Magen David Adom Ambulance, WIZO Honors Councilman, Rabbi Sacks Legacy Workshop

Notable people and events in the Jewish LA community.
August 9, 2023
A six-year-old student marvels at the Magen David Adom ambulance. Photos Courtesy of American Friends of Magen David Adom

American Friends of Magen David Adom (AFMDA) provided a community tour of a Magen David Adom life support ambulance, on July 31 and Aug. 1.

Nearly 400 children from several Los Angeles synagogues and summer camps—including Gindi Maimonides Academy, Temple Beth Am’s Camp Keshet, Temple Isaiah and Sephardic Temple Tifereth Israel — learned about Magen David Adom’s emergency response and had the unique opportunity to see the ambulance. The important lesson of tzedakah was highlighted to the children since these ambulances are sponsored through philanthropy. 

The ambulance on display was donated by Miriam Wagmesiter, 97, as a tribute to her beloved late parents, brothers, son and husband. 

Magen David Adom, Israel’s national emergency response service, has 1,300 ambulances in service, all of which were made possible through philanthropy. Due to increased threats and anticipation of further escalations in Israel, Magen David Adom is seeking 300 new ambulances in the coming year, three times what is typically requested annually.

L.A. City Councilmember John Lee (center) is recognized by WIZO California.

On Aug. 3, WIZO California held an advocacy breakfast honoring Los Angeles City Councilmember John Lee with the WIZO California Blue Award, recognizing his unwavering support of Israel and the Jewish community at home.

WIZO, the Women’s International Zionist Organization, is an apolitical international movement dedicated to the advancement of the status of women, welfare for all sectors of Israeli society and encouragement of Jewish education of Israel and the diaspora.

Shalhevet High School’s Rabbi David Stein participates in The Rabbi Sacks Legacy’s professional development workshop in New Jersey.

Shalhevet High School’s Judaic Studies Principal Rabbi David Stein served on the team of senior educators and curriculum designers on behalf of The Rabbi Sacks Legacy’s “Torah V’Chochmah” program. 

The professional development workshop, which took place at the Ma’ayanot Yeshiva High School for Girls in Teaneck, New Jersey July 9-13, convened educators from 18 Jewish day schools throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico to develop curricula based on the thoughts and values of Rabbi Sacks, the late and internationally respected religious leader, philosopher and author. 

The “Torah V’Chochmah” program drew educators from 18 Jewish day schools across North America.

The “Torah V’Chochmah” program — which derives its name from Sacks’ belief that Jewish educators ought to draw from both Torah (sacred texts) and chochmah (worldly wisdom)—is an immersive program designed to help participants incorporate Sacks’ teachings into their classrooms to help inspire the next generation of students to lead meaningfully Jewish lives. 

Stein, who also serves as co-founder and managing director of the LaHaV Curriculum Project, was instrumental in the program’s success.

North American Jewish day schools represented at the conference included Shalhevet High School and Irvine Hebrew Day School. There were more than one dozen experiential education sessions led by some of the most innovative thought leaders in Jewish education globally. Sessions focused on “Introduction to Curriculum Design” and “Crafting Essential Questions.”

“Rabbi Sacks made profound contributions to Jewish learning and education. By infusing the Jewish day school curricula with his wisdom, his legacy will continue to inspire students of today, and future generations, broadening their understanding of Jewish values and their application to everyday life,” The Rabbi Sacks Legacy Chief Executive Joanna Benarroch said. “By engaging in Torah V’Chochmah, educators are afforded a truly exceptional opportunity to combine their teaching practices with Rabbi Sacks’ inspirational wisdom and enrich the educational experiences of their students. This initiative seeks to build a deeper understanding and appreciation of Judaic texts, promoting a vibrant and engaging learning environment within day schools across the region.”

Established after Sacks’ untimely death in 2020, The Rabbi Sacks Legacy aims to perpetuate his work, ideas and teachings.

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