The Circuit

Kollel’s New Home

More than 500 people gathered for the dedication of Kollel Los Angeles’ new home at 7216 Beverly Blvd., in the heart of the Beverly-Fairfax-Hancock Park communities. Rabbi Matisyahu Solomon addressed the crowd at the Chanukat Habayis dedication. Kollel, headed by its dean, Rabbi Chaim Fasman, has been an L.A. institution for 25 years.

Weizmann Double-Header

The American Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science hosted a reception featuring Dr. Misha Tsodyks,a member of the institute’s neurobiology department withAllan and Nicole Mutchnik; and Robin and Andy Katzenstein.

Nicole and Allan Mutchnik hosted a Chanukah party reception at their home for professor Ron Naaman of the chemical physics department at Weizmann Institute of Science, and his wife, Dr. Rachel Mamlok-Naaman, associate staff scientist at the institute’s department of science education.

Remembering Sept. 11

Yad B’Yad held its annual luncheon and fashion show benefit at the Olympic Collection. More than 250 women attended the event. The organization raised $25,000 for the victims of Sept. 11.

Israel Philharmonic’s 2001 Space Odyssey

A Dec. 12 benefit by the American Friends of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra was held at the Pacific Palisades estate of Dennis Tito, who recently made headlines as the world’s first space tourist when he visited the International Space Station via a Russian Soyuz capsule. Violinist Pinchas Zukerman performed at a private recital with pianist Marc Neikrug. The event raised $500,000 for the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.

Power Panel

Gov. Gray Davis announced the appointment of Scott Svonkin, chief of staff for Assemblyman Paul Koretz, as a member of the state Respiratory Care Board Svonkin, Davis and Paul Koretz.

Now We Can All Breath Easier

Women’s Alliance for Israel drew 600 people to its membership forum at Sephardic Temple Tiffereth Israel. “Political Power, A Jewish Imperative?” was the topic at a panel moderated by Susan Estrich, a USC law professor, and featuring Rabbi Steven Leder of Wilshire Boulevard Temple; Rabbi Harold Schulweis of Temple Valley Beth Shalom; Rabbi Steven Weil of Beth Jacob Congregation.

Long Shelf Life

The Jewish Community Library of Los Angeles (JCLLA) has received a grant of $50,000 from the Weingart Foundation. The grant will go toward collection development. With its backlog of 30,000 Jewish items, the JCLLA is among the largest Jewish libraries in the nation, under the supervision of its director Abigail Yasgur and library committee chair Dr. Aaron Willis. JCLLA operates under the auspices of the Bureau of Jewish Education.

New Year’s With the Prez

Rabbi Menachem Gottesman, dean of Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy, is the 2001 recipient of the Jerusalem Prize for Religious, Communal and Educational Leadership. The award was presented to Gottesman at the Jerusalem residence of Moshe Katsav, Israeli president, on Jan. 1.

Greenberg’s Close Encounter With Spielberg

Philanthropist Eric Greenberg received the Shoah Foundation’s annual Ambassador for Humanity Award from Shoah founder and chairman Steven Spielberg at director’s L.A. headquarters. Greenberg has donated several million dollars to various causes and organizations.

Peace Now Powwow

Americans for Peace Now held its third annual Yizthak Rabin Peace Award Dinner at the Century Plaza Hotel honoring the work of attorney Luis Lainer and former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell.

The evening, which raised $300,000, helped to bolster the hopes of those who remain committed to the Israeli peace process.

“The making of peace is a slow and deeply agonizing process,” Mitchell said. “There is no cause more noble and just than peace. There is no such thing as a conflict that can’t be ended.”

Mitchell, a former Senate majority leader, chaired peace negotiations in Northern Ireland and led the Sharm el-Sheikh Fact-Finding Committee, which recommend ways of encouraging Israelis and Palestinians to return to the negotiating table.

Lainer’s pursuit of peace and justice led the attorney to co-found Bet Tzedek Legal Services, a beneficiary agency of The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles. He serves as a board member for both The Federation and Americans for Peace Now. — Adam Wills, Associate Editor