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JNF-USA Women for Israel Luncheon, Beit T’Shuvah Gala, ADL Honors Law Enforcement

Nearly 250 female philanthropists from Los Angeles joined Jewish National Fund-USA (JNF-USA) at its annual Women for Israel luncheon at The Beverly Hilton on May 11.

The gathering was held in recognition of JNF-USA’s Women’s Month and celebrated supporting the land and people of Israel and Jewish people everywhere. 

Marcia Selz, Laura Stein and JNF-USA Los Angeles Co-President Susie Toczek co-chaired the event.

In addition to learning about JNF-USA’s game-changing projects in Israel’s Negev and Galilee regions, attendees heard from two of the leading female Zionist voices of today: professional social media coach and Jewish activist Amy Albertson, creator of “The Asian Israeli,” and Los Angeles-based music and pop culture journalist Eve Barlow.

Barlow is an outspoken voice on Jewish identity, Zionism, and fighting anti-Semitism on social media.


From left: Leonard Shapiro. Annette Shapiro, Lynn Shapiro, and Joel Shapiro attend Beit T’Shuvah’s gala in Beverly Hills. Courtesy of Beit T’Shuvah

On May 15, Beit T’Shuvah, a Jewish faith-based recovery treatment center and synagogue, celebrated its 30th Annual Healing Broken Souls Gala at the Beverly Hilton.

This year’s honorees, Janice Kamenir-Reznik and Benjamin Reznik, have contributed to Beit T’Shuvah as well as the larger Jewish community.  As lawyers and pioneers for positive change in the world, they have exemplified what it means to live in a life of service and action.  Kamenir-Reznik’s mother, Charlotte, this year’s Spirit of Beit T’Shuvah Award recipient, is an exceptional woman who embodies Beit T’Shuvah’s message of hope, community, and connection. All three recipients are healing the world and exemplifying the Jewish sentiment of tikkun olam.

The event raised more than $1.7 million dollars to provide scholarships so that everyone can access Beit T’Shuvah services regardless of ability to pay. A majority of Beit T’Shuvah residents receive scholarship assistance. 

As Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles CEO Rabbi Noah Farkas said in the gala honoree video, “To support Jewish life is a choice. To build Jewish communal structures, like Beit T’Shuvah, is a choice…and we need leaders like Janice and Ben to step into the light and say, ‘I choose to be Jewish. I choose to support those who need us the most because I am not going to allow my generation to be the last generation.’”


Anti-Defamation League Regional Director Jeffrey Abrams speaks at the Sherwood luncheon honoring law enforcement. Courtesy of the Anti-Defamation League

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) honored law enforcement personnel with the ADL Helene and Joseph Sherwood Prize for Combating Hate, on May 26 at the Skirball Cultural Center.

The ADL recognized individuals and departments of law enforcement offices in Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside, Kern, Orange, San Diego, Imperial, Ventura, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo. 

From left: Howard Sherwood; Irvine Police Assistant Chief Noelle Smiley, and Scott Harris, a past ADL regional board chair. Courtesy of the Anti-Defamation League

“Anti-Semitism, bigotry, and hate of all kinds are on the rise in our city, around Southern California, and across the nation. We see it from the tragic attacks on Poway to Pittsburg to Colleyville and most recently, in Buffalo and Laguna Woods,” ADL Regional Director Jeffrey Abrams said. “Our Sherwood Prize law enforcement honorees, who have worked alongside ADL and other community-based organizations, know this dark reality all too well and have dedicated their work to combating hate in a manner that goes above and beyond the call of duty.”

According to the ADL, the honorees have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to combating extremism, bigotry, and hatred by performing acts outside the normal scope of duties and made an impact on victims of hate crimes or bias-motivated incidents, among other achievements. 

This year’s individual honorees were: Assistant District Attorney Paul Kim of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, Faith-Based Liaison Officer Kathleen Kooiman of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department; and Deputy District Attorney Leonard Trinh of the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office.

The departmental and group honorees were: the Criminal Intelligence Division of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department; Hate Crime and Incident Response Portal of the Irvine Police Department; and the Mark Domingo Investigative and Trial Team.

The Sherwoods, who ran family-owned and operated Daniel’s Jewelers, created the award in 1996 to recognize those in the law enforcement community that go above and beyond their job descriptions in combating extremism, bigotry, and hatred.

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