JWW Global Soul Winners, LAMOTH Honorees

November 6, 2019
Jewish World Watch (JWW) Global Soul event attendees included (from left) poet-activist Omékongo Dibinga; JWW Executive Director Susan Freudenheim; JWW Co-Chairwoman Diana Buckhantz; honorees Vaughan and Nick Meyer; co-chair Jane Cohen; and co-founder Janice Kamenir-Reznik. Photo courtesy of Jewish World Watch

Anti-genocide organization Jewish World Watch (JWW) held its annual Global Soul gala on Oct. 24 at the Ray Kurtzman Theater at Creative Artists Agency in Century City.

The event honored Vaughan and Nick Meyer with the Global Soul award for their commitment to fighting genocide and creating a more just world. According to JWW, the Meyers have been “lifelong champions of those less fortunate.” Vaughan began volunteering for JWW nine years ago and became a board member in 2012. She serves as the chair of JWW’s advocacy and development committees, has chaired JWW’s annual Walk to End Genocide and led advocacy delegations to Washington, D.C. She also traveled with JWW to the Democratic Republic of Congo, where she met survivors of mass atrocities, especially women.

Her husband, Nick, who currently serves as president of film for eOne, has produced and worked on many acclaimed films, including “Hotel Rwanda,” a project about the 1994 genocide in the African nation, which the world largely ignored as it unfolded, according to JWW.

“I am often asked how I got involved with Jewish World Watch,” Vaughan Meyer said during her acceptance speech. “When I look back, I think I was initially awakened by the movie, ‘Hotel Rwanda,’ a film Nick helped put together.”

The event drew approximately 400 people, including many from the Hollywood community. Performers included world music band Adaawe and Congolese activist and spoken-word poet Omékongo Dibinga.

Additional attendees included JWW co-founder Janice Kamenir-Reznik, JWW Executive Director Susan Freudenheim, attorney Sam Yebri, and Rabbi Yonah and Rachel Bookstein. Honorary co-chairs included Michele Breslauer of the Children’s Law Center, Jeffrey Abrams of RVW Wealth, Megan Colligan of Imax Entertainment and Jeffrey Freedman of Creative Artists Agency (CAA).

Based in Encino, JWW focuses on increasing education and advocacy and completing projects related to mass atrocities. Founded on the principle of “Never again” — the call to never allow another Holocaust — the organization works in regions including China, Myanmar, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq and Sudan. 

From left: University Synagogue Trustee Stephen Gingold; L.A. City Controller Ron Galperin; University Synagogue Rabbi Emeritus Morley Feinstein; and City Council Member Paul Koretz celebrate Feinstein’s retirement from University Synagogue. Photo courtesy of Rabbi Morley Feinstein

An Oct. 25-26 Shabbat service, dinner and Havdalah honoring retiring University Synagogue Rabbi Emeritus Morley Feinstein proved to be a joyous occasion.

For the weekendlong gathering dubbed “Marvelous Rabbi Feinstein,” 350 people from the community gathered at services on Friday and 250 for dinner on Saturday. University Synagogue Cantor Emeritus Jay Frailich was the emcee, and University Synagogue Associate Rabbi Joel Simonds and Cantor Kerith Spencer-Shapiro joined him in making comments.

Guest speakers included Los Angeles City Controller Ron Galperin, City Councilmember Paul Koretz and Rabbi Samuel Gordon of Congregation Sukkat Shalom in the Chicago suburb of Wilmette. L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti delivered remarks by video. 

Feinstein’s daughter-in-law, Rachel Mylan, provided musical entertainment, and elected officials presented commendations and proclamations in honor of Feinstein, who began as the Westside-based Reform congregation’s fourth senior rabbi in 2002.

Feinstein’s family, along with a dozen of his rabbinical colleagues, also came in for the event from coast to coast.

From left: Trini Rodriguez, co-founder of Tia Churcha’s Centro Cultural and Bookstore, and L.A. County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, an honoree at Tia Churcha’s fundraising gala. Photo by Giovanni Solis

Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl was honored at the fourth annual fundraising gala for Tia Chucha’s Centro Cultural and Bookstore in Sylmar.

During the Oct. 26 event, “Art and Minds Gathering for Change,” Trini Rodriguez, co-founder of Tia Chucha’s Centro Cultural and Bookstore, presented Kuehl, whose mother was Jewish, with a plaque for her vision, courage and commitment in advancing the art of public service and integrity.

The event raised $40,000 for Tia Chucha’s, which provides the northeast San Fernando Valley with year-round programming dedicated to the arts, music, dance, writing and more. The organization began as a café, bookstore and cultural space owned and run by Los Angeles Poet Laureate Luis Rodriguez.  

Additional honorees at the event, which was held at La Plaza de Cultura y Artes, were writer, artist and educator Harry Gamboa Jr., artist and activist Barbara Carrasco and Louie Perez, founding member of the Grammy Award-winning rock band Los Lobos.

The event was billed as a celebration of resilience through the arts.

From left: Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust (LAMOTH) Board Chair Michele Gold, LAMOTH honorees Arnold Palmer, Patsy Palmer and Josh Flagg, museum CEO Beth Kean and emcee Melissa Rivers at the museum’s 2019 annual gala.
Photo by Bryan Beasley

The Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust (LAMOTH) honored Josh Flagg, star of the Bravo television series “Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles,” and LAMOTH board member Patsy Palmer and her husband, Arnold, at its annual gala at the Beverly Hilton on Oct. 30. Melissa Rivers emceed the event.

In addition to starring on the Bravo show, Flagg is one of America’s most successful and sought-after luxury real estate agents, having completed more than $1 billion in residential real estate sales in the past decade. He recently was named one of the Top 30 realtors in Los Angeles by The Hollywood Reporter. The grandson of Holocaust survivors and a board member at LAMOTH, Flagg lives with his husband, Bobby Boyd, in Beverly Hills.

Palmer holds a doctorate in child psychology and is a docent at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and at LAMOTH.  Her husband, Arnold, was an institutional stockbroker for over 50 years and continues to work with individual clients.

Rivers, a New York Times bestselling author and award-winning producer, is an entertainment journalist and correspondent, an equestrian, an Ivy League graduate, an accomplished public speaker and philanthropist.  She co-created, executive produced and co-hosted E!’s “Fashion Police.”

Award presenters were Carrie Brillstein and Ada Horwich. State Sens. Ben Allen and Henry Stern spoke about the California Legislative Jewish Caucus’ advocacy in securing a $6 million state budget allocation for the museum’s expansion project. Speakers from the museum included CEO Beth Kean, Board Chair Michele Gold and Vice Chair Guy Lipa.

The gala, attended by more than 750 people, including 60 Holocaust survivors, featured a special preview of a “Dimensions in Testimony” interactive biography featuring Holocaust survivor Renee Firestone, who was at the event. USC Shoah Foundation Executive Director Stephen Smith presented the preview. The exhibit will debut at LAMOTH in 2020. “Dimensions in Testimony” enables people to ask questions that prompt real-time responses from pre-recorded video interviews with Holocaust survivors and other witnesses to genocide.

Funds raised at the gala will support the museum’s education programs.

Want to be in Movers & Shakers? Send us your highlights, events,
honors and simchas. Email ryant@jewishjournal.com.

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