Jewish Journal

Moving and shaking

by Ryan Torok

Posted on Jul. 30, 2014 at 1:30 pm

<em>From left: Susie Meyers, Michal Taviv-Margolese, Rabbi David Wolpe and author Daniel Silva. Photo by Nurit Greenger</em><br />

From left: Susie Meyers, Michal Taviv-Margolese, Rabbi David Wolpe and author Daniel Silva. Photo by Nurit Greenger

Herb Schultz has been named chief executive officer and president of Eisner Pediatric and Family Medical Center. With this hiring, effective Aug. 18, he leaves his position as regional director of the United States Department of Health and Human Services.

Herb Schultz. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

“I’m just very grateful to be joining an incredible organization that is 94 years old, that has a legacy of providing [health care to] some of the most vulnerable in our society, the underserved population and great people in downtown and South L.A., regardless of whether they are insured or not,” Schultz, a member of Congregation Kol Ami in West Hollywood, told the Journal. 

“I feel very honored to have served in the Obama administration — I was appointed over four years ago by the president — but I also am looking forward to an opportunity to work closely with the communities in which we serve.”

Schultz has always been passionate about bringing health care to as many people as possible. During the rollout of the Affordable Care Act, Schultz tried to make the ever-complicated new health care law less confusing, appearing on explanatory panels in 2013 at Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills and Temple Judea in Tarzana.

Kevin Rossi, Eisner Pediatric and Family Medical Center board of directors chair, said the nonprofit community health center is poised to thrive under Schultz’s leadership.

“Mr. Schultz brings a vast background and extensive experience in health and human services policy and management in the public, nonprofit, and private sectors to our Center,” Rossi said in a press release.

Schultz is succeeding Carl Coan, who has served as president and CEO of the medical center since 1990.

What do you get when you mix hummus and guacamole? Or Israeli and Latin bands?

How about Fiesta Shalom, an event held at the Panorama Mall meant to promote family, education and culture?

Fiesta Shalom brought Hispanic and Israeli cultures together on July 27 at the Panorama Mall.

Consul General of Israel David Siegel, Macerich and The Legaspi Company hosted the July 27 fiesta to bring Hispanic and Israeli cultures together. Mexican Consul General in Los Angeles Carlos M. Sada also was present.

“The idea with our engagement is to feature what we share together,” Siegel said. “We are both family-oriented cultures, so we always do events that bring the themes of family. There isn’t much knowledge about our similarities, so it’s important to feature that through food [and] music.” 

Children wearing face paint and “Israel loves you” hats sprinted over to the Israel booth to grab some Israeli flags and bookmarks. Parents huddled under a tree to enjoy the limited shade while they listened to live music and indulged in nourishing treats. 

Themed “Our Education, Our Future,” Fiesta Shalom featured vendors selling items from Israeli and Hispanic jewelry to hats. Attendees could be educated on dental health and receive free vision screenings. The Holy Grill and Kosher Palate were among the food trucks on site.

Musical performances included Trio Ellas, Villalobos Brothers and Sol Tevel. Arts and crafts programs were free for children, along with Sephardic jewelry and hamsa workshops available to those in attendance. 

“The idea is to help the Latino community to understand the values we share and continue exploring these themes together,” Siegel said. “All of these ideas, challenges, social entrepreneurship — these are all themes that are important to both our communities that we hope to highlight.” 

The event was sponsored by 22 Mundo Fox, Curacao and Radio Centro 93.9, and supported by El Clasificado, Devlyn Optical and Cricket. 

— Michelle Chernack, Contributing Writer

Author Daniel Silva shared his pro-Israel perspective on the current conflict in Gaza during a July 23 appearance in Los Angeles. The New York Times best-selling author is known for his espionage novels, including a 14-book series featuring the character Gabriel Allon, an Israeli spy embroiled in the Middle East conflict.

The event was sponsored by AMIT, an Israeli educational network. Nearly 300 people showed up to hear Silva speak, and proceeds from the event were donated to surrogate homes in Israel, Michal Taviv-Margolese, AMIT’s western region director, told the Journal.

Rabbi David Wolpe of Sinai Temple in Westwood moderated a Q-and-A session with Silva at the event, which was held at the Olympic Collection. During the session, Silva expressed disappointment in efforts by the U.S. and the European Union to place sanctions on Israel, Taviv-Margolese said. Silva added that Hamas was responsible for the climbing death toll in Gaza and suggested the organization was looking for media coverage to turn public opinion against Israel.  

Taviv-Margolese described Silva as a soft-spoken, kind man who was a “great defender of the State of Israel.” At the end of the event, she said, he stayed behind to make sure he had signed everyone’s books. 

 “Daniel Silva is, in a way, a great inspiration for our kids,” Taviv-Margolese said. “One of our graduates could be his Gabriel Allon.” 

Established in 1925, AMIT educates Jewish children at the more than 110 schools that make up its organization. In addition to emphasizing Jewish values and academic excellence, AMIT works to ensure that the majority of its students pass the bagrut, the Israeli college entrance exam. 

Albert Sweet was awarded an honorary doctorate at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology on June 16 for his philanthropic work and commitment to Israel. 

From left: Professor Ben-Zion Levi, dean of The Irwin and Joan Jacobs Graduate School at the Technion, conferring an honorary doctorate on Albert Sweet during an awards ceremony at the campus in Haifa on June 16. Photo by Shlomo Shoham

Sweet established the Albert Sweet Scholarship Fund, which provides financial resources for undergraduate and graduate students; the Albert Sweet Experimental Testing Laboratory in the David and Janet Polak Center for Cancer Research and Vascular Biology; and the American Technion Society Southern California Chapter Project for the Stephen and Nancy Grand Water Research Institution. 

His “achievements as a philanthropist, businessman and civic leader are as inspiring as they are numerous,” Technion President Peretz Lavie said during the awards ceremony, which was attended by some 400 people.

Sweet has supported organizations such as Hadassah Medical Center, Planned Parenthood Los Angeles, KCET Public Television and Taglit-Birthright.

Research initiatives under his belt include Targeting Multiple Myeloma: From Basic Research to Drug Development and The Albert Sweet Program for Targeting Cancer by Modulating Protein Dynamics. The second initiative, which is funded by Sweet and Craig C. Darian, co-owner and CEO of Occidental Entertainment Group Holdings, Inc., was dedicated during the 2014 board of governors meeting at the Technion.

A member of the American Technion Society Southern California Chapter board of directors, Sweet received a Technion Honorary Fellowship in 2011. 

He is co-chairman and founder of Occidental Entertainment Group Holdings, and was recently honored as a “Hero of Hollywood” by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.

He is designated and acknowledged as a Technion Guardian, a supporter of the university at the highest level. According to a press release, his vision and creativity are contributing factors to his honor. 

The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology is a public research university in Haifa. 

Michelle Chernack, Contributing Writer

Bnai Zion, an organization that supports a variety of medical, educational and social services and cultural programs in Israel, has named Judy Podolsky its western region executive director.

Judy Podolsky

A longtime fundraiser and former congregational president, Podolsky has held a number of previous positions in the community. In addition to an 18-year stay as the San Fernando Valley director of the Jewish National Fund, she has held several positions on the board of directors of the Pacific Southwest Women’s League for Conservative Judaism.

More recently, Podolsky spent seven years as development director for the western region of Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem and a year as the Los Angeles development director for Yad Vashem.

The organization’s western region was created in 1975, according to its website. Among the projects it supports that are cited there are: homes for mentally challenged adults at the Quittman Center on Jerusalem’s Israel Elwyn campus, the Ahava Village for Children and Youth in Kiryat Bialik and the Bnai Zion Medical Center in Haifa.

Moving and Shaking highlights events, honors and simchas. Got a tip? Email ryant@jewishjournal.com.

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