Jewish Journal

Podcast: Magbit’s Young Leadership making waves for education in Israel

by Karmel Melamed

July 8, 2008 | 10:24 pm

Magbit Young Leadership members

More than 300 Southern California young professional Iranian Jews packed an old restaurant temporary transformed into a comedy club near Downtown L.A. on June 28th for the Magbit Young Leadership’s fundraiser for the Magbit organization’s Jewish scholarships and interest-free loans. The event, dubbed as “Jokefest”, headlined a number of emerging comedians including popular Iranian Muslim comedian Maz Jobrani.

Listen to our latest podcast featuring Magbit’s Young Leadership members here

Magbit was formed in 1990 by several affluent Iranian Jews in Southern California and has offered millions of dollars in interest-free loans and scholarships to nearly 9,000 financially struggling students in Israel and the U.S. It simply amazes me that after three decades Iranian Jewish immigrants to the U.S. who fled Iran with little or none of their past fortunes in Iran, are now successful enough to support Israel through this organization! In a time when Israel is in the forefront of technological advancements…what better gift than to promote education through interest-free loans to Jewish students in Israel. The young Iranian Jews of this group are obviously carrying on the torch of Zionism through their work with this group.

On a more interesting note…as journalist who covers the local Iranian Jewry, I’ve come to discover that the many Magbit events also serve as gathering points for Iranian Jews in their 20’s and 30’s to meet one another and often find their future spouses. For all of you American Jews who are looking to snag yourself a handsome Iranian Jewish groom or Iranian Jewish bride…I have no doubt Magbit’s members will be more than willing to welcome you to their shindigs as well!  I’ve had a chance to attend a few of Magbit’s annual gala events at the Beverly Hilton hotel in Beverly Hills which have always been a big broo-ha-ha and attracted a number of young professionals trying to find potential matches. In the end, what better way to spend your time that to support Israel and also mingle with other young Jewish singles. Below are some sights I captured from Magbit’s Jokefest…


Magbit event partiers dancing up a storm
(left to right; Magbit’s members Babak Naffas, Shushana Djavaheri, and Avi Cohen, photo by Karmel Melamed)
Packed room listening to Maz Jobrani
Shushana Djavaheri wooing the crowd


Iranian Comedian Maz Jobrani is quite the character!
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Karmel Melamed is an internationally-published freelance journalist based in Southern California.

Since 2000, Melamed has specialized in covering the growing influential...

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