Beit Issie Shapiro Gala, David Labkovski Exhibit, de Toledo College Signing Day, JFSLA Shabbat

Notable people and events in the Jewish LA community.
April 18, 2024
From left: Dr. Bruce and Roya Torkan, Metuka Benjamin and Beit Issie Shapiro CEO Ahmir Lerner. Courtesy of Beit Issie

On April 11, a private reception was held at the Beverly Hills home of Dr. Bruce and Roya Torkan in support of Beit Issie Shapiro in Raanana, Israel.

The event was organized to give visiting Beit Issie CEO Ahmir Lerner an opportunity to discuss how Beit Issie’s expertise has been applied and adapted to help rehabilitate severely wounded Israel Defense Forces soldiers by providing customized assistive technology solutions to improve the functional capability and quality of life for people with disabilities.

Beit Issie Shapiro is a global pioneering leader and innovator in the field of disabilities, offering services and scaling models that improve the lives of children and adults with disabilities. The organization seeks to create a more inclusive society by advancing opportunities and rights for people with disabilities. More than 90,000 disability professionals worldwide have been trained by Beit Issie, changing the lives of over half-a-million people annually, globally.

The private event benefiting Beit Issie Shapiro was an introduction for many leading up to the organization’s planned L.A. gala on Oct. 30.

From left: Kathleen Sterling, Marilyn Harran, David Labkovski Project Executive Director Leora Raikin and Katia Lysobey. Photo by Luque Photography

Renowned artist David Labkovski’s art was exhibited at Skirball Museum last month with student docents guiding guests at a sold-out event.The March 17 event was organized by the David Labkovski Project (DLP), a unique educational program for combating antisemitism and educating about the Holocaust. Fusing history and art, DLP is based on the life and art of renowned artist, David Labkovski. The DLP exhibit, ”Documenting History through Art,” has traveled to more than 70 locations.

From left: De Toledo High School student athletes Keller Slotnick, Sydney Greene and James Heller. Courtesy of de Toledo High School

On April 8, de Toledo High School, a college-preparatory Jewish school in West Hills, held a College Signing Day ceremony for three of its seniors: James Heller (baseball, University of Dayton), Keller Slotnick (baseball, Shorter University) and Sydney Greene (diving, United States Merchant Marine Academy).

The three students signed their letters of intent to bring their athletic talents to the collegiate level in the fall of 2024. During de Toledo’s college signing day ceremony, they were honored by staff and spoke about their athletic careers.

“As a former coach, I am in awe of our student-athletes’ determination and grit,” de Toledo Head of School Mark Shpall said. “Having three seniors sign college letters of intent this year—including James Heller’s impressive D1 offer to play baseball at the University of Dayton—is a huge moment for our school.”

On April 12, Jewish Family Service LA (JFSLA) Young Leaders, in partnership with Leora and Gourmet Gatherings, convened 50 young adult philanthropists for a special Shabbat fundraiser.

From left: Madeline Isaacs, Lily Heltzer and Carly Maltzman attend a recent Jewish Family Service LA Young Leaders’ Shabbat fundraiser. Courtesy of JFSLA

The Friday night event, a sold-out dinner held at Beverly Hills café Leora, raised funds for Jewish Family Service L.A.’s Tools for School program, which provides school supplies and other essentials to students in need.

Leora co-owner and head chef Leor Klein (center) with a three-foot long challah from Challahdad.
Courtesy of JFSLA

“As the vice chair of Jewish Family Service LA Young Leaders, I was honored to co-host this event with Leora and Gourmet Gatherings,” JFSLA Young Leaders Vice Chair Maggie Wolf Lewis said. “The evening, which benefited JFSLA’s Tools for School Program, was a way for young philanthropists to gather on Shabbat, nosh on Israeli food and be in community all while supporting the vital work of JFSLA.” 

Attendees included Leor Klein, owner of Leora; real estate professional, philanthropist and reality television star Josh Flagg; and Gourmet Gatherings Founder Carly Maltzman. 

“As the oldest social service agency in the city, JFSLA has done a phenomenal job of taking care of the community, both Jewish and otherwise,” Flagg said.

JFSLA provides services to the city’s most vulnerable people, including those who have needs around mental healthcare, food insecurity, domestic violence, aging, disabilities and more.  JFSLA Young Leaders describes itself as the “next-gen philanthropy arm of JFSLA.”

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