November 20, 2018

Photo Essay: L.A. Celebrates Israel 68th Independence at Skirball!

Two weeks ago, more than 1,000 community activists, local leader and friends of Israel packed the Skirball center in West L.A. to celebrate Israel’s 68th independence. The event hosted by the Consulate General of Israel in Los Angeles brought together local Jews and non-Jews, Asians, Latinos and African Americans enjoyed traditional Israeli food and Israeli music. At the festivities, slides were shown from IsraAid, an Israeli-based humanitarian aid agency that responds to emergency crises and engages in international development around the world.  From Ecuador to Nepal and to parts of Africa, IsraAid and Israelis are helping to heal the world.

Los Angeles, West Hollywood and Beverly Hills city council members were also to hand to speaking to the audience about the critical partnerships Israel shares with each city and also the State of California in various sectors.  L.A. city mayor Eric Garcetti praised Israel’s advances in security, water conservation and high technology that are being adopted gradually in Los Angeles. “Israel you look great at 68 and I’m with every step of the way in the future”, said Garcetti. Likewise L.A. city controller Ron Galperin spoke to the audience about the hope Israel has brought to Jews and non-Jews worldwide. Of course, L.A. area Iranian American Jewish leaders were also on hand to celebrate Israel as they too are one of the proudest Israel supporters in the city.

The event was also a special send-off to Israeli Consul General David Siegel whose four-year tenure at the Israeli Consulate will end this summer. Siegel, who is fluent in English, has in a very special way built bridges with community groups, businesses and elected officials during his tenure that have strengthened the bonds between Israel and many of the Southwestern states.

The following are just some of the unique shots from the evening I captured…




(Israeli Consul General David Siegel, photo by Karmel Melamed)


(L.A. mayor Eric Garcetti, photo by Karmel Melamed)


(L.A. city controller Ron Galperin, photo by Karmel Melamed)





(L.A. Jewish philanthropist and 99-year-old Holocaust survivor Max Webb, photo by Karmel Melamed)