Jewish Journal

The Circuit

by Michael Aushenker

Posted on Jan. 2, 2003 at 7:00 pm

With Friends Like These...

The American Friends of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (AFIPO)'s Los Angeles benefit raised $300,000, via a benefit dinner/recital held at the Beverly Hills home of producer Irwin Winkler ("Goodfellas," the "Rocky" series) and his wife, Margo. Pianist Lang Lang, 20, performed the private recital. For an encore, he was joined by his father, Er-hu master Guo-Ren Lang. More than 70 guests caught the exclusive show, including Donna and Lalo Schifrin, Edyeand Eli Broad, Susan Bay and Leonard Nimoy, Joyce Eisenberg and Mel Keefer and Annette and Peter O'Malley.

CAPTiON: (From left) AFIPO friends Irwin Field, publisher of The Jewish Journal, and his wife, Helgard Field-Lion, with producer Irwin Winkler. Photo by Thomas Neerken

Winning Educators

Some 300 local educators and those involved in Jewish education gathered at the Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel for the 13th annual Milken Family Foundation Jewish Educator Awards on Dec. 12. The prestigious awards, which honored five outstanding day school teachers and/or principals in the Los Angeles area each year are sponsored by the Milken Family Foundation, in cooperation with the Bureau of Jewish Education (BJE), a beneficiary agency of The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles.

The winners included Rabbi Gordon Bernat-Kunin, the rabbinic director of Milken Community High School of Stephen S. Wise Temple in Los Angeles; Rabbi Avrohom Klyne, a first-grade Jewish studies teacher at Yavneh Hebrew Academy in Los Angeles; Marty Uslaner, a physical education and health teacher at Kadima Hebrew Academy in Woodland Hills; Barbara Wirtschafter, General Studies principal from Bais Yaakov High School for Girls in Los Angeles; and Sara Yoseph, a Judaic studies teacher at Atid Hebrew Academy in West Covina.

"Every one of these individuals came to education through a different avenue and made contributions through different venues and to honor them is a pleasure for us," said Lowell Milken, co-founder and chairman of the Milken Family Foundation.

The afternoon event was officiated by Dr. Gil Graff, Executive director of the BJE.

"The most rewarding dimension of this awesome gift," said Bernat-Kunin, "was walking around campus [at Milken High School] and getting warm wishes from the kids and administrators. It's uplifting."

The Milken Family Foundation established the Jewish Educator Awards program in 1990 as an adjunct to the Foundation's National Educator Awards program. -- Sharon Schatz Rosenthal

GOP En Masse

Proof that Jews are increasingly gravitating toward the Republican Party was evident when a standing room-only crowd of more than 900 people flocked to The St. Regis Hotel in Century City on Dec. 8 to attend the Jewish Policy Center's panel discussion, "Liberal Roots and Conservative Solutions." Moderated by KRLA's Michael Medved, the panel included author and FrontPage Magazine Editor David Horowitz, fellow KRLA talk jock Dennis Prager and terrorism expert Steven Emerson. Panelists tackled a variety of topics, including knee-jerk liberalism in the Jewish community, Jewish support from the religious right, the possibility of war with Iraq, Hollywood's lackluster support of Israel and growing anti-Semitism on college campuses and in Europe. "Europe stinks," said Prager, addressing a question about boycotting vacations to France. "It's a culture in decline. Europe will either have a civil war or will be Muslim in our lifetime." -- Adam Wills, Associate Editor

Chanukah Clothes-er

CAPTION: As another glorious Chanukah came to a "clothes" on Dec. 7, the National Council of Jewish Women/Los Angeles (NCJW/LA) held its sixth annual Clothing Giveaway to support the people of our community. More than 5,000 pieces of free clothing, as well as bedding, toys and other accessories collected from NCJW/LA's six thrift shops will be provided to people in need.

Chosen Guests

CAPTION: The West Coast Jewish Theatre staged "The Chosen" in collaboration with the Los Angeles Repertory Company at the Santa Monica Miles Playhouse through October. David Ellenstein directed the play, which, on one evening, welcomed members of the Brentwood-based University Synagogue Sisterhood, including, from left, Sisterhood president Shirley Rose, chairs Judith Gottfried and Marilyn Gross and treasurer Phyllis Goldstein. Photo by Marvin Steindler

A Very Heschel Chanukah

CAPTION: The student body at Abraham Joshua Heschel Day School in Northridge celebrated the last night of Chanukah with a special candlelighting ceremony. The chanukiah was donated to the school this year by four Heschel families -- the Frankels, the Hays, the Lappens and the Serbers.

A Clothes Call

CAPTION: The Beverly Hills Unified School District, Sinai Akiba Academy, the Beverly Hills Rotary Club, and Nesah Synagogue took part in the "Clothe the Homeless day" clothing drop-off event to benefit Los Angeles' homeless and poor. Donors dropped off men's, women's and children's clothing, toys, jackets and toiletries. Clothing will be distributed through Jewish Family Services, Gramercy Shelter, Tamar House, The West Hollywood Food Coalition, SOVA Food Pantry, Becca's Chic Boutique, Para Los Ninos Shelter and other organizations.

Executive Decision

On Dec. 13, President George W. Bush presented one of 20 2001 President's Community Volunteer Awards to Jr. Philharmonic Orchestra founder Dr. Ernest Katz of Beverly Hills. The awards were given at Presidential Hall in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. Photo by Eric Draper


More than $600,000 was raised to benefit children in need via The Help Group's sixth annual Teddy Bear Ball, hosted by "West Wing" star Rob Lowe, where NBC Entertainment president Jeff Zucker and his wife, Caryn Zucker, were honored with the 2002 Spirit of Hope Award. "Friends" star Lisa Kudrow presented Zucker with his award, and "In-Laws" stars Dennis Farina and Jean Smart appeared dressed as Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus. Since 1975, the Help Group has been dedicated to helping young people with special needs related to autism, Asperger's Disorder, learning disabilities, emotional and mental retardation, abuse and neglect.


Values Venue

Michael Josephson, founder-president of The Joseph and Edna Josephson Institute of Ethics and the Character Counts! Coalition led a lively discussion with local religious and community leaders at a recent Board of Rabbis of Southern California panel: "Got Ethics? From The Boardroom to the Living Room."

CAPTION: (From left) Rabbi Morley Feinstein of University Synagogue; Marlene Canter LAUSD board member (Dist. 4); Jonathan Glaser, JMG Capital Management president; Michael Josephson, The Joseph and Edna Josephson Institute of Ethics founder; Rabbi Mark Diamond, Board of Rabbis of Southern California executive vice president; and Rabbi Stephen Carr Reuben, Board of Rabbis of Southern California president. Photo by Marvin Steindler

Double Discoveries

The Zimmer Children's Museum, a department of Jewish Community Centers of Greater Los Angeles, honored director Arthur Hiller and DIC Entertainment CEO Andy Heyward with its Discovery Award.

Hiller, director of such beloved films as "Love Story," "The In-Laws" and "The Lonely Guy," can add the Discovery Award to his crowded mantle. He was recently awarded the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at the 74th Annual Academy Awards.

Heyward's DIC Entertainment specializes in animated programming, including "Inspector Gadget."

The evening's emcee was Dr. Drew, co-host of MTV's late '90s advice show, "Loveline."

Co-chairs of the event were Mace Neufeld of Mace Neufeld Productions and Rick Rosen of Endeavor Entertainment. Museum board members Wendy Moss-Klein and Barbara Prober served as event chairs.

The Zimmer Children's Museum, a Jewish-themed kids entertainment and education center, is located on the ground floor of the Jewish Federation's 6505 Wilshire Blvd. headquarters.

CAPTION: (From left) Andy and Evelyn Heyward, Gwen and Arthur Hiller

CAPTION '2 (From left) Rodney and Beth Freeman, Zimmer Museum Board co-chairs; Wendy Moss Klein and Barbara Prober, Discovery Award Dinner event chairs.

Dean's List of Honors

CAPTION: Rabbi Menachem Gottesman, dean of Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy, and his wife, Leiba Gottesman, were honored at the Academy's 54th Annual Scholarship Banquet at the Century Plaza Hotel. (From left) Banquet co-chairs Alan and Elisa Schoenfeld; honorees Leiba and Rabbi Menachem Gottesman; and banquet co-chairs Michael and Tina Loboda.

Winona Forever!

The Foundation for the Junior Blind, a leading provider of services for the blind and visually impaired, announced Winona Ryder as a future volunteer. Volunteers participate in all of the Foundation's six programs that provide education, recreation, training and rehabilitation.

"Since all of our volunteers are valued members of our Foundation family, Ms. Ryder will certainly make a difference in the lives of our students who are blind or visually impaired," said Robert Ralls, president of the Foundation for the Junior Blind.

The Foundation will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2003.

For information on volunteer opportunities, contact Susie Guszcza at (323) 295-4555, ext. 217.

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