‘Wonderland’ of Jewish Culture, History


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On April 19, one day after commemorating those who lost their lives defending Israel, the Jewish community in Los Angeles turned out for “Promised Wonderland,” an elegant evening of entertainment and celebration to mark Israel’s 62nd Independence Day, as well as the grand opening of the newly dedicated Cheryl and Haim Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills. The Israeli Consulate in Los Angeles hosted the event and invited nearly 2,000 guests to attend, compliments of the consulate and private donors, the Sabans, Paul and Herta Amir, and David and Fela Shapell. The evening’s program, emceed by KTLA entertainment reporter Sam Rubin, followed the 3,062-year-long timeline of Jewish history — which Consul General Jacob Dayan called the single most important factor in our survival as a people.

The evening included remarks by Beverly Hills Mayor Jimmy Delshad; the unveiling of a portrait of Haim Saban by Israeli artist Hanoch Piven; several dance numbers by BODYTRAFFIC Dance Company with choreography by Israeli Barak Marshall; comedy by Jewish comedian Elon Gold; musical performances reflecting the Yiddish, Sephardic and Yemenite strains of Jewish culture; and a historical overview of the life of Theodor Herzl, whose 150th birthday is being celebrated in Beverly Hills on May 2 with the naming of a street, Herzl Way. The Sacred Praise Chorale, under the direction of Diane White-Clayton, brought the 90-minute cultural extravaganza to a roaring end, with a soulful rendition of “Hatikvah.”

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Photo by Peter Hamalgyi

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Photo by Peter Hamalgyi

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Photo by Peter Hamalgyi

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Photo by Peter Hamalgyi