Moving and shaking: Sherwood Prize for Combating Hate, Israel68 Award and more


The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) held its annual Helene and Joseph Sherwood Prize for Combating Hate luncheon and awards ceremony at the Skirball Cultural Center on March 8.

During the event, the ADL recognized the Los Angeles Police Department’s work on a community safety partnership program; the California Attorney General’s Office, the Long Beach City Prosecutor’s Office, the Long Beach Police Department and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department for their work on a human trafficking investigation that led to hate crime allegations; and 14 law enforcement agencies, first responders and investigators for work on the Dec. 2 San Bernardino terrorist shooting. 

San Bernardino Police Department Lieutenant Travis Walker accepted the award on behalf of the agencies honored for their work on the San Bernardino incident.

Additionally, the ADL recognized Orange County Sheriff’s Department’s public affairs manager Carrie Braun “for going well beyond her duties to establish and foster relationships with diverse groups across Orange County.” 

The event marked the 20th anniversary of the Helene and Joseph Sherwood Prize for Combating Hate, which “goes to law enforcement personnel who go above and beyond the call of duty to fight hatred and protect the community from hate-motivated violence,” according to the ADL. 

Philanthropist and award namesake Joseph Sherwood — who established the award with his late wife, Helene — celebrated his 99th birthday during the gathering, 

“We’re all heartbroken that 14 innocent people were killed. But the way you handled the situation — it made San Bernardino famous all over the world,” he said, as quoted by the ADL. 

Additional attendees included ADL Regional Director Amanda Susskind and L.A. County Sheriff Jim McDonnell.


The Israeli-American Council’s (IAC) eighth annual gala at the Beverly Hilton on March 13 drew 1,100 people, raised $17 million, and sparked a few laughs in the process, with comedian and TV host Howie Mandel emceeing the evening.

Comedian and T.V. host Howie Mandel emceed the Israeli-American Council’s (IAC) eighth annual gala at the Beverly Hilton. Photo by Leonato August

Mandel joked that he had trouble explaining to his friends why he had to decline their dinner invitations for the evening in Beverly Hills. “They don’t understand!” Mandel said. “It’s hard to tell them I’m raising money for Jews.”

One of the largest and fastest growing young Jewish groups in the United States, the IAC didn’t bring in quite as much money as it did at last year’s gala, but then again, $10 million of last year’s haul of $23.4 million was for the purchase of a property in the San Fernando Valley to use as an Israeli-American community center.

IAC co-founder and board member Shawn Evenhaim was the evening’s honoree, in recognition of his role in establishing the IAC and helping it expand nationwide. 

From left: IAC Los Angeles chairwoman Miri Shepher, IAC co-founder, board member and honoree Shawn Evenhaim and IAC National board member Naty Saidoff. Photo by Leonato August

Musical guests included Israeli singer David D’Or and flamenco guitarist Chico Castillo. Dignitaries in the crowd included casino tycoon Sheldon Adelson and his wife, Miriam, and Congressmen Ed Royce (R-Calif.), Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) and Tony Cardenas (D-Calif). Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Mayor Eric Garcetti delivered prerecorded video messages.

— Jared Sichel, Senior Writer


The Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust (LAMOTH) has appointed Beth Kean, a third-generation Holocaust survivor, as president of its board of directors. Kean succeeds E. Randol Schoenberg, who filled the post for the past decade and who will continue to serve as a nonvoting member of the board.

L.A. Museum of the Holocaust executive board members are (from left) Vice President Andrea Cayton, President Beth Kean, Treasurer Paul Nussbaum and Secretary Paulette Nessim. Photo courtesy of L.A. Museum of the Holocaust 

Joining Kean on the board are Vice President Andrea Cayton, the daughter of Holocaust survivor and philanthropist Jona Goldrich; Secretary Paulette Nessim; and Paul Nussbaum, who replaces Kean in the role of treasurer.

The new officers, who were elected on Dec. 13, convened March 3 for the first board meeting since their election.

The museum has seen attendance increase over the past three years, according to Schoenberg. The museum in Pan Pacific Park is set to draw an estimated 50,000 attendees by the year’s end, a 7.5 percent increase from 2014, he said.

“I am really very excited about the new officers and that this transition has gone so smoothly,” the outgoing president said.

Samara Hutman, executive director at LAMOTH, echoed Schoenberg, saying, “This is a historic transition.”


The Israel Bonds organization honored Los Angeles residents Beverly and Robert Cohen with the Israel68 Award on Jan. 31 at the International Prime Minister’s Club Dinner in Boca Raton, Fla. The organization recognized 13 honorees “for exemplary efforts on behalf of Israel and their respective communities,” according to an Israel Bonds statement.

From left: Israel Bonds President and CEO Israel Tapoohi, Israel Bonds Chairman Richard Hirsch, Israel Bonds honoree Beverly Cohen and Israel Bonds campaign Chairman Fred Zeidman. Photo by Shahar Azran

Attendees included Beverly Cohen; Israel Bonds National Campaign Advisory Council Chairman Fred Zeidman; Israel Bonds President and CEO Israel Tapoohi; Israel Bonds board Chairman Richard Hirsch; and event host and actress Fran Drescher.

The evening featured a video message from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu congratulating Israel Bonds for exceeding $1 billion in sales for the third consecutive year.

Launched in 1951, Israel Bonds is the broker-dealer and underwriter for securities issued by the State of Israel in the United States, allowing both individuals and Jewish organizations to invest in Israel and in their respective financial futures.

“Proceeds from the sale of bonds,” the Israel Bonds website says, “have played a decisive role in Israel’s rapid evolution.”


The second annual Jewish Disability Awareness Inclusion Month (JDAIM) community-wide event was held Feb. 28 at Vista Del Mar Child and Family Services. 

The second annual Jewish Disability Awareness Inclusion Month (JDAIM) community-wide event featured sensory-friendly activities, including arts and crafts using play dough, for all ages. Photo by Jared Hasen-Klein 

More than 300 members of the community attended, according to Miriam Maya, director of Caring for Jews in Need at The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles.

The community event featured Israeli dance, singing, bingo and more. It was co-organized by The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles and HaMercaz Partners, a group of professionals from 18 organizations.

“The day,” Maya said in an email, “had something for everyone.”


A Feb. 11 Valley Beth Shalom (VBS) Harold M. Schulweis Day School Bible Blast, organized for the Encino day school’s families, featured the seven biblical foods species, a live camel and more.

From left: Valley Beth Shalom Day School teachers Margery Feld, Rachel Edelman, Nurit Milstein-Tzafrir and Claudine Elkrief attended Bible Blast. Photo courtesy of Valley Beth Shalom 

“The Bible Blast is an interactive, all-school event meant to bring the Torah to life through song, dance, a taste of the seven biblical food species and a visit to our biblical tent,” Tamar Raff, director of Judaic studies at the day school, said in a statement.

The activity-filled event drew approximately 500 attendees, including students and parents, according to VBS Day School communications manager Tal Barak.

An opening ceremony led by the school’s sixth-graders was among the event highlights, according to Barak.

Every year, the school holds a large event designed for all of the school’s families.

Last year’s event was the Book Bash.

“Moving and Shaking” highlights events, honors and simchas. Got a tip? Email ryant@jewishjournal.com. 

+