Poker Fundraiser, FCLA Party, JFS Gala

June 12, 2019
From left: Friendship Circle of Los Angeles Program Director Miriam Rav-Noy; Naomi and Jeremy Ives, recipients of FCLA’s Family of Friendship Award; and FCLA Executive Director Rabbi Michy Rav-Noy. Photo courtesy of Friendship Circle of Los Angeles

Friendship Circle of Los Angeles (FCLA) celebrated its 552 volunteers at their annual garden party, on May 21.  

In its 16th year, FCLA runs 24 programs for Jewish children and young adults who have special needs. 

“The night culminated an incredible year at FCLA, with the ceremony highlighting their shared passion for inclusion,” a FCLA statement said. 

The Family of Friendship Award was presented to Jeremy and Naomi Ives. Jeremy is an early supporter of FCLA. As a sponsor for the last five years of FCLA’s annual Walk4Friendship, Jeremy spoke about their family’s desire to help FCLA spread the word of inclusion and acceptance of children who have special needs.

Chanie Lazaroff, the Mitzvah Volunteer Program (MVP) coordinator at FCLA, recognized the 73 MVP graduates for dedicating their time to learning more about how to interact appropriately with children who have special needs. The sixth, seventh and eighth graders of MVP stood proudly, wearing their MVP sweatshirts.

Keynote speaker Brandon Farbstein shared his story. After severe bullying and an attempted suicide, he turned around his life and inspires others to do the same. His words impacted the entire crowd. Farbstein, 19, has traveled the world as an activist and author after discovering his calling at age 15 on the TEDx stage. He realized his life’s meaning was to change the lens through which people see their world.

FCLA awarded the Fellowship Award to 51 volunteers who have dedicated hours to their special friends and furthering their knowledge in the field of special education. Each volunteer was called up and presented with a certificate and glass award for their commitment. 

FCLA’s program director Miriam Rav-Noy presented Julius English with the Heineini Award. English has been FCLA’s head behaviorist for seven years. 

“Volunteers, we are so many flames ablaze,” Rav-Noy said. “Together, when we shine brighter, warmer and stronger, we are unstoppable.” 

From left: Stephen Seo, Jeffrey Abrams, Selwyn Gerber, David Suissa and Jonathan Gerber attended the launch event for the Jerusalem Portfolio. Photo courtesy of The Jerusalem Portfolio

Investment adviser company RVW Wealth has announced the launch of The Jerusalem Portfolio (TJP), a new investment vehicle that will empower individuals, foundations and institutions to dedicate a portion of their portfolios to owning a stake in Israeli-focused companies. 

“The Jerusalem Portfolio fills a critical need in the market: a values-driven investment opportunity for individuals and institutions dedicated to supporting Israel,” Selwyn Gerber, co-founder and chief strategist of TJP and RVW Wealth, said in a statement. “With TJP, investors gain unprecedented access to Israel’s rapidly-growing economy by investing in established, listed companies.”

TJP celebrated the launch with a May 29 event at the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills. Speakers included Stanley Gold, a private investor in Israel; acting Consulate General of Israel in Los Angeles Eitan Weiss; and Israeli investment strategist and economist Joe Levin.

From left (top row): Justin Damavandi, Pedram Ben-Cohen, Yonah Linkovsky, Moshe Benarroch, Nechemya Shiner and Allen Shamooilian and (from left, bottom row) Ryan Makabi, Sean Namvar, Sal Litvak and Steven Bernstein participated in Jews for Judaism’s charity poker tournament. Photo courtesy of Jews for Judaism

A Jews for Judaism charity poker night was held at Sephardic Temple on May 30.

Coinciding with the first game of the NBA finals, which was projected onto a wall of the temple ballroom, the evening drew an array of men — and a couple of women — to the Westwood-area temple, including Stephen Wise Temple Senior Rabbi Yoshi Zweiback; “Accidental Talmudist” writer Sal Litvak; Rabbi Zalman Kravitz, COO of Jews for Judaism; Kravitz’s father, Rabbi Bentzion Kravitz, founder and CEO of Jews for Judaism; and Ilana Nishli, director of development and strategic partnerships at Jews for Judaism.

Yona Linkovsky was the winner of the tournament-style gathering, which began at 7:30 p.m. and concluded at midnight.

Shaun Gabbay and Dan Shainberg co-chaired the event, which featured professional dealers, prizes, dinner and an open bar.

Proceeds benefited Jews for Judaism’s educational initiatives and programming. Founded in 1985, Jews for Judaism aims to counteract proselytizing targeting Jews and encourages critical thinking. According to its website, “we are a respected resource for all ages and all denominations within the Jewish community.”

From left: Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles (JFS) President and CEO Eli Veitzer; JFS honorees Brett Paul and Susan Rovner; JFS Board Member Tami Kupetz Stapf; JFS Board Chair Shana Passman; and JFS Executive Vice President Susie Forer-Dehrey attended JFS’ 26th annual gala. Photo courtesy of Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles.

Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles (JFS) held its 26th annual gala on May 29 at the Beverly Hilton. Drawing more than 700 attendees, this year’s event raised $1.3 million for JFS services that fortify the Los Angeles community.

During the 26th annual gala, JFS honored Brett Paul and Susan Rovner, presidents of Warner Bros. Television and Warner Horizon Scripted Television, with the Spirit of Humanity Award for their commitment to helping the vulnerable in the community and their support of JFS.

JFS also presented the Anita and Stanley Hirsh Award to Eileen Brown, David O. Levine and Dena Schechter for their ongoing support. All three are long-term members of the JFS board of directors and have dedicated themselves to the success of the JFS capital campaign toward a new home and flagship service center for JFS on Fairfax Avenue. In this capacity, Brown has served as co-chair of the building committee, Levine as the co-chair of the building committee and capital campaign and Schechter as the co-chair of the capital campaign.

A special recognition award was presented to Lois and Richard Gunther and the late Anita and Stanley Hirsh. In honor of the supporters of the capital campaign, JFS re-dedicated its new site on Fairfax Avenue as the JFS Gunther-Hirsh Family Center.

At the gala’s “Raise the Paddle” fundraiser, attendees donated more than $300,000 in just a few minutes — a record for JFS. The event included additional remarks from Beryl Geber and Greg Berlanti.

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Email ryant@jewishjournal.com.

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