QUEENS OF SHEBA
Boutiques lined the halls leading to the dining room at the Four Seasons recently, where a crowd shopped before the Women of Achievement Awards event at the Friends of Sheba luncheon. This year's awards honored two distinguished community leaders: Dr. Ellen Klapper and Janice Kamenir-Reznik.
Klapper is a physician and co-director of transfusion medicine at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. She is also an associate clinical professor of pathology at UCLA's David Geffen School of Medicine.
Kamenir-Reznik is an attorney specializing in environmental real estate law for the firm of Reznik & Reznik. She serves in a variety of Jewish community leadership roles.
Serving as mistress of ceremonies was the Rhea Kohan, comedy writer, raconteur and author of everyone's favorite girlfriend tome, "Save Me a Seat." A special tribute, the Queen of Sheba Award, was presented to Beverly Cohen for her devoted service as president of the Women of Sheba for five years. Making the presentation in song were luncheon co-chairs Judy Shapiro and DeeDee Sussman.
Event proceeds will help fund the Center for Newborn Screening at Sheba Medical Center, which will test every baby born in Israel (approximately 150,000 annually) for more than 20 genetic diseases. Major gifts for the project come from special donors to the Sponsor-a-Child Campaign.
Professor Mordechai Shani, director general emeritus of Sheba Medical Center, the largest, most comprehensive hospital in the Middle East., reported on the progress of the newborn screening fundraising at the hospital.
For information about Friends of Sheba, call associate director Pam Blattner at (310) 843-0100.
The Bel Air home of Bronya and Andrew Galef was filled with NARAL Pro Choice America supporters and stars recently, when the group held a fundraiser and awareness evening to support efforts to retain women's right to choose.
Reacting to the appointment of John Roberts to the Supreme Court, Christine Lahti, Diane English, Amy Madigan and Ed Harris joined community activists to solicit funding and spread the word about protecting women's rights.
Award-winning journalist and best-selling author of "The Price of Motherhood," Anne Crittenden, addressed the small but involved group. She vowed to continue the battle to keep pro-choice an option for women.
Amy Everitt, state director of NARAL Pro Choice California, urged the attendees to vote against Proposition 73, which, if passed, would require a physician to notify a parent or guardian 48 hours before performing an abortion on a female younger than 18. It exempts young women who obtain a judicial waiver or face a medical emergency.
"This is an end run to abolish an existing law, which will greatly weaken Roe v. Wade," Everitt said.
A PLACE CALLED HOME
Philanthropist Dawn Ostroff, Grammy Award-winning recording artist LL Cool J and private investor Bruce Newberg were honored by A Place Called Home (APCH), the groundbreaking youth enrichment center for at-risk kids in South Central Los Angeles, at its 12th annual Gala for the Children on Oct. 25, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.
Ostroff, the president of UPN, was honored with the Humanitarian Award presented by supermodel and television talk-show host, Tyra Banks.
Newberg received the Angel of the Children Award, and LL Cool J was presented with the Children's Inspiration Award.
"These are three individuals whose generosity has really helped make a difference in the lives of at-risk youth," said Robert Israel, gala chair and head of the board of APCH, which was founded by Debrah Constance in 1993. "LL Cool J, Dawn Ostroff and Bruce Newberg continually strive to impact the community and its children."
Ostroff is responsible for all creative aspects of UPN's operations and has been listed among the 100 most powerful women in entertainment by The Hollywood Reporter for two consecutive years. Prior to her position at UPN, Ostroff served as president of development for 20th Century Fox, and under her leadership, she raised Lifetime, the sixth-highest-rated cable television network, to No. 1 in primetime.
In addition, she has devoted herself to numerous philanthropic organizations, such as the American Jewish Committee, which brings international relief to victims of hate and bias.
Newberg and his wife, Nancy, established the Bruce and Nancy Newberg Fund, administered by the Jewish Community Foundation for charitable giving. He serves on the boards of the Independent School Alliance for Minority Affairs, Phase One, and A Place Called Home.
A MUSICAL SEASON
"Seasons of Songs" celebrated Cantor Ilan Davidson's 10th anniversary at Temple Beth El in San Pedro. The evening featured Jewish music, opera and Broadway tunes.
Participating were the cantor and his friends. Dr. Noreen Green, musical director of the Los Angeles Jewish Symphony, led the Kohelet Choir and Orchestra in the anniversary celebration. Joining them were Cantor Sam Radwine of Ner Tamid, Palos Verdes; Cantor Patti Linsky of Temple Ahavat Shalom, Northridge; and Cantor Jonathan Grant of Temple Bat Yahm, Newport Beach.