Moving and Shaking: Irving Lebovics honored, Shavuot Biblical Fair festivities, teen donates

The Los Angeles County Democratic Party (LACDP) honored Orthodox community leader Irving Lebovics on May 9.
May 22, 2013

Dr. Irvin Lebovics

The Los Angeles County Democratic Party (LACDP) honored Orthodox community leader Irving Lebovics on May 9. 

“I’m not a very big award person — they felt very strongly about it, and I kind of went along with it,” Lebovics told the Journal on May 20.

Lebovics, 59, who attends Congregation Kehilas Yaakov and resides in Hancock Park, serves as chairman of the Orthodox Agudath Israel of California, the local branch of the Orthodox leadership and policy umbrella organization Agudath Israel of America. He also runs as a successful prosthetic dentistry practice based in Cedars-Sinai Medical Towers. 

As chairman of the California Dental Association Government Affairs Council, Lebovics advocated for health care reform, patient advocacy rights and worked on other issues related to access of care. 

Lebovics received the LACDP John F. Kennedy “Profiles in Courage” award during a ceremony at the Stadium Club at Dodger Stadium. 

The John F. Kennedy Awards ceremony is one of two annual fundraisers for the LACDP; the organization raised nearly $250,000 at the event.

Hilda Solis, U.S. labor secretary in the Obama administration, from 2009 to 2013, and tech entrepreneur and executive Yolanda Parker, a national finance committee member for Obama’s 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns, were the evening’s other honorees. 

As the official governing body of the Democratic Party in Los Angeles County, LACDP represents more than 2.2 million Democrats, according to lacdp.org.


New Community Jewish High School honored Susan Hirsch Goldfarb and Bob and Nita Hirsch on May 19. The awards ceremony was part of the school’s 2013 gala, which was held at the Orpheum Theatre. 

A lifelong philanthropist and community leader, Goldfarb works alongside her father, Bob Hirsch, in real estate development and investments. She joined the NCJHS board of trustees in 2007 and has served as its vice president of advancement since 2008. Through her work with the Bob and Nita Hirsch Family Foundation, she has also supported The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles and other organizations.

Nita Hirsch has devoted 50 years of service to the Jewish organization ORT America. Bob Hirsch has been affiliated with the Los Angeles Jewish Home for more than 20 years, having served as the agency’s board chairman and, currently, as a member of the board of governors. Bob Hirsch’s passions also include working with the Shoah Foundation, the Skirball Cultural Center, Beit T’Shuvah, NCJHS and elsewhere.  Actress and recording artist Kristin Chenoweth performed at the gala.

Shavuot Biblical Fair. Courtesy of Israeli American Council

The Israeli American community celebrated Shavuot biblical style on May 19 at Warner Park in Woodland Hills. 

The Shavuot Biblical Fair, organized by the Israeli American Council (IAC), Mitchabrim, MATI and the Israeli Scouts, along with other Jewish organizations, re-created a village from biblical times, with nearly 2,000 people riding camels, stomping grapes to make wine, milking goats, making ice cream and butter from scratch, making pitchers and plates from clay and resting in the cool shade of a Bedouin tent. 

Attendees were entertained with music, Israeli folk dancing, participated in a parade of bikkurim (first fruits), a drum circle, had their fortunes told and witnessed a surprise flash mob.

This month, Jacob Poncher, 13, of Congregation Ner Tamid in Rancho Palos Verdes donated $600 he had received during his April bar mitzvah to the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust (LAMOTH). He made the donation in honor of Holocaust survivor and family friend Robert Geminder being named a LAMOTH board member.

Donations like Jacob’s help make it possible for the museum to maintain free admission for the public, a LAMOTH spokesperson said. The museum’s exhibitions include an archive of documents, relics and other primary source material related to the Holocaust.

Moving and Shaking acknowledges accomplishments by members of the local Jewish community, including people who start new jobs, leave jobs, win awards and more, as well as local events that featured leaders from the Jewish and Israeli communities. Got a tip? E-mail it to ryant@jewishjournal.com.

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