February 17, 2005
Fine Thing for Feinstein
Rabbi Morley Feinstein, senior rabbi of University Synagogue in Brentwood, and Rabbi Mark S. Diamond, executive vice president of the Board of Rabbis of Southern California, at the General Assembly (GA) of the United Jewish Communities. Feinstein, executive committee member of the Board of Rabbis, received the Rabbinic Award of The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles.
The Stem Cell Circuit
For one week in late January, Hadassah Southern California hosted Benjamin Reubinoff, senior physician with the obstetrics/gynecology department and director of the Hadassah Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research Center at the Goldyne Savad Institute of Gene Therapy, Hadassah University Medical Center in Jerusalem.
Recently, in what is considered to be a major medical breakthrough, Reubinoff and his research team succeeded in showing that human embryonic stem cells can improve the functioning of a laboratory rat with Parkinson's disease. This is the first time that the potential ability of transplanted human embryonic stem cells has been demonstrated in an animal model with Parkinson's disease.
It was a whirlwind week for Reubinoff: On Jan. 23, he was the keynote speaker at the "Healthy Women, Healthy Lives" Conference at the Long Beach Jewish Community Center; on Jan. 24, he spoke at the Women of Distinction Dinner at Le Vallauris; on Jan. 25, 160 women turned up to hear him speak at a health seminar at the Annenberg Center at the Eisenhower Medical Center; and later that night he spoke at San Diego's Chai Society event at the Burham Institute. Two days later, Reubinoff gave a lecture to the faculty and deans at UC Santa Barbara, and last, but not least, he spoke in Encino at the Northern Area Chai Society event.
A Visit from The Rebbe
Emek Hebrew Academy Teichman Family Torah Center had some very holy guests recently. On Feb. 7, Rabbi Zvi Elimelech Halberstam, the Sanz-Klausenberg Rebbe, visited the school. Halberstam is one of the most renowned Chasidic leaders alive today.
Sol Teichman, the school's board chair, welcomed Halberstam to Emek. Teichman has a very personal connection to the Rebbe, as he survived the Holocaust with Halberstam's father, the late Grand Rabbi Yekusiel Yehuda Halberstam, who founded Kiryat Sanz in Netanya, Israel.
On Feb. 6, an audience of 200 gathered at the school to hear Torah scholar Rabbi Yissocher Frand speak about "Gevurah – Strength, Legacy from the Past, Hope for the Future."
In Memory of Hindy
One year ago, on Feb. 10, 2004, Hindy Cohen, a student at Bais Yaakov of Los Angeles, died at the age of 17. She was known for her staunch faith and for the joy she felt in life.
Since her death, her parents, Baruch and Adina Cohen, have set up the Hindy Cohen Memorial Fund at Bais Yaakov. In the short time since its inception, the fund has dedicated the Bais Yaakov Yoman Calendar, which is given out to every student. It has also set up an annual award given to a Bais Yaakov graduating senior who has shown exemplary character traits. The fund also sponsored this year's Halleli Song and Dance Festival, dedicated the Yom Iyun Day of Study at Bais Yaakov, and set up a weekly mussar (self-improvement from Jewish texts) class for seniors.
On Feb. 13, in connection with Hindy Cohen's first yahrzeit, the Hindy Cohen Memorial Fund dedicated "Hindy's Sefer Torah." The Torah procession began at noon at the shul that Hindy Cohen prayed in for most of her life, Congregation Bais Yehuda on La Brea Boulevard. Hindy's parents and the rest of the crowd then escorted the Torah to its new home at Bais Yaakov on Beverly Boulevard.
A Dance for Barbara
On Nov. 6, United Hostesses' Charity held its 62nd annual dinner dance at the Regent Beverly Wilshire. The event honored Barbara Factor Bentley, the immediate past chair of the Board of the Directors at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, and featured a performance by singer/pianist Michael Feinstein.
One sure way to stop those winter blues is to help people less fortunate than yourself. In January, the American Jewish Congress sent several packages of handmade baby clothing, blankets and teddy bears to needy families in Israel. Each item sent was lovingly crafted by Stitches from the Heart, a Santa Monica-based organization whose volunteers knit garments and toys from donated yarn, which are then distributed to needy people.
In Israel, Yad Letinok, a Jerusalem-based charity that helps needy families with young children, distributed the items.