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Jewish Journal

Moving and Shaking

AJC gives 2013 Community Service Award, Tom Tugend and Steve Greenberg earn Jewish Press Association awards, Taste of Summer raises $87,000


by Ryan Torok

August 1, 2013 | 10:30 am

Rabbinic Leadership Institute graduates include Rabbis Denise Eger (second row, third from left), Ken Chasen (third row, third from right) and Stewart Vogel (front row, fourth from left). Rabbi Joshua Aaronson not pictured. Photo by Yonit Schiller

Rabbis Joshua Aaronson of Temple Judea in Tarzana, Ken Chasen of Leo Baeck Temple in Bel Air, Denise Eger of Congregation Kol Ami in West Hollywood and Stewart Vogel of Temple Aliyah in Woodland Hills were recently named senior rabbinic fellows at the Shalom Hartman Institute (SHI), following the rabbis’ completion of the institute’s Rabbinic Leadership Initiative.

The elite three-year program of study, reflection and professional development at SHI trains rabbis to transform Jewish life in North America. Participants spent a month each summer and a week each winter studying at the institute’s Jerusalem campus.

During a ceremony in Jerusalem on July 7, Yehuda Kurtzer, president of SHI of North America, praised the rabbis, calling them “teachers, students [and] visionaries.” Other speakers at the July gathering included MK Rabbi Dov Lipman of Israel’s Yesh Atid Party. 

Eger, who was among those in attendance, acknowledged the program’s rigorousness. “It wasn’t always so comfortable; we had to stretch,” she said.


Fred Stern. Photo by Michael Aurit

American Jewish Committee of Los Angeles (AJC) awarded Fred Stern its 2013 Community Service Award in June. Stern is on AJC’s national board of governors and the L.A. board of directors. 

The June 18 reception in honor of Stern, who works as a financial adviser to Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, took place at the Beverly Hills home of Debbie and Naty Saidoff. David Harris, executive director of AJC’s national office, delivered the evening’s keynote speech. More than 125 guests and AJC leaders attended.

AJC backers Madeline and Bruce Ramer co-hosted the event.


Tom Tugend

Steve Greenberg

The American Jewish Press Association has awarded Tom Tugend, Journal contributing editor, a first-place Simon Rockower Award for Excellence in Jewish Journalism for his feature story “A Legacy in Harmony,” published by Hadassah Magazine, and a first-place Rockower to Steve Greenberg, Journal editorial cartoonist, for “Greenberg’s View.”

Tugend’s article described how Ruth and Judea Pearl have turned their private grief into public good in the decade since their son, Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, was kidnapped and murdered by Islamic extremists in Pakistan.

Meanwhile, Greenberg’s winning cartoons skewered 2012 former presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s desire to win the Jewish vote, former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s anti-Israel rhetoric and the international community’s response to Israeli actions in the Gaza Strip. 


Fulfillment Fund Leadership Council member Todd Hawkins with chef Eric Greenspan, honorary event co-chair. Photo by Matt Sayles, Invision Agency by The Associated Press.

The second annual Taste of Summer, a food, wine and beer festival held at the Annenberg Community Beach House in Santa Monica on July 13, raised $87,000 for the Fulfillment Fund.

The college-access organization makes college “a reality for students growing up in educationally and economically under-resourced communities,” according to the Fulfillment Fund Web site.

Chef and Fulfillment Fund honorary chair Eric Greenspan co-hosted the gathering. Known for his cooking at The Foundry on Melrose and The Roof on Wilshire, Greenspan expressed support for the Fulfillment Fund in a statement: “I’ve always viewed my most cherished and important role as a chef is to be a teacher, so education is very important to me.”

Vendors included The Roof on Wilshire, Wolfgang Puck Catering, Whole Foods, Stone Brewing and others.

During the event, more than 400 attendees enjoyed bites, drink, music and silent auction – all just footsteps away from the beach.


From left: Floyd Glen-Lambert, president of Jewish Labor Committee's western region; Assembly Speaker Emeritus and honoree Bob Hertzberg and former City Controller Wendy Greuel. Photo by Beth Dubber.

The Jewish Labor Committee (JLC) Western Region’s annual awards brunch held last month marked the 79th anniversary of the organization, as the national group’s New York headquarters and Los Angeles office were established in 1934.

The event also honored Laphonza Butler, president of the Service Employees International Union-United Long Term Care Workers; Tom Walsh, president of Unite Here Local 11; and Assembly Speaker Emeritus Robert Hertzberg.

The July 14 ceremony in honor of JLC — which describes itself as the “Jewish voice in the labor movement, and the voice of the labor movement in the Jewish community” — took place at Loews Hollywood Hotel.

Butler, Walsh and Hertzberg received the Elinor Glenn Leadership Award, the Henry Fiering Union Advocacy Award and the Abe Levy Chaver Award, respectively.


Moving and Shaking acknowledges accomplishments by members of the local Jewish community, including people who start new jobs, leave jobs, win awards and more, as well as local events that featured leaders from the Jewish and Israeli communities. Got a tip? E-mail it to ryant@jewishjournal.com.

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