September 23, 2018

ChaiVillageLA anniversary, Shalhevet Celebration

From left: Temple Isaiah Rabbi Zoë Klein Miles, ChaiVillageLA Co-Vice Chair Ellen Isaacs, Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills Rabbi Emerita Laura Geller and ChaiVillageLA Co-Chair Terry Pullan celebrate ChaiVillageLA’s second anniversary. Photo by Barry Levine

ChaiVillageLA, a multi-synagogue, multi-generational community that enables older members to age in place in their homes, held its second anniversary celebration on June 24 at Temple Isaiah in Century City. 

Almost 140 members of the group attended the event and enjoyed a slide show of ChaiVillageLA highlights, testimonials, food and fun. The group is grounded in Jewish values and led by older adults who share their skills, support and expertise to help others joyfully navigate the next steps in their lives. The pioneering program, part of the “village movement” approach to senior care, is a collaborative effort between Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills and Temple Isaiah. It is the first and only synagogue-based “village” in the country.

Attendees included Temple Isaiah Rabbi Zoë Klein Miles, Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills Rabbi Emerita Laura Geller, ChaiVillageLA Co-Vice Chair Ellen Isaacs, and Co-Chair Terry Pullan.


Scott Joseph Harris was elected regional board chair of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Pacific Southwest Regional Board at its annual meeting on June 12 in Los Angeles.

Harris is an attorney with a private practice in Beverly Hills. He focuses on defending businesses and professionals against regulatory agencies. He is also an adjunct professor at Loyola Law School. 

Harris has been involved with the ADL in Los Angeles since 2009. He started as a participant in the Glass Leadership Institute and then served as the
program co-chair after his graduation. He has also been chair of the ADL’s legal
advisory, advocacy and engagement committees, and served on the host committee of “ArtWorks ADL: Justice, Advocacy & Art.” 

Harris most recently served as regional board vice chair for the ADL, and he is now associate national commissioner for the organization. He has moderated and spoken on panels focusing on hate, LGBTQ issues, and intersectionality affecting various minority communities.

“I am honored to be involved with an organization that gives voice to such a vast array of issues that affect life in the 21st century,” Harris said in a statement. “As a gay man, ADL’s mission to stop defamation and to secure fair treatment for all embodies the very core values that I believe are necessary for a thriving, loving and secure community.” 

The board also elected Vice Chairs Jessica Babrick and Sharyn Nichols, Treasurer Ruth Moss and Secretary Alexander (Sasha) Rivkin.


A Irvine Hebrew Day School student greets a resident of Heritage Pointe, a Jewish assisted living facility, at a June 12 klezmer concert. Photo courtesy of Irvine Hebrew Day School

About 50 residents of Heritage Pointe, a Jewish assisted living facility in Mission Viejo, were treated June 12 to a klezmer concert featuring elementary school students from Irvine Hebrew Day School (IHDS).

After most residents parked their walkers outside the room where the concert was to be held, and the men put on yarmulkes they got from a bowl at the door, they all watched professional klezmer musician Gary Gould lead the children in playing klezmer tunes he taught them the past year.

The performance by the second-, third- and fourth-graders was one of the ways IHDS reaches out to the senior community to form intergenerational connections with its students.

The event was part of a project launched this past year by IHDS Head of School Tammy Keces. Known as “Elef Dor” or “Thousand Generations,” the project is a Jewish intergenerational program that encourages children to see older generations as sources of knowledge and bridges to the past, while bringing companionship to the senior Jewish community.

The program goals are to promote positive attitudes toward seniors, and to build a community identity and help in the transmission of history and traditions between seniors and children, which is meant to give the older generation hope for the future.

The Heritage Pointe residents said they were happy to have the children spend time with them on a Tuesday evening.

“I wish I could have been a child like this because I grew up during the war in France,” said Suzanne Glantz, a Heritage Pointe resident.

“I love the children, love the school and love you all,” said another resident, Zelda Smith.

IHDS received grants from various organizations that made the program possible, including $7,500 from the Jewish Community Foundation of Orange County.  — Ginger Vick, Contributing Writer


Rob Eshman, former publisher and editor-in-chief of the Jewish Journal, was among those honored by the
L.A. Press Club at its annual Southern California Journalism Awards ceremony. Photo by Lynn Pelkey

Rob Eshman, former publisher and editor-in-chief of the Jewish Journal, received a Los Angeles Press Club Award during the 60th annual Southern California Journalism Awards gala on June 24 at the Millennium Biltmore hotel in downtown L.A. 

Eshman won the top award in the “Personality Profile” category for his story, “The Hidden Hero of the Six-Day War,”  which was the cover story for the June 1, 2017, edition of the Journal.

“This is an extremely well-written and engrossing story,” the judges said in their comments. “It immediately captures the reader’s attention by establishing the magnitude of the Six-Day War, both in terms of the astonishing military feat that it represents and its impact to this day.” 


From left: David Lunzer, Shalhevet High School founders Jean and Jerry Friedman, Joelle Keene, Roen Salem, Emily Chase and Shalhevet General Studies Principal Daniel Weslow attend the June 6 Shalhevet gala. Photo courtesy of Shalhevet High School

Shalhevet High School held a celebratiON ON the rooftop of one of the buildings on its Mid-City campus on June 6, honoring the Modern Orthodox high school’s longtime supporter and board member David Lunzer.

The gala, attended by about 280 people, also recognized 25 years of the arts at Shalhevet, with tributes to Roen Salem, the visual and performance arts academic chair; Joelle Keene, faculty adviser for the school newspaper, The Boiling
Point; and Emily Chase, a faculty member in the drama department. 

Also in attendance were founders Jean and Jerry Friedman and General Studies Principal Daniel Weslow.