For a self-described spoiled American -- nails unerringly polished, paprika curls without a misdirected loop, ensembles color coordinated -- Blossom Siegel's first visit to Israel was a transformative experience. It also was a boon to Orange County's Jewish community by awakening a tireless activist and philanthropist.
"The first trip to Israel changed my life," said Siegel, who is the honoree at a scholarship fundraising dinner Jan. 25 for Irvine's Tarbut V'Torah Community Day School at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Irvine.
When Siegel saw the Israelis financial and emotional needs on her 1985 visit, she came to the conclusion that vigorous American Jewish communities ensured Israel's lifeline.
In the nonprofit circles, former "Let's Make a Deal" host Monty Hall has built a reputation for being a "tireless" fundraiser, having helped raised nearly $1 billion over the years for a lengthy roster of charities, Jewish and non-Jewish alike. Yet "tireless" might be too weak an adjective for the 80-year-old Hall -- try "unstoppable."