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Jewish Journal

$5 million gift renames Vista Del Mar campus

by Ryan Torok

January 18, 2012 | 4:07 pm

Vista Del Mar Child and Family Services got a new name on Jan. 12, to include the designation the Joyce and Stanley Black Family Campus, in light of a $5 million gift the Blacks recently pledged to the agency.

“Anything I could do for Vista Del Mar, I always wanted to do it,” Stanley Black, 78, a real estate businessman and philanthropist, told a crowd of about 100 assembled in the gymnasium to honor the couple.

Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Koretz declared the day Joyce and Stanley Black Family Day in Los Angeles.

“We don’t do these days very often, but if there are two people in the community who have contributed more to it, I don’t know them,” said Koretz, who presides over the City Council’s 5th District, home to the social services agency, which for more than 100 years has helped children and families struggling with mental, developmental and emotional issues. In its early days, the agency helped Jews exclusively. While it remains connected to the Jewish community, the agency today serves mostly non-Jews.

Black’s parents also donated to Vista Del Mar — the Jack and Victoria Black Parkway is a part of the campus — and Black grew up in the neighborhood of the West Los Angeles agency.

“My father had a great feeling for Vista Del Mar, and he inbred it in me and my life,”  Black said.

Black has supported numerous organizations in Los Angeles, including Jewish Vocational Services and Los Angeles ORT College. His real estate portfolio of industrial and commercial properties stretches across 35 states and includes more than 18 million square feet of space.

The Blacks’ imprint on Vista is evident in numerous places. In 2000, the Blacks donated $1 million to launch the Joyce and Stanley Black Family Special Care Facility, a secure residential unit for severely disturbed children, and Stanley leads an annual fundraising sweepstakes at the agency.

Other speakers at the event included L.A. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky; Elias Lefferman, CEO of Vista Del Mar; and Richard Wolf and Lyn Konheim, co-chairs of Vista Del Mar’s board of directors. Also in attendance were Rabbi Mark Borovitz of Beit T’Shuvah, which has also been a beneficiary of Black’s generosity.

Joyce Black told the crowd of her personal connection to Vista. Her mother placed Joyce’s two siblings in foster care at Vista during World War II, when her father was sent overseas to fight with the Air Force. She couldn’t afford to feed three children and sought out assistance from Vista.

“Vista was here to help my mother,” Joyce said.

The Blacks’ donation will go toward renovating the classrooms and equipping them with new technology, including Smart Boards and iPads, as well as repaving roads, repainting all the facilities and closing budget deficits, Lefferman said.

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