Gerbers Honored, JNF-USA Brunch, Mayoral Forum

November 3, 2022
From left: Father-and-son Selwyn and Jonathan Gerber lend a hand during a recent Food on Foot event. Courtesy of RVW Wealth

Community-oriented father-and-son Selwyn and Jonathan Gerber were honored at the recent “Unbanquet” by Food on Foot, an organization that assists the homeless with food, clothing and life-skills training. 

Hundreds of homeless were given food and clothing at the event., with the opportunity to reclaim their lives.

When asked about his deep-rooted and longtime support of Food on Foot, Selwyn said: “In my faith, the greatest obligation that one has on this planet is to engage in acts of charity. The highest act of charity is to enable people to feed themselves and to become self-sufficient.”

The Gerbers are members of the organization’s $98 Club, which provides a monthly donation for those who are unhoused and empowers the homeless with tools toward securing food, jobs and housing.  They have been involved with the organization for more than a decade. 

Selwyn and Jonathan Gerber are chairman and president, respectively, of investment management firm RVW Wealth.

From left: JNFuture LA Immediate Past President Sarah Herman; Rachel Kaye; Deborah Herman; and JNFuture LA President Alice Sherman. Courtesy of JNF-USA

On Oct. 16, Jewish National Fund-USA (JNF-USA) hosted a JNFuture Root Society appreciation brunch at the home of the organization’s greater Los Angeles co-presidents, Susie and Fred Toczek, in celebration of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot.

Taking the Jewish concept of Ushpizin (visitors) to the next level, the Toczeks, two of Los Angeles’ most prominent philanthropists, invited the organization’s major donors ages 22-40 into their Sukkah for food, socializing and a program showcasing how their investment in JNF-USA is leading to a brighter, more prosperous future for the land and people of Israel.

Attendees also heard from incoming Los Angeles JNFuture President Alice Sherman, who emphasized the importance of JNF-USA’s game-changing initiatives. 

“What an honor to be president of JNFuture in Greater LA,” she said. “As a young professional and dedicated member of Women for Israel’s Chai Society, I hope to inspire others to find their passion in our great causes too, such as bringing the world together through food and culture at our Galilee Culinary Institute by JNF in Israel’s north, or through education at our World Zionist Village in the south.”

Spectrum News Anchor Alex Cohen and L.A. Mayoral Candidate Rick Caruso. Photo by Ryan Torok

Less than two weeks before the Nov. 8 election, the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles—in partnership with the Anti-Defamation League and American Jewish Committee—hosted a virtual mayoral forum featuring Rep. Karen Bass and businessman Rick Caruso.

The Oct. 26 event provided the candidates the opportunity to voice where they stand on issues critical to the community. 

“Jewish Angelenos inhabit nearly every corner of this city,” L.A. Federation President and CEO Rabbi Noah Farkas said at the outset of the program. “We, a diverse, Jewish community, are deeply vested in the outcome of this election.”

During the nearly 90-minute discussion, featuring separate interviews with the two mayoral candidates, evening moderator and Spectrum News Anchor Alex Cohen interviewed Bass and Caruso about issues including antisemitism, homelessness and their personal values. 

After each candidate was interviewed, they took questions from those gathered in-person at the Federations’ headquarters. The crowd included L.A. Federation Chairman Albert Praw, Federation Board Member Cece Feiler, ADL Regional Board Member Nurit Robin, ADL Regional Director Jeffrey Abrams and AJC Regional Director Richard Hirschhaut.

“It is not an overstatement to say that this evening’s candidate forum was the very best of a very long and difficult, particularly in these recent weeks, election season for our city,” Hirschhaut said at the conclusion of the event. 

The AJC leader then encouraged those from home to exercise their sacred civic duty and vote. 

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