Twenty-five years of great music and great Judaic art were celebrated at the 25th annual Festival of Jewish Artisans at Temple Isaiah in West Los Angeles. At the opening night concert, festival founder and arts educator Jean Abarbanel revealed how she and co-founder Marcia Josephy were "on the hunt" for Jewish artists.
Always an education event rather than a fundraiser, the festival has showcased more than 300 artists, who come at their own expense. Originally, Abarbanel said, they vowed not to raise money (but not to lose money, either), to always have an activity for children and to create a network for the artists.
Added Josephy, "The Festival enhances our Jewish lives in a meaningful way."
Many artists, including longtime exhibitors Ruth Shapiro, a metal worker-jeweler from Mar Vista, and Middie Giesberg, who exhibits vividly colored Ethiopian embroideries through the North American Committee for Ethiopian Jewry, said this is the most prestigious show of its kind, and the artists are treated the best.
The opening night concert featured the 100-voice Angel City Chorale, directed by Sue Fink, with virtuoso John Bilezikjian and pianist Tali Tadmor. Also featured were Cantors Evan Kent (Temple Isaiah), Alison Wissot (Temple Judea, Tarzana) and Patti Linsky (Ahavat Shalom, Northridge) in a musical montage of the festival's past 25 years. Musical selections included Yiddish, Hebrew and Broadway tunes. An artists reception and preview sale followed the concert.
The second day began with an artists networking and education brunch at the temple. All afternoon there was a steady stream of buyers sampling wares like Brian Bergner's Jerusalem stone mezuzahs; silver and pewter candlesticks by Israeli Rafi Landau and San Diegan Lisa Slovis Mandel; and whimsical metal Judaic wall art by Arel Mishory of Denver.
Other wares included vivid glass platters by Gila Sagy, an Israeli now living in Northern California; sand-blasted etched glass plates and goblets by Michelle and David Plachte-Zuieback of Santa Rosa; and gold jewelry with ancient Israeli coins and ancient Roman glass by eighth-generation Yemenite jeweler Moshe David.
For more information, call (310) 277-2772 or visit www.templeisaiah.com.
All Jazzed Up
Vibrato Jazz Grill joined forces with Vista del Mar Child and Family Service's Presidents Club to draw more than 200 young professionals from throughout Los Angeles to help at-risk youth. While enjoying the sounds of three different jazz artists and a bevy of hors d'oeuvres, guests learned about the Presidents Club's involvement with the children who live at Vista Del Mar and how their monthly interactions with troubled teens can help nurture successful recovery and re-entry into the world.
Janis Black Warner and Eden Alpert co-chaired the event and joined Tanya Howard, a former resident of Vista Del Mar who is now a successful professional herself, in speaking about their personal connections to the agency and the gratification from helping the agency that serves more than 5,500 children and families annually.
The Presidents Club is comprised of men and women, ages 25 to 50, who have the unique opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives of troubled children who live at Vista del Mar. Through their interactions, the youth learn to develop positive relationships with adults, as well as acquire the skills necessary for building self-respect, integrity and positive peer relationships.
Stars sparkled brightly inside and out at the Regent Beverly Wilshire recently when CBS Chair Leslie Moonves received UNICEF's Champion for Children Award at the first UNICEF Snowflake Ball for his dedication to positively impacting children around the world. Guests were treated to stellar performances by Sting in tandem with acclaimed trumpeter Chris Botti, the Children of the World Choir and Natalie Cole.
Trudie Styler, UNICEF ambassador, film producer, environmentalist and actor, received the Danny Kaye Humanitarian Award for her longstanding commitment to UNICEF from close friend Robert Downey, Jr. Appointed as ambassador for UNICEF UK's End Child Exploitation Fundraising Appeal in July 2004, Styler has raised close to $2 million for the campaign to protect millions of children from exploitation-child labor, child trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation. Together, Styler and her husband, Sting, have raised almost $30 million for the foundation. The evening was chaired by Sharon Davis, Ghada Irani and Sandra Lee, and recognized Baccarat President and CEO Victor Luis, whose company was the event's presenter.
For more information about UNICEF or to make a donation, visit www.unicefusa.org or call (800) 486-4233.