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Celebrities, elected officials, and community leaders celebrate diversity with Fiesta Shalom at Sea

by Marina Rozhansky

November 25, 2013 | 5:50 pm

From left: Consul General of Israel, actress Eva Mendes and actor Edward James Olmos. Photo by Tiffany Rose

From left: Consul General of Israel, actress Eva Mendes and actor Edward James Olmos. Photo by Tiffany Rose

Last night, the Israeli Consulate hosted Fiesta Shalom at Sea, a historic event bringing together leaders from across the Southland to celebrate community diversity. Celebrities, elected officials, community leaders and member of the diplomatic corps filled the FantaSea yacht in Marina Del Rey to commemorate the special relationship between the United States and Israel, the importance of inter­community dialogue, and solutions for common challenges.

“Israel, like America is a land of opportunity and a multitude of cultures,” said David Siegel, Consul General of Israel. “We are both strong democracies, fueled and empowered by our immigrant populations, and strengthened by our diversity.”

“As God has used Israel to bless the nations according to His covenant, tonight He used Israel to bring nations together, “ said Bishop Kenneth Ulmer, in his opening benediction.

Former Congressman Howard Berman, Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca, Actress Eva Longoria, Actor Edward James Olmos, and Producer Moctesuma Esparza addressed the audience. Each spoke about the significance of developing deeper relationships among Israeli and Los Angeles communities and the opportunities to learn from common experiences. All speakers emphasized the importance of visiting Israel to fully appreciate the breadth and depth of Israeli society

“To those who may not know Israel, you need to go there, it’s an experience that will change your life,” said Edward James Olmos. “We each have our own wonderful culture but to understand unity, we must understand that we all come from one root, we are all one race, we are the
human race.”

Award­winning producer, entertainment executive, entrepreneur and community activist, Moctesuma Esparza, was presented with the Theodor Herzl Award for Visionary Leadership. “The honor is awarded to a community leader who has exemplified visionary leadership through community empowerment,” said Consul General Siegel, who presented the award to Esparza.

Consul General Siegel emphasized that 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.

Fiesta Shalom at Sea was co­hosted by Mayor Eric Garcetti, Edward James Olmos, Eva Longoria, Haim Saban, Moctesuma Esparza, Sherry Lansing, Bishop Kenneth Ulmer, and Grace Yoo along with Univision and FantaSea Yachts.

About the Consulate General of Israel: The Consulate General of Israel in Los Angeles is one of Israel’s largest diplomatic missions in the world. It covers the entire Southwest region of the United States including Arizona, Southern California, Colorado, Hawaii, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming.

The Consulate is an official office of the Government of Israel. Our many departments work hand in hand striving to provide the best of Israel and strengthen the already deep bonds between Israel and the Southwest region. 

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