2002: A Cayse Odyssey
Valley Outreach Synagogue will honor Ray Cayse as Man of the Year, Ruth Bail as Humanitarian of the Year, Eleanor Mizrahi as Woman of the Year and Don and Mickey Bilsky as Couple of the Year on April 6 at the Odyssey Restaurant in Granada Hills.
The Big 2-0
Marking the Encino branch's 20th anniversary, Rabbi Harold Schulweis installed a mezuzah at Bank Leumi USA. After the installation, the 200 people in attendance joined Schulweis in singing "Hinei Ma Tov Umah Naim."
My Dear Watson!
Rep. Diane Watson (D-Los Angeles) met with an articulate group of Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) students in her L.A. office to talk about personal experiences with diabetes and to ensure that juvenile diabetes research funding remains a top priority. One of the highlights of the meeting was when Emma Klatman, 10, tested her blood sugar and explained to Watson what she needed to do in order to enjoy one Payday candy bar. This simple but profound demonstration showed the politician what people with diabetes have to go through to perform the simple act of eating.
"You are preaching to the choir," said Watson, who supports JDRF in terms of legislation, research, funding and finding a cure.
Curran Studies at ORT
Westlake Village resident Sandra Curran has been named a protégée in the Women's American ORT (WAO) National Mentoring Program. The selective yearlong program partners dynamic local WAO leaders with members of the national board of directors, who serve as their mentors for growth within the organization. Curran is president of the Oakhills-Sharonah chapter.
Celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, WAO is the largest private contributor to World ORT, one of the world's largest nongovernmental education and training organizations, supporting a network of schools and programs in almost 60 countries, including Israel, the United States and the former Soviet Union. The Los Angeles ORT Technical Institute offers courses in computer technology, electronics and other key areas that provide graduates with marketable vocational skills.
For more information about WAO, visit www.waort.org .
Finders Are Keepers
Gary and Rochelle Finder and Chabad of the Valley's Rabbi Joshua B. Gordon and Rabbi Mordechai Einbinder announced the dedication of the new Finder Family Camp Gan Israel at a recent banquet. For the past 29 years, Camp Gan Israel has given Jewish pride to thousands of San Fernando Valley children. Citing the Finders' "selfless devotion to the needs of others," Einbinder saluted the couple for "assuring that all the goodness of Camp Gan Israel will continue on at the heart of community life."
A Gore-geous Tribute to Hochman
Former Vice President Al Gore was in rare humorous form at The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles' Legal Services Division gala benefit posthumously honoring Bruce J. Hochman.
"I'm a visiting professor at UCLA -- veep for short," Gore joked to the Regent Beverly Wilshire audience of lawyers, judges, politicians such as Gov. Gray Davis and many supporters of the legendary tax attorney and community activist. Hochman, who died in August 2001 at the age of 72, was a tireless worker on behalf of Israel and the worldwide and Los Angeles Jewish communities. He chaired the United Jewish Fund campaign, was a former president of The Jewish Federation, former regional president of the Anti-Defamation League and served on the board of numerous organizations. Hochman's wife of 38 years, Harriet, attended the gala with their four children, Nathan, David, Nancy and Jennifer.
"Bruce Hochman was a man of principle: committed to justice, constant, consistent -- he touched many thousands of lives in a very positive way," Gore joked.
"I haven't seen so many lawyers in one place since the last day of the campaign in 2000 -- that's what it came down to," Gore said, revealing for the first time since the election both a cleanshaven face and a sense of irony. "If I had to do it over again ... I would have kissed Tipper longer -- but she was struggling," he said.
Other one-liners: "I used to introduce myself as 'The Man Who Was Going to Be the Next President.'" And: "On the night I gave a concession speech, David Letterman said it was the best speech of my life. [Pause for laughter.] That's not funny."
Once, when he was out of the country, Gore got an emergency letter from Washington: "I thought, 'What could be wrong?' Then I remembered, 'A lot could be wrong.'"
In his half-hour speech, Gore turned serious -- and back to the more familiar didactic persona -- when talking about world affairs. "Our nation is still dealing with the pain of Sept. 11 and its aftermath ... and of course, in the Middle East we are hoping and praying and working with our government to help bring peace with security," he said. "We must stand by the people of Israel."
Gore, whose wife, Tipper, announced this month that she would not seek her husband's old Senate seat from Tennessee, did not announce his future plans or if he would seek the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004. -- Staff Report
What a Nice Chap!
Los Angeles Rabbi Bentzion Kravitz, chaplain for the L.A. County Sheriff's Department and the LAX Airport Police, visited Ground Zero, site of the World Trade Center attack. Kravitz was invited by Deputy Chief Len Macesy and taken on a VIP tour by New York Port Authority Police. Kravitz shared words of appreciation, encouragement and prayer on behalf of the men and women of the agencies he represents.