February 20, 2003
Phones Set to Ring on Super Sunday
On Feb. 23, The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles will stage its 24th annual Super Sunday Phone-a-Thon, the single biggest day of fundraising in the Los Angeles Jewish community. More than 1,000 volunteers will telephone 50,000 people to raise money for the wide range of Federation causes.
Mayor James Hahn will head a roster of local and state officials who will appear at -- as well as make calls from -- The Federation's 6505 Wilshire Blvd. headquarters. Among them will be Assemblyman Paul Koretz (D-West Hollywood), Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo and City Councilmen Alex Padilla and Jack Weiss.
Elected officials expected to appear at The Federation's Valley Alliance location include Assemblyman Lloyd Levine (D-Van Nuys), Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Sherman Oaks), Yaroslavsky and City Councilmen Dennis Zine, Koretz and Padilla.
Among the Super Sunday highlights, the first class of New Community Jewish High School, located at The Jewish Federation Bernard Milken Campus, will make calls from the Valley location. In addition, Delgadillo will present a personal contribution, as well as place a call to former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan.
Post-fundraising social events will include Club Fed for young professionals, teen group activities at the Wilshire Federation building and a Super Sunday After-Dark mixer for young professionals at the Valley location.
Super Sunday will take place from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the following locations: The Jewish Federation/Goldsmith Center, 6505 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles; Bernard Milken Campus, 22622 Vanowen St., West Hills; Jewish Community Building, 22410 Palos Verdes Blvd., Torrance.
For more information, call (323) 761-8319 or (818) 464-3228 or visit www.jewishla.org . -- Staff Report
Belgian Ruling Ignites Protest
Approximately 250 Los Angeles Jews demonstrated in front of the Belgian consulate on Friday, Feb. 14, to protest the ruling by Belgium's Supreme Court to allow Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to be tried for war crimes following his term as premier.
The ruling to try Sharon for war crimes for his alleged connection to the 1982 massacre of Palestinian Arabs in Beirut by Lebanese Christians, opens the way for survivors of the 1982 Sabra and Shatila massacre to press their case in Belgian courts after Sharon leaves office.
During the demonstration, which was sponsored by StandWithUs, organization president Roz Rothstein and Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, met with Belgian Consul General Frank Geerkens to express the Jewish community's consternation over Belgium's position on the 20-year-old issue, which has already been resolved in the Israeli court system.
"This is bogus and blatant pandering to anti-Israel Muslim voters by a country that has failed to deal with its own sordid history of genocide and collaboration in the 19th and 20th centuries," Cooper said.
Geerkens said that the court system is separate from the Belgian government and that he could nothing on the matter.
StandWithUs staff members said they will continue to encourage the community to monitor the issue. -- Staff Report
Blood Crisis Sparks Bikur Cholim Drive
Bikur Cholim (Jewish Healthcare Foundation-Avraham Moshe & Yehudis Bikur Cholim) organized a blood drive in Los Angeles. With a less than a one-day supply of certain blood types and with city hospitals experiencing a critical blood shortage, Bikur Cholim made special arrangements with Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Childrens Hospital and UCLA to open its blood donor facilities or be at a designated site.
"The experience was unbelievable," said Nechama Kram, Bikur Cholim blood donor program coordinator. "There was such a high level of energy at each location, with so many people who came to donate."
"Our blood drive goal is to support the blood donor facilities of our community hospitals," said Rabbi Hershy Ten, organization president. "Blood donated at our drives is provided to each blood donor facility free of charge."
For information about Bikur Cholim, call (323) 852-1900 or visit www.bikurcholimonline.org . -- Staff Report
Memorial Service Honors Astronauts
Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Sherman Oaks) speaks at a memorial service for the seven astronauts killed aboard the space shuttle Columbia that was. The ecumenical service, held at Sephardic Temple Tifereth Israel in Westwood on Feb. 15, drew 700 people. The memorial event included gospel songs by the First A.M.E. Church Choir; Hebrew ballads sung by Ayana Haviv, "American Idol" semifinalist Hadas Shalev and the L.A. Shir Choir; and a northern Indian classical piece performed by Nasir Syid, Ryan Sullivan, Miles Shreusbury and Etai Shapira. Actor-musician Theodore Bikel was the event's master of ceremonies. Many local officials, including Sherman and County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky spoke at the service. NASA representatives also addressed the gathering. One of the evening's highlights was video training footage and interviews with Israeli astronaut Col. Ilan Ramon; his wife, Rona, and two of their four children. -- Wendy J. Madnick, Contributing Writer