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Moving and shaking: Los Angeles Jewish Home gala, Israel Cancer Research Fund and more

“Celebration of Life: Reflections 2015,” a Los Angeles Jewish Home gala on Nov. 8, honored Molly Forrest, the Home’s CEO and president, for her 20 years of leadership and service. She was presented with the Visionary Award by Valley Beth Shalom Senior Rabbi Ed Feinstein during the event at the Beverly Hilton hotel.

“I am touched and honored to receive this recognition,” Forrest said in a statement. “I share the success at the Home today with gratitude to many donors, staff, colleagues, volunteers and board members who give so much to make the Jewish Home what it is.”

The evening drew more than 600 people and raised more than $1.2 million for programs and services at the Home, making it the organization’s most successful fundraiser ever, according to a statement.

Event co-chairs were Cecilia and Jeffrey Glassman, Lenore and Fred Kayne, and Pam and Mark Rubin. Also present was Erwin Diller, the honoree’s husband. Entertainer Mike Burstyn served as emcee and the Skye Michaels Orchestra performed.

Established in 1912, the Los Angeles Jewish Home is the largest nonprofit skilled-nursing provider in California. It encompasses three San Fernando Valley-based campuses and 21 programs and provides senior health care to more than 5,000 seniors annually. 


The Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) national director, Jonathan Greenblatt, appeared locally Dec. 8 at the ADL Pacific Southwest region annual gala, which drew over 500 attendees and raised more than $850,000 to support ADL programs. It was Greenblatt’s first public appearance in Los Angeles since succeeding the organization’s longtime head Abraham Foxman in July.

From left: Anti-Defamation League (ADL) 2015 honorees Jeffrey Gross and Gina Raphael, ADL CEO and National Director Jonathan Greenblatt, ADL Regional Director Amanda Susskind, ADL 2015 honoree Christopher Murphy and ADL Regional Board Chair Eric Kingsley. Photo by Michael Kovac

During his remarks at the Beverly Hilton hotel, Greenblatt said his goals for the organization include combating the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel. The hope, he is quoted as saying in a release, is to “creatively commit our individual energies and collective resources in new and impactful ways.” 

The event honored Gina Raphael and Jeffrey Gross, owners of Mickey Fine Pharmacy and Grill in Beverly Hills, with the Humanitarian Award. Christopher A. Murphy, deputy general counsel and vice president of business and legal affairs at DirecTV, received the Jurisprudence Award.

Stephanie and Howard Sherwood, Joshua Wayser and Richard Schulte were co-chairs, with Lynn and Les Bider and Terri and Clayton Friedman serving as honorary co-chairs. The Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles provided musical entertainment.

Founded more than 100 years ago, the ADL is dedicated to combating anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry.


The Los Angeles region of Emunah of America held a Dec. 19 gala at Sephardic Temple Tifereth Israel, raising $300,000 for Emunah’s School for Torah and the Arts in Jerusalem.

Emunah of America is a fundraising arm of Emunah, an Israel-based network of 250 social welfare and educational projects, including 135 day care centers, three emergency shelters for children, five children’s residential homes, four high schools, and 13 crisis counseling centers and senior citizen centers, according to Director of Communications Rita Goldstone.

The local event drew more than 200 people, including the organization’s national president, Karen Spitalnick. It honored Maureen and Larry Eisenberg, supporters of the School for Torah and the Arts, and YULA Girls High School seniors Caroline Weiss and Ariela Weintraub, supporters of the Emunah Bet Elazraki Children’s Home in Netanya, Israel.

The gala featured, among other things, a Bet Elazraki graduate identified as Mali Z., who discussed her experience growing up in the home and who was quoted in a press release as saying, “I graduated the children’s home strong and resilient, with a high school diploma and with a full toolbox for my future. Today, I have a big family — the Emunah family.”


On Nov. 18, Israel Cancer Research Fund (ICRF) honored Steven Rosen, provost and chief scientific officer at City of Hope National Medical Center in Duarte, Calif., during an event at the InterContinental Chicago. 

From left: Steven Rosen, provost and chief scientific officer at City of Hope National Medical Center; actress Bonnie Hunt; and Israel Cancer Research Fund (ICRF) supporters Jacki and Bruce Barron attend an ICRF event in Chicago. Photo by Larry Engelhart/Deja Views

The evening, during which Rosen was awarded the ICRF Lifetime Achievement Award, raised more than $650,000 for the Chicago chapter of ICRF and attracted nearly 450 attendees.

Actress Bonnie Hunt, who “shared her story of working with Dr. Rosen for seven years as his oncology nurse,” and ICRF supporters Jacki and Bruce Barron were among those who turned out for the event, according to the release. The event also honored the Barrons.

ICRF was founded in 1975 by a group of Americans and Canadians to provide funds for postdoctoral fellowships for young Israeli doctors.


The one-on-one cancer support organization Imerman Angels (IA) held an inaugural casino night on Nov. 8 at Michael’s in Santa Monica that attracted more than 200 attendees, including IA Regional Director Jordyn Goodman and IA Los Angeles advisory board member Dahlia Fox. The event raised more than $27,000 to support the organization’s services.

“I would like to bring awareness to any members of the Los Angeles Jewish community who may need the services that Imerman Angels provides by matching cancer fighters, survivors and their caregivers for one-on-one-support,” Fox said in an email.

The organization, founded in 2003, serves cancer patients and caregivers by pairing them with survivors who can support them during the difficult time.

Moving and Shaking highlights events, honors and simchas. Got a tip? Email [email protected] 

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