Jewish Journal

The Circuit

by Norma Zager

Posted on May. 11, 2006 at 8:00 pm

Sober and Proud

A cache of L.A. A-Listers joined attorney Robert Shapiro and his wife Linell to kick-off the first ever observance of Sober Day USA: A Day of Awareness poolside at the Standard Hotel.

"We want to show America that everyone can have fun without artificial enhancements such as alcohol and drugs and is a poignant way to honor my son, Brent," Robert Shapiro said.

The Brent Shapiro Foundation, which embraces everyone struggling with addiction, was created in memory of the Shapiros' son who died last October. At the event, the Shapiros introduced new Public Service Announcements that will enhance public awareness of this widespread problem and prove drugs and alcohol don't have to play a part in celebration or everyday life.

Prove it they did with a night overflowing with delicious foods and a crowd of well-wishers on hand to support them including Diana (Call Me Miss) Ross, John Tesh and Connie Selleca, boxing's first lady Jackie Kallan, Jacqueline Smith, uber-hairdresser Jose Eber and Paris Hilton were among the celebs that partied hardy in an alcohol-free, drug-free and goodie-laden environment.

Taste the Politics

Spring has sprung and that means politics is one again in the air. OK, so it doesn't smell like roses, but the upcoming primary in June is a heated and important race for Angelenos. The last weekend in April saw Young Israel sponsoring a "meet the candidates" forum to prepare for decision-making time; and Chris and Jamie McGurk opened their Beverly Hills home to a debate between Abbe Land and Mike Feuer vying for Paul Koretz's Assembly seat. The event, sponsored by the Society of Young Philanthropists, was filled with interested spectators who digested the political rhetoric with an ample supply of delicious snacks and goodies to make it all very palatable.

Candidates answered questions fielded by moderator and organizer Steven Fenton, who said,"It was a wonderful afternoon with a good turnout. It was nice that people wanted to support the schools and hear from the candidates. I was delighted to see so many students engaging in the political process. "

A fundraiser for Secretary of State candidate Debra Bowen was held at the home of Lillian and Stuart Raffels to fete Bowen and her supporters. Bowen spoke about the challenges of the office and her numerous qualifications to a packed house fressing, schmoozing and wishing her the best. I say good luck to all and watch your waistlines ... it's a dangerous time of year, they feed you into submission. Well it works for me.

Happy Birthday MAZON

It was a happy occasion when MAZON turned 20 years old and announced its new slate for the board of directors. Rabbi Arnold Rachlis of University Synagogue in Irvine assumed the position of chair of the board and Joel E. Jacob of West Bloomfield, Mich. was appointed to vice chair.

"For the last 20 years, MAZON's staff and board members have been committed to the fight for those who are hungry," Dr. H. Eric Schockman, president of MAZON said. "With continued support from our donors, MAZON will not stop working until hungry families are able to live a more nutritious life."

MAZON was founded in 1985 as a national nonprofit organization to raise funding from the Jewish community allocating it to organizations that alleviate and prevent hunger among people of all faiths and backgrounds.

For more information on MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger, visit www.mazon.org.

'Song' of Seder

Beit T'Shuvah celebrated a third night of Pesach with the world premiere of "Freedom's Song", an expansion of their Drug & Alcohol Prevention program. The production highlights the historic universality of the struggle to free oneself from external expression and internal bondage by using the story of Passover. The original modern music is a vehicle to expose the pervasiveness of the disease of addiction and its effect on everyone in the family system. Parallels of a modern family seder and a 12-step meeting brought lessons of historical slavery and personal bondage to the diverse crowd. For more information on "Freedom's Song," call (310) 204-5200, ext. 211.


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