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Jewish Journal

The Circuit

by Michael Aushenker

September 18, 2003 | 8:00 pm

Gee Force

Community members turned out in full force when Geoffrey Gee, former Israel Humanitarian Foundation Chair and University Synagogue president, was honored at a Cure Familial Dysautonomia fundraiser at University Synagogue in Westwood. The luncheon event was graced by a visit by Dr. Berish Rubin, chairman of the department of biological sciences at Fordham University, who with his research team in 2001 isolated the gene for familial dysautonomia (FD), a neurological genetic disease that is degenerative, fatal and affects children of Ashkenazim.

Cure FD Foundation President Mavis Feinberg said that "Dr. Berish Rubin is reporting positive results from his first-step breakthrough, which he announced about two months ago, in his search for a treatment which will save the lives of the children with the neurological, degenerative fatal Jewish genetic disease, as common as Tay Sachs was, familial dysautonomia. This search requires serious funding so that the treatment will come in time to save these lives."

Cure FD is planning events for "October FD Awareness Month," with the participation of various local Jewish organizations, and a Nov. 2 concert honoring Rabbi Morley Feinstein with Cantor Jay Frailich of University Synagogue and his daughter Lonee Frailich presenting a program of Broadway songs.

For more information on Cure FD Foundation, contact Mavis Feinberg at (310) 459-1056 or mavis.al@verizon.net; visit www.curefd.org .

Temple Extempore

Rabbi Robert Klensin led his first Shabbat service earlier this month as interim rabbi at Temple Beth David in Westminster. After 28 years with a synagogue in Maryland, he and his family moved to Scottsdale, Ariz., until relocating to serve Beth Israel while the temple seeks a permanent rabbi. The Klensins will reside in Seal Beach during this period.

Capping Off Graduation

As part of its Endowment Fund Campaign, "Moving Toward Our Second Century," the Jewish Free Loan Association (JFLA) unveiled the David & Lillian Zerner Family Wall of Recognition at its office suite in the Jewish Federation Goldsmith Famliy Building. The goal is to raise $10 million by JFLA's 100th anniversary next year. (From left) JFLA COO Evelyn Schecter with Nancy, Larry, Lillian, Donna and Sandra Zerner.

The Loan Rangers

Women's Alliance for Israel board members, from left, Rosalie Zalis, Myrtle Sitowitz, Jean Friedman and Rita Snider flank keynote speaker Sen. Charles Schumer (D-New York), who addressed about 150 of the group's members at the Regency Club in Westwood.

An Ally for Alliance

A scene from the recent American Friends of the Israel Museum reception in Beverly Hills. Photo by Talya Kesselman

That's What Friends Are For

Hadassah International held its 20th anniversary conference in London, where Carolyn Green, national board member, and Dr. Rosa Behar, president of Hadassah Cuba, met with former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak.

Barak My World

(From left) Annette Benning and Warren Beatty flank David Lee Strasberg, center, at The Group at Strasberg's world premiere of Rodrigo Garcia's "Ten Tiny Love Stories" at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute in West Hollywood. Photo by Kevin Parry

Premiere a Love Affair

Technion professor Moshe Shoham, right, demonstrates a robotic surgeon he developed for fail-safe back surgery to Reeve, center, as Technion President Yitzhak Apeloig watches, left.

Man of Steel Resolve

Christopher Reeve visited the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa. Reeve, the paralyzed actor best known for his portrayal of Superman, spent late July in Israel learning about the country's medical advances. Reeve said he was impressed with the work of the Technion, calling it "a model of progressive research," and repeatedly stressed, "how much the entire country cares about the health and welfare of all the people who live here."

Success Fest

Meir Fenigstein, founder/executive director of the 19th Israel Film Festival, estimated that a record 36,000 people attended the this year in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, even before the festival ends its 2003 run in Miami Oct. 30-Nov. 6. According to Fenigstein, that's a 25 percent rise in ticket sales over last year and it bodes well for the festival's 2004 second-decade mark.

"Next year, in our 20th anniversary, we hope to bring the films to an even wider audience as well as doubling the festival budget," he said.

For more information, visit www.israelfilmfestival.com .

A Pier Among Peers

The Jewish Federation Real Estate and Construction Division (REC) recently invited the group's young adult members to mix and mingle and watch the sun go down over the Pacific at a Young Leadership cocktail party, held at Shutters on the Beach. REC Young Leadership Chair Brian Weisberg presided over the event.

Golfing Fore Dollars

Guardians' Young Men's Division (YMD) hit the links at its fifth annual Swing Fore the Home Golf Tournament, raising $110,000 for its pet charity, Jewish Home for the Aging. Golfers started the morning off with a Bloody Mary breakfast bar, courtesy of Sidney Frank Importing, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts and Select Produce.

"The tournament is a prime example of how the Young Men's Division and The Guardians work hand in hand to not only fulfill our mission of supporting the home, but to have a great time doing it," said Sam Shapiro, event chair and YMD executive vice chair.

The tournament was sponsored in part by the Konheim family, and Guardian Vice President Steve Kipper. Secretary Arnold Price served as honorary chairmen. YMD Chair Eric Winter, Shapiro, Robert Polisky, Justin Miller, Brian Rubin, Joey Behrstock and others worked on the event committee to make this event a hole in one.

The Guardians have a new Web site: www.guardiansjha.org .

Memorial March

With a chuppah, a saxophonist and a police escort, more than 200 people paraded down a Miracle Mile street on a recent Sunday to dedicate a new Torah scroll at Ohev Shalom Congregation, a Fairfax-area Orthodox synagogue.

A scribe in Bnei Brak, Israel, spent 13 months on the scroll, which was commissioned by Moshe and Simcha Zamir in memory of their daughter, Lulu Rotom Zamir. Lulu was run down by a drunk driver when she was 21. She lay in a coma for 10 years before her death in 2001. Her family marked her second yahrtzeit with the Torah celebration and a dinner at Ohev Shalom, where Rabbi Dovid Tropper has guided the family through a reentry into traditional observance over the last several years.

The Zamir family has set up a scholarship fund in Lulu's memory to send girls to study in Israel for a year. Donations can be sent care of Ohev Shalom, 525 S. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90036.

For more information, call (323) 652-1533. --Julie Gruenbaum Fax, Religion Editor

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