December 22, 2005
ADL Celebrates Family
More than 800 people showed up to celebrate the work of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) last week at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, where more than $400,000 was raised for ADL's battle against anti-Semitism, hate and bigotry.
The event lived up to its theme, "We Are Family," as it celebrated diversity and tuned into the words of keynote speaker Ambassador Dennis Ross and vignettes by four individuals affected by the work of ADL, including L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who told The Journal, "Without the ADL we couldn't have made as many advances against bigotry as we have, and I wouldn't be mayor."
During the event, co-chaired by Suzanne and Harvey Prince and Stacey and Michael Garfinkel, Villaraigosa spoke of his experience leading an ADL mission to Israel and the importance of an organization that battles hate and bigotry. A victim of anti-Semitic hate mail shared how ADL comforted her and others who received the vicious mail and worked with law enforcement to bring the perpetrator to justice.
Honored during the evening were Richard E. Wiseley, managing director of the Western Division of Oppenheimer & Co, Inc., who received the Humanitarian Award and Justice Norman L. Epstein, presiding judge of the California Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District, Division Four, who received the Jurisprudence Award. In keeping with the "We Are Family" theme, Wiseley's wife, March, presented his award and Epstein's children, Carole and Mark, presented his award.
Eighty Years Young
More than 150 guests gathered at the Milken Institute in Santa Monica on Sunday, Dec. 4 to celebrate the 80th birthday of Moshe Arens, former Israeli ambassador to the United States. Arens, now the chairman of the board of governors for the College of Judea & Samaria in Israel, also accepted the "Living Legacy Award" from the college for his many years of public service in Israel.
"Education is important everywhere, particularly in Israel," Arens said. "Our natural resources are very limited but our most important resource is our young people, so investing in their education is key."
Consul General of Israel Ehud Danoch spoke at the event, which included a question-and-answer session with veterans of Israel's War of Independence Lou Lenart, Arens and famed hairstylist Vidal Sassoon. The Milken Family Foundation sponsored the event with proceeds going to the College of Judea & Samaria. -- Karmel Melamed Contributing Writer
Speaking of Lunch
In December, the National Council of Jewish Women, Los Angeles presented its Lunchtime Speaker and Discussion Series on "The Separation of Church & State," where John L. Rosove, senior rabbi at Temple Israel of Hollywood, and Stephen F. Rohde, vice president of the Progressive Jewish Alliance, enlightened the group who lunched and listened intently as they spoke.
In January they will present "Marriage Equality" with speaker Eva Wolfson, executive director and founder of "Freedom to Marry."
For information call Ruth Williams (323) 651-2930, ext. 503
Big in the Big Apple
Prominent L.A. Jewish communal leader Jack M. Nagel received an honorary degree at Yeshiva University's (YU) 81st annual Hanukkah Dinner and Convocation on Sunday, Dec. 11 at The Waldorf-Astoria in New York.
YU President Richard M. Joel also confered honorary degrees on Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), who delivered the convocation, and four other leaders: Linda Altman, Jay Feinberg, Kathryn O. Greenberg and Rose Yavarkovsky.
Nagel, a Holocaust survivor born in Poland, came to the United States in 1947, attended New York University and moved to Los Angeles in 1955, where he established Nagel Construction Company, a leading developer of residential and commercial real estate. He is chairman of the West Coast Friends of Bar-Ilan University and a member of both its American Board of Trustees and International Board. He was awarded an honorary degree from Bar-Ilan University, which named its Jack and Gitta Nagel Jewish Family Heritage Center in honor of him and his wife.
A Star-Studded Shop
Century City's Westfield Shopping Center kicked off a new $150 million renovation with a star-studded, spectacular movie premiere raising more than $600,000 to benefit UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center. Celebrities abounded at the festivities featuring the world premiere of the Mel Brooks comedy "The Producers." On hand were the movie's stars Nathan Lane, Matthew Broderick, Will Farrell, Gary Beach and Roger Bart along with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who cut the ticket-shaped ribbon with Westfield's CEO Peter Lowy.
Villaraigosa praised the new facility, noting that "the renovations at the center put the 'city' back into Century City and is a great boost to Los Angeles."
Lowy voiced his determination to keep the facility a major shopping experience for the community and thanked the mayor for finishing the Santa Monica Boulevard reconstruction project on time.
The new-state-of-the-art theater features stadium seating and an outdoor dining terrace (the first of its kind in the U.S.) which Lowy promised will be the setting for many future movie premieres and exciting events.