Jewish Journal

Moving & Shaking: Parading, Joking and Working for the Community

From left: Herb Alpert, Herb Alpert Foundation President Rona Sebastian, Eden Alpert, Mort Gleberman and Lani Hall Alpert attended a Jan. 7 dedication ceremony for Herb and Lani Alpert’s legacy gift to Vista Del Mar Child and Family Services. Photo by Robert Lurie

Legendary Jewish musician Herb Alpert and his wife, Lani, have donated $2 million to establish the Eden Alpert Therapeutic Music Program at Vista Del Mar Child and Family Services in Los Angeles in honor of Alpert’s daughter Eden.

Alpert attended a Jan. 7 dedication ceremony for the legacy gift, granted through the Herb Alpert Foundation, at his Vibrato Grill Jazz Club in Los Angeles.

Vista Del Mar Child and Family Services is a leader in providing specialized educational, mental health, autism, adoption and early intervention services to children and families. According to the organization’s website, the Eden Alpert Therapeutic Music Program was created to provide children served by the organization with a “safe environment to explore their creative potential, develop a greater appreciation for music and learn career skills.”

“The entire Alpert family has maintained a strong connection with Vista Del Mar for more than 50 years,” Rona Sebastian, president of the Herb Alpert Foundation, said in a statement. “The Eden Alpert Therapeutic Music Program grows out of that long-term history and brings together the Foundation’s passion to support the arts for all young people and encourage an environment that nurtures compassion and well-being.”

Nancy Tallerino, Vista Del Mar’s president and CEO, and Laurie Konheim, chair of the organization’s board of directors, expressed appreciation for the gift.

Alpert is a Grammy-winning musician, recording executive and philanthropist known for his work with the group Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass.

Leaders and members of Adat Shalom and Ward AME Church walked together in the 33rd annual Kingdom Day Parade on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, including Adat Shalom Rabbi Nolan Lebovitz (top row, third from left) and Pastor John Cager of Ward AME Church (back row, far right). Photo courtesy of Adat Shalom

Celebrating the life of Martin Luther King Jr., Adat Shalom, a Conservative congregation in West L.A., participated in the 33rd annual Kingdom Day Parade in Los Angeles on Jan. 15.

For the second consecutive year, the synagogue’s spiritual leader, Rabbi Nolan Lebovitz, and children of Adat Shalom walked with Pastor John Cager and children of Ward African Methodist Episcopal Church in University Park.

The respective communities participated in the event — the theme of which was “When They Go Low, We Go High” — as part of an ongoing effort to change the relationship between the Jewish and African-American communities in Los Angeles.

“Change always begins with a single step,” Lebovitz said in an email. “We’re all better off if we learn to walk together.”

Thousands of people turned out for the parade that started at Western Avenue and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, including L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti, Israeli-American actress Natalie Portman and Sen. Kamala Harris, who served as grand marshal.

The Congress of Racial Equality of California organized the event.

Far West USY President Ari Teckteil (left) accepts the Chapter of the Year awards on behalf of local L.A. synagogues from 2017 USY International President Noah Lee at the USY International Convention in Chicago. Photo by North Shore Photography

Southern California synagogues received top honors at the 2017 United Synagogue Youth (USY) International Convention in Chicago from Dec. 24-28.

For overall excellence in youth programming, USY recognized Temple Etz Chaim in Thousand Oaks, Congregation Beth El in La Jolla, Temple Beth Am in the Pico-Robertson neighborhood of Los Angeles and Congregation B’nai Israel in Tustin .

In addition, the Far West USY region, which includes more than 20 congregations in California, Arizona and Nevada, won the award for largest overall membership increase.

USY is a program of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism for Conservative Jewish teens in North America.

Attendees at the conference included Far West USY President Ari Teckteil and 2017 USY International President Noah Lee.

From left: The Guardians of the Los Angeles Jewish Home 2017 real estate event co-chairs Kenny Stevens, Peter Steigleder, Josh Keimach and Brad Luster. Photo courtesy of Guardians of the L.A. Jewish Home

The guardians of the Los Angeles Jewish Home, an event-driven organization that raises funds for the facility, held its annual real estate dinner on Dec. 13 at the Beverly Wilshire hotel.

Approximately 500 people attended the event, which raised $300,000 for the organization and honored Howard Banchik, co-founder and co-chairman of the board at Westwood Financial. His son, Randy, co-CEO of Westwood Financial and a member of the Guardians’ governors council, presented him with the award.

The event was co-chaired by Josh Keimach, a member of the Guardians’ 2017-18 young men’s leadership division; past president Brad Luster; and executive vice presidents Peter Steigleder and Kenny Stevens.

Guest speakers included Stuart Gabriel, director of the UCLA Ziman Center for Real Estate; Robert Hart, president and CEO of TruAmerica Multifamily; and Michael Koss, principal at Koss Real Estate Investments.

Temple Israel of Hollywood Senior Rabbi John Rosove. Photo courtesy of Temple Israel of Hollywood

Temple Israel of Hollywood (TIOH) is moving forward with searching for an interim rabbi to succeed its longtime Senior Rabbi John Rosove, who is retiring on June 30, 2019.

TIOH President Jonny Mars said in a Jan. 5 statement that the TIOH board of trustees arrived at the decision after consulting with a task force that examined whether the synagogue should hire a permanent replacement to immediately succeed Rosove or find an interim rabbi to guide the community through the transitional period.

The decision, Mars said, affords the synagogue the “opportunity to be operational and aspirational. … [An] interim rabbi will be able to help carry out rabbinic responsibilities as we continue to thrive as a community, while giving us time for thoughtful and intentional reflection, assessment of our identity, and confirmation of our values and priorities.”

Rosove is one of this city’s prominent Reform rabbis. Last February, he announced his intention to retire. He will become TIOH’s first rabbi emeritus in its 92-year-history.

The task force, led by TIOH board member Ilyse Pallenberg, consulted with Union of Reform Judaism professionals who specialize in synagogue transition, synagogue leaders who went through similar transitions at other congregations and others, Mars said.

The board of trustees came to its decision during a December meeting.

From left: Shuli and Avi Steinlauf, Rabbi Josh Spodek and Seth and Ruth Berkowitz attend the sixth annual YULA Girls High School Comedy Night. Photo by Lynn Abesera

The sixth-annual YULA Girls High School Comedy Night raised needed scholarship funds for the Orthodox yeshiva. Held on Dec. 4 at the school’s Pico-Robertson campus, the event featured performances by comedians Mark Schiff, Bobby Collins, Mark Weiner, Orny Adams and Nick Paul.

The approximately 250 attendees included YULA Girls High Head of School Rabbi Joshua Spodek and Schiff’s wife, Nancy, who headed the event organizing committee.

Each year, the school, which currently has an enrollment of about 165 students, provides more than $1 million in scholarships.

“This was probably our most successful year, not only with the attendance but with raising money,” Nancy Schiff said. “We hope to do it next year with a larger venue and to have more people come.”

The event kicked off with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres and featured a dinner catered by the La Gondola restaurant.