Los Angeles attorney and longtime Skirball Cultural Center board member Peter Weil has been named the second-ever board chair of the Skirball, succeeding founding board chairman Howard Friedman.
“In his decade of service to the Skirball board of trustees and record of leadership in the Jewish community and the city of Los Angeles, Peter M. Weil has amply demonstrated his readiness for this important new responsibility,” Uri Herscher, founding president and CEO of the Skirball Center, said in a statement.
Weil’s appointment was announced on Dec. 17. His term officially begins on Jan. 2, 2014.
Weil is managing partner and senior business and real estate lawyer at Glaser Weil. He has served as president of the L.A. chapter of the American Jewish Committee, president of the City of Los Angeles planning commission and in other capacities.
Weil taking the reins from Friedman represents one of many milestones at the center, which is celebrating its 18th anniversary in 2014 and recently completed its final phase of campus construction. A Los Angeles museum and educational institute, the Skirball focuses on the story of American Jewry and more.
The pro-Israel group StandWithUs honored San Francisco Bay Area entrepreneur and philanthropist Myron Zimmerman on Dec. 8 as part of its annual Festival of Lights gala.
The event, which recognized Zimmerman’s financial contributions to the organization, took place at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza hotel. Attendees included Las Vegas casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Bret Stephens of the Wall Street Journal and David Siegel, Israeli consul general in Los Angeles.
Zimmerman, founder of the Oakland, Calif.-based MZ Foundation, has made invaluable contributions to StandWithUs, funding programs that, among other things, have put “a human face on the [Israel Defense Forces],” said the organization’s CEO, Roz Rothstein.
The event was a way to celebrate those contributions — and more. Held every year around Chanukah, Festival of Lights helps StandWithUs raise money for the coming year. This year, it brought in approximately $2.5 million to support 2014 programming, Rothstein said.
The event was sponsored by Bruce and Ellie Lederman, and Debbie and Naty Saidoff. Comedian Elon Gold served as emcee, and musicians Ari Lesser and Ronny Weinreich performed.
Veteran Los Angeles producers Harry Wiland and Dale Bell conceived and are helping to launch a master’s program at Woodbury University in Burbank that will deal with how films and other forms of media can be a means of achieving a more equitable society. The program, to be known as media for social justice, will begin in September 2014.
“We want to … see if we can find the next Edward Murrow or Martin Scorsese,” said Wiland, who, with Bell, is co-CEO of the Santa Monica-based Media Policy Center (MPC).
The program aims to give students “the knowledge, tools and networking skills neces-sary for producing and distributing media that promotes greater social justice,” according to the MPC Web site.
Woodbury is a nonprofit private university. Bell and Wiland have been working there for the past two years, as instructors of an elective course focused on media and social change.
The Consulate General of Israel in Los Angeles hosted a star-studded gathering — the inaugural Fiesta Shalom at Sea — on a FantaSea Yachts luxury ship on Nov. 24.
“Fiesta Shalom at Sea is the first of many upcoming events which will celebrate Israel’s culture and shared values with the diverse communities of the Southwest,” according to a statement released by the consulate.
“Israel, like America, is a land of opportunity and a multitude of cultures,” said Israeli Consul General David Siegel, who appeared at the event.
The community soiree in Marina del Rey drew celebrities, elected officials, community leaders and foreign diplomats. Attendees included actress Eva Longoria; former congressman Howard Berman; L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca; actor Edward James Olmos and producer Moctesuma Esparza.
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