Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Israeli Ambassador Daniel Ayal met recently and placed a call to congratulate new Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. They, along with Ayal's wife, Anne, extended congratulations on the Kadima Party victory. Photo by Duncan McIntosh.
A Sheba Success
The evening was dressy, festive and upbeat recently when Friends of Sheba Medical Center honored three outstanding Angelenos at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. The organization, which does so much to fulfill a promise of excellent medical care in Israel, didn't disappoint when supporters turned out in record numbers to show their loyalty to honorees and the group's devotion to its cause. The Rabin Philanthropy Award was presented to community leaders Anna and Max Webb; the Humanitarian Award went to stage, screen and television star Jason Alexander, and Dr. Michael Vermesh, noted infertility specialist, received the Medical Visionary Award. Lynn Ziman and Louis Milkowski, gala dinner co-chairs , said the proceeds of the event, in excess of $4.5 million, will be directed to the Center for Newborn Screening, which will test every baby born in Israel (150,000 annually) for 20 genetic diseases. Every hospital in the country will participate using test kits provided by Marilyn Ziering, and her late husband, Sigi. For information, call (310) 843-0100, ext. 1.
This year's "Chidon Mitzvos" competition was held recently at Emerson Middle School. More than 1,000 people attended the finals of the annual competition, in which students learn and are tested on the Sefer Hamitzvos of the Rambam. The 150 finalists are all students from Lubavitch cheders, yeshivas and day schools from around the world who scored highest in their home city's competition. Rabbi Mendel Greenbaum, principal of Cheder Menachem Los Angeles, hosted the competition, and Rabbi Baruch Sholomo Cunin, director of Chabad of California, and Rabbi Ezra Schochet, rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva Ohr Elchonon Chabad of Los Angeles, commended finalists for their diligence in learning the Sefer Hamitzvos. Internationally acclaimed entertainer Lippa performed a rousing medley of songs, much to the delight of the audience, many of whom rose to their feet to sing and dance along. But the centerpiece of the event was the high-energy "Jewpardy" competition, in which the finalists wowed the audience by answering complicated questions on knowledge from the Sefer Hamitvos.
The Chidon Mitzvos was inspired by the Lubavitcher Rebbe's directive that all Jews be united by learning the halachos set down in the Rambam's Sefer Hamitzvos.
Glitter, Glamour and Gehry
Famed architect Frank Gehry kicked off his new jewelry line at Tiffany's recently in Hollywood fashion as the rich and famous congregated on Rodeo Drive. Gawking and glitz went hand in hand at the event, wall to wall with stars, celebs and Hollywood heavy hitters. Talk show/comedy diva Ellen DeGeneres, and her significant other, Portia de Rossi, were among the cache of stars who extended cordial hellos and mingled with fans. Grammy award-winner John Legend teamed with surprise guest Patti LaBelle to blow the audience away with a rocking performance enjoyed by such luminaries as Felicity Huffman, William H. Macy, Christina Ricci, Owen Wilson, Lawrence Fishburne, Mira Sorvino, Anjelica Huston, Quincy Jones and Wolfgang Puck.
Gehry's new collection consists of an unusual array of materials, such as black gold, pernambuco wood and cocholong stone. Along with sterling silver, diamonds and gemstones, the collection is based on motifs inspired by structural elements, childhood memories, renaissance masters and contemporary painters, thus resulting in arresting shapes and forms that have a kinetic rhythm and energy.