A Touch of Humanity
On Feb. 24, The Blue Ribbon and the Fraternity of Friends hosted a gallery opening reception and book signing for Frederic Roberts’ “Humanitas” (Hylas Publishing) at the Peter Fetterman Gallery at the Bergamot Station arts complex in Santa Monica. “Humanitas” captures the lives of Southern Asians before the tsunamis that ravaged the areas where they live.
Leaving behind the comforts of modern civilization, Roberts, a former investment banker and former chairman of the NASD and NASDQ, has spent the last four years living with and photographing the lives of those in Southern Asia.
The Blue Ribbon, led by president Joyce Kresa, was founded in 1968 by Dorothy Buffum Chandler, and comprises more than 625 women who champion the performing arts and annually contribute more than $2.6 million to the Music Center.
The Fraternity of Friends was founded in 1978, and comprises businessmen and entertainment industry executives, including its president, Tom Weinberger, whose combined membership and support of the Music Center Spotlight Awards program contributes more than $1 million annually to the Music Center.
Eyes on Einstein
To mark the 100th anniversary of Albert Einstein’s annus mirabilis (miracle year), supporters of the American Friends of the Hebrew University (AFHU) celebrated with an intimate dinner at the home of Beth and Joshua Friedman in Holmby Hills on March 12.
Co-hosted by AFHU West Coast Chairman Richard Ziman and his wife, Daphna, and AFHU board member Dr. William Isacoff and his wife, Judge Susan Isacoff, the event raised $100,000 to support Einstein scholarships at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
A founding director of Hebrew University, Einstein bequeathed his intellectual property, including his library and personal papers, to the university.
Featured guest for the evening was professor David Gross, winner of the 2004 Nobel Prize for Physics and a graduate of the Hebrew University. Other guests included Dr. Gerald Levey, dean of the UCLA Medical School; AFHU board member Vidal Sassoon; and professor Hanoch Gutfreund, president emeritus of Hebrew University.
Acclaimed chef Josie LeBalch of Josie Restaurant catered the event, while renowned contemporary violinist Lily Haydn and jazz pianist Freddy Ravel entertained the guests.
In The JNF Zone
Ken Mintzer has been appointed the Jewish National Fund’s Greater Los Angeles zone director.
Mintzer has more than 20 years of experience in the field and comes to Los Angeles after running major federation campaigns in several cities. His recent past position was as the assistant executive director for the United Jewish Federation of San Diego County.
“I’ve had the opportunity to be mentored and learn from some of the brightest Jewish communal professionals from around the country,” Mintzer said. “My goals as the new LA zone director are threefold: helping donors fulfill their Jewish philanthropy by listening to them and matching their interests to projects; engaging the next generation, from people in their 30s to their 50s, in philanthropic opportunities for Israel; and advancing
JNF as a key player in the L.A. market for support for Israel, especially in the area of environmental issues and the development of Negev.”
From West to Easton
Former L.A. local Glenn Easton, was named president of the North American Association of Synagogue Executives (NAASE) at a ceremony in Jerusalem in February.
Easton is also the executive director of the Adas Yisrael Congregation in Washington, one of the largest Conservative synagogues in the country.
Prior to his East Coast move 13 years ago, Easton was the executive director at Adat Ari El in Valley Village, as well as a synagogue youth director and youth adviser in the Los Angeles area and a regional youth fieldworker.
NAASE is a membership organization serving the professional needs of synagogue executive directors of the Conservative movement, in order to further the development of their profession.
Some 700 people gathered for the annual Friends of Sheba Medical Center gala on March 2 where Michael Nathanson, CEO of MGM, received the Humanitarian Award; Jamie Masada, owner of the Laugh Factory, received the Rabin Philanthropy Award; and professor Mordechai Shani, retiring director general of Sheba Medical Center in Israel, received the Medical Visionary Award.
The center’s president, Aron Shapiro, praised the work of co-chairs Lonnie and Jimmy Delshad and Aviva and Zalman Harari, and honorary co-chairs Arnon Adar and Arthur Hiller.
Sharing introduction duties were Super Dave Osborne, Cedric the Entertainer, Paul Rodriguez and Kathy Griffin.
A musical interlude was performed by piano virtuoso William Joseph, and the evening concluded with a rousing performance by the Pointer Sisters.
Proceeds from the event went to new projects at Sheba Medical Center.
The Morning Report
The Anti-Defamation League’s Pacific Southwest Region hosted ADL’s New York-based associate national director Kenneth Jacobson who spoke on anti-Semitism at a March 16 morning briefing at the ADL West L.A. office.
Addressing 25 of ADL’s local lay leaders and volunteers, Jacobson said, “We’re never going to have lovers of Zion in the Arab world. Anything that’s not Arafat has to be better. [He] was far more interested in destroying the Jewish state than in building a Palestinian state.”
More campus awareness of Israel is needed, but less for students and more for teachers, Jacobson said, adding that surveys have shown that American college students are generally as pro-Israel as the rest of country, yet their professors consistently are “two-to-one” in favor of the Palestinian agenda.
Attendees included longtime ADL patrons Lenore Wax, Lily Steiner, Mary Weissman, Don Dreyfuss, Harvey Prince, Josh Keel and Lou Fox. – David Finnigan, Contributing Writer
ALL’S WELL WITH THE HUMAN
Philanthropists and celebrities were on hand at the Wellness Community West Los Angeles Tribute to the Human Spirit Awards dinner at the Beverly Hilton on March 11.
Actor Steve Guttenberg delivered a brief introductory speech at the awards, where actress and singer Daisy Torme took on the role of emcee. Michael States presented a posthumous award to Rhio Weir, who died in February, for the humanity he had shown as a survivor, by inspiring cancer patients and being committed the Wellness Community.
Actress Constance Marie (“The George Lopez Show”) presented an award to actor Eric McCormack (“Will and Grace”) for his breast cancer awareness advocacy. McCormack shared with the audience how his comedy helped his mother get through her cancer.
Television host Daisy Fuentes received an award for her commitment to spreading breast cancer awareness, particularly in the Latino community.
Dr. Armando Giuliano presented dedicated volunteer Ruth Weil with an award, and actor Robert Goulet received his Tribute to the Human Spirit Award for his role as spokesperson for the American Cancer Society for prostate cancer.
The evening entertainment was provided by Monte Montgomery and singer Roslyn Kind.
The Wellness Community is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to providing free emotional support, education and hope for people with cancer and their loved ones. – Emily Pauker, contributing writer.