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Jewish Journal

The Circuit

by Michael Aushenker

October 17, 2002 | 8:00 pm

Rah Rah Riordan!

American Jewish Community (AJC) honored children's rights activist Nancy Daly Riordan with its Human Relations Award at the Regent Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills. (From left) L.A. Chapter President Peter Weil; honoree Nancy Daly Riordan; AJC Western Regional Director Rabbi Gary Greenebaum; emcee Bill Rosendahl; and keynote speaker Marian Wright Edelman.

Solidarity Rallies

Women In Solidarity, an amalgam of representatives from various Jewish women's organizations, held its election priming event "Political Hotline: California to Jerusalem" at Stephen S. Wise Temple. Presenters included Women's Alliance Vice President Elaine Robinson and Special Assistant to Gov. Gray Davis Teri Smooke. Jewish News Editor Phil Blazer moderated the event.

Mission In Action

Friends of Sheba Medical Center held a reception for Sinai Temple's Mission of Mercy group, which recently completed a mission to Israel. Rabbi Jacob Pressman, Marjorie Pressman, and Sinai's Rabbi David Wolpe were among the speakers at the Four Seasons Hotel reception.



Center Celebration

Hillel Council At UCLA celebrated the opening of its Yitzhak Rabin Hillel Center for Jewish Life at UCLA at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, where "Bonanza" creator David Dortort and his wife Rose; community activist Janice Kamenir-Reznik; and Hillel supporter Helene Spiegel were honored.

Shalom, Sarit!

B'nai B'rith Shalom Unit will welcome newly-elected president Sarit Finkelstein-Boim (pictured) and its incoming board at its annual dinner-dance, to be held on Nov. 16. Singer Pini Cohen and L.A. Shir Choir will entertain. Consul General of Israel Yuval Rotem will serve as honorary committee chair.

B'nai B'rith Shalom Unit has donated an ambulance to Israel Magen David Adom an Ambulance, and will forward funds raised at this event to Israeli charities. For more information, call (310) 471-8545.

A Cool Honoree

Actor/director/producer Henry Winkler, best known as "The Fonz" from "Happy Days," received the Spirit of Hope Award at the Skirball Cultural Center from New Directions for Youth, a nonprofit that has provided services and programs for at-risk youth and their families for more than a quarter century.

Guthman The Guardian

Rabbi Sidney Guthman received the Guardian of Israel Award at the Jewish National Fund's Long Beach dinner.

Ivory Tickler

Concert pianist Hershey Felder performed at a benefit for the Los Angeles Jewish Symphony at University Synagogue in Brentwood.

World News

The Children of the World choir, led by founder Marrina Waks, performed at the Hollywood Film Festival on Oct. 7, where DreamWorks mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg was honored. Fellow DreamWorks mogul/director Steven Spielberg and actor Billy Crystal were among the presenters.

Join The Club

The 1939 Club -- including Shoah Survivors of Orange County and Long Beach -- will celebrate their 50th anniversary at a Beverly Hills Hotel gala honoring the club's past presidents. Osi Sladek and the Reuben Berci Orchestra will provide the entertainment. For more information, call (310) 276-5401.

A Big Happy-ning

Happy Hats For Kids, a nonprofit headed by founder Sheri Schrier that brings good cheer to children hospitalized with cancer, AIDS and other devastating illnesses, will be forming a new South Bay fundraising auxiliary. A meeting will be held on Oct. 28 at 7:30 p.m. For more information, call (310) 326-8409.

Community-Minded Couple

Solomon and Mahlagha Rastegar will be honored at Western Region of The Federation of Jewish Men's Clubs 2002 Herman Braunstein Red Yarmulke Humanitarian Award, to be held at Sinai Temple. John Fishel, president of Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, will present the award. Singer Pini Cohen will entertain. Net proceeds will go to Magen David Adom Israel Ambulance and Emergency Relief Fund.

Actor Voight Walks

Jon Voight, who won the Oscar for "Coming Home," has a coming "home" event of his own -- The Jewish Home for the Aging (JHA), that is. Voight is the honorary chair of JHA's Third Annual Walk of Angels 5 K Walk/Run, which will be held on Dec. 8 at the Jewish Home's Eisenberg Campus in Reseda. For information, call the Walk of Angeles hotline: (818) 774-3100.

A Growing Collection

James Snyder, the Anne and Jerome Fisher director of the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, announced recent gifts from Los Angeles supporters who are joining forces during these challenging times in Israel to support the museum through the West Coast branch of the American Friends of the Israel Museum.

Leading the list of major donations by individual supporters is a gift of $1.5 million from Herta and Paul Amir of Beverly Hills, for the renewal of the Shrine of the Book, the D. Samuel and Jeane H. Gottesman Center for Biblical Manuscripts, which was constructed in 1965 on the museum's campus to house its world-renowned holdings of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Alice and Nahum Lainer of Beverly Hills, have contributed a gift of $1,000,000, to be paid in annual contributions of $100,000, to support the museum's unrestricted operations. Both the Amirs and the Lainers are longtime friends of the Israel Museum.

An early work by the American artist Frank Stella, completed in 1969, has been donated to the Museum by the family of the late Los Angeles collectors Luella and Samuel Maslon.

Founded in 1965, the Israel Museum houses encyclopedic collections ranging from pre-history through contemporary art, including the most extensive holdings of biblical and Holy Land archaeology in the world, among them the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Don't Fight This Power

Professional Organization of Women in Entertainment Reaching UP (POWER UP) will honor Jerry Offsay, president of programming for Showtime Networks Inc., and singer/songwriter Melissa Etheridge at its second annual Power Premiere. The gala event will be held at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills. For information, call (310) 271-4708; visit www.power-up.net.

Board Room

Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation has announced that it has recently completed a strategic planning process that resulted in the adoption of a new mission for the organization and the expansion of its board of directors with five prominent Southern Californians. Building on the extraordinary accomplishment of collecting almost 52,000 videotaped testimonies, the foundation has now broadened its international efforts and is focusing on the educational use of the testimonies. The foundation has restructured its governance to match this new goal.

Since Steven Spielberg established Survivors of the Shoah in 1994, the foundation has videotaped the testimonies of more than 50,000 Holocaust survivors and witnesses in 57 countries in 32 languages. Today, the Shoah Foundation's mission is to overcome prejudice, intolerance, and bigotry -- and the suffering they cause -- through the educational use of the Foundation's visual history testimonies. Susan Crown, board chair, announced that prominent Southern California community and business leaders Gerald Breslauer, Skip Paul, Bruce Ramer, Mickey Rutman and Severin Wunderman have been named to the board of directors.

Breslauer and Rutman co-founded Breslauer and Rutman, LLC, an L.A.-based business management firm that specializes in the financial affairs of individuals in the entertainment industry. Bruce Ramer has been a partner for over 40 years at Gang, Tyre, Ramer & Brown, a Beverly Hills-based law firm has served on the boards of the American Jewish Committee. Paul is chairman of the board of the IFILM Network and has served as president of MCA Enterprises. Wunderman is an art collector, philanthropist and Holocaust survivor from Belgium.

A Shoah Support

Prominent attorney Arthur Barens and his wife, Maxine, graciously hosted an educational evening on behalf of the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation at their Beverly Hills home, where more than 80 guests gathered in the Barens' garden for a thought-provoking discussion with Shoah Foundation President and CEO Douglas Greenberg, and Renee Firestone, educator and Holocaust survivor.



Brothers Day

Jewish Big Brothers (JBB) kicked off its sixth year of sports mentoring with Sports Buddies 2002 - 2003 at Camp Max Straus in Glendale. Olympic Gold Medallist and Sports Buddies spokesperson Mitch Gaylord appeared. The nonsectarian event is funded by the Amy Phillips Charitable Foundation.



May The ORT Be With You!

While visiting Toronto, actor James Earl Jones broke the news to the Toronto Sun that he will be back in "Star Wars: Episode III" (due 2005) to voice Darth Vader, the character he originated in the original "Star Wars" trilogy. The reason for Jones' Canadian sojourn? -- he was honored on Oct. 2 by ORT Toronto.

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