Jewish Journal

The Circuit

by Norma Zager

Posted on Mar. 23, 2006 at 7:00 pm

Sasha Sparkles

Superskater and silver Olympic medalist Sasha Cohen lit up the runway recently at the Rodeo Drive Walk of Style event in Beverly Hills. It was a night of chowing down on yummy foods and stargazing as the Rodeo Drive Committee celebrated the illustrious careers of costume designers Edith Head (posthumous), James Acheson and Milena Canonero. The honorees will receive a permanent plaque in the sidewalk along the famed fashion destination for their contributions to the worlds of fashion and entertainment.

The event was held at the historic Beverly Hills Post Office, future home of the Wallis Annenberg Cultural Center, which showed itself to be a trendy and comfortable venue for future high-profile events.

"Edith Head, James Acheson and Milena Canonero's acclaimed and versatile work spans nearly a century and has sparked many fashion trends that have been seen over the years here on Rodeo Drive," said Peri Ellen Berne, chair of the Rodeo Drive Walk of Style. "Since costume design exemplifies the relationship between the fashion and entertainment industries, this was a natural category for the Rodeo Drive Walk of Style Award to honor."

Win for Weiss

Ben-Gurion University (BGU) of the Negev recently awarded an honorary doctoral degree to American Henry A. Weiss. The ceremony and award came as a complete surprise to Weiss during his first visit to BGU's Marcus Family Campus with his wife, Anita, and daughters, Rochelle Handy and Donna Lam, who came with her husband, Cantor Nathan Lam of Stephen S. Wise Temple in Bel Air. Professor Avishay Braverman praised Weiss for his commitment to Israel in general and BGU in particular.

"Anita and Henry are true friends of the Negev and the university," Braverman said. "Their commitment to recruiting promising young scientists for the university and developing cutting-edge technologies will ensure Israel's future for generations to come."

Model of Hope

A $2 million gift from the Sheri & Les Biller Family Foundation will make possible the creation of a new center at City of Hope to assist patients and families facing cancer and other life-threatening diseases.

The Les & Sheri Biller Patient & Family Resource Center will create a new model to integrate and expand a wide range of patient support services at City of Hope, including health education, psychological services and healing arts programs, as well as end-of-life and bereavement care programs. Patient navigators, a central feature of the Biller Center, will serve as patients' personal contacts at City of Hope and provide one-on-one attention and assistance during treatment.

The 3,000-square-foot space for the Biller Center, which will open in July 2007, will include a tranquil garden atrium, seating lounges, private counseling spaces, an activity room for support groups and classes, a computer center, a patient/family library and a meditation room.

For more information, visit www.cityofhope.org.

They Love Leyner

Barbara Leyner was selected 39th Assembly District's 2006 "Woman of the Year." Leyner, executive director of the Canoga Park/West Hills Chamber of Commerce, serves on the advisory board of Child Development Institute and as an executive board member of Temple Ramat Zion. Her volunteer work includes such organizations as Jeopardy, Valley Cultural Center, Muscular Dystrophy, Juvenile Diabetes, Valley Vote and AIDS Project, Los Angeles.

"It's a wonderful honor," she said. "I'm thrilled and proud to have been chosen. It's a great pleasure seeing success and the more success I see, the more I want to help."

Promises, Promises

The desserts were good, but the message was disheartening last week as StandWithUs, the pro-Israel advocacy organization, hosted an evening about the United Nations produced by actor-filmmaker Ron Silver and foremost U.N. expert Anne Bayefsky. They screened the new documentary, "Broken Promises: The United Nations at 60," executive produced by David N. Bossie and Citizens United and narrated by Silver, which details the United Nations' failed record regarding human rights, economic and social development and world security and specifies how the U.N. High Commission on Human Rights has targeted Israel with more violations than any other country. For more information, contact StandWithUs at (310) 836-6140 or visit www.standwithus.com.


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