrob and Judge Harry Pregerson of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Jan. 26 at The Ballroom at Hollywood and Highland. Alan Bergman will entertain and Wolfgang Puck will provide the kosher catering.

Beit T'Shuvah, the Jewish addiction recovery center, will honor Annette Shapiro at "The Steps to Recovery Gala," on Jan. 20 at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills.

Music's Medicinal Powers

The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles was honored on Nov. 13 in Tel Aviv at a concert organized by the Raz-Ram Foundation, which was founded in 1998 to develop the artistic talents among orphaned youth in Israel.

Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Los Angeles gave Raz-Ram $35,000, its first major grant. The funds enabled the organization to operate more fully and attract more support, including that from the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Science, Culture and Sport. At the concert, held under the patronage of the mayor of Tel Aviv, the U.S. Embassy and the minister of culture, children performed and exhibited the fruits of their participation in Raz-Ram projects.

"The grant is a good example of what the Jewish Community Foundation was able to do with a $35,000 grant," says Marty Karp, director of The Federation's Israel office. "It set into motion a new organization that plays a really unique role in Israel."

Raz-Ram has developed several projects designed to develop and advance creativity among youth with potential in the arts.

Founders Aviv and Arik Livnat, both accomplished jazz musicians and the sons of a pilot who died in the Six-Day War, view their work at Raz-Ram as a crucial mechanism by which young orphans can heal from their loss and undergo the process of subtle mourning. A major component is a mentoring project that matches a child with an adult who comes from the same artistic and personal background.

"With the help of art we do meaningful work with children," says Aviv Livnat. "We really received the first support from Los Angeles. It was unbelievable. They felt that there was something special and true happening, and since then, things just progressed." -- Orit Arfa, Contributing Writer

Breakfast at Bais Naftoli Lerherhaus Call

Congregation Kol Ami of West Hollywood received a $10,000 grant from the Synagogue Grant Program of the Jewish Community Foundation and the Council of Jewish Life. The grant will go toward Kol Ami's Lerherhaus Adult Education Program. Ellen Cervantes of the Council on Jewish Life presented the grant to Kol Ami's Board of Trustees President Loren Ostrow, Rabbi Denise Eger and board member Richard Wortman.

Academy's Awards

Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy held its 53rd annual Scholarship Banquet at the Century Plaza Hotel. Estelle and Sam Samson received the Dor L'Dor Award. Allan Kandel received the Alumni Award. Laurence and Joseph Agi, parents of a Hillel graduate and three current students, were also honored for their support of the school.

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