November 19, 2018

Movers & Shakers: Friends of Sheba, ‘Moodtopia,’ ‘Shofarpalooza’

Photo courtesy of Sheba Medical Center

Friends of Sheba Medical Center in Los Angeles held its inaugural Women’s Community Luncheon at El Caballero Country Club on Aug. 28.

From left: Friends of Sheba Board President Parham Zar, Sheba Medical Center Dr. Michal Yalon Oren and Molly Soboroff, interim executive director of Friends of Sheba attended the inaugural Women’s Community Luncheon.

The luncheon drew 180 attendees, raised more than $60,000 and celebrated women from the San Fernando Valley and Israel who are working to have an effect on the future of medicine through their support of Sheba Medical Center. 

The event honored Dr. Tanya Altmann, founder of Calabasas Pediatrics and an assistant clinical professor at UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital, for her work as a pediatrician and an author of books on children and parenting. 

Keynote speaker Dr. Michal Yalon-Oren, director of pediatric neuro-oncology at Sheba Medical Center, discussed his work improving the prognosis of children with brain tumors through individualized therapy.

Brittney Hopper Bloch, a reporter for CBS and KCAL, emceed the event. Stephen Wise Temple Cantor Emma Lutz sang the American and Israeli national anthems.

 Friends of Sheba Medical Center raises funds and awareness for the Israeli hospital, which is focused on acute care and rehabilitation. It is one of the largest hospitals in the Middle East.


From left: Rachael Sander, communications and outreach associate at Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles, and Avital Khazanov, southwest regional director at Masa Israel Journey. Photo courtesy of Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles

A happy hour organized by Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles (JBBBSLA) and Masa Israel Journey drew 60 young adult Jewish professionals. 

During the Aug. 16 event at The Parlor bar on Melrose Avenue, Rachael Sander, communications and outreach associate at JBBBSLA, and Avital Khazanov, southwest regional director at Masa Israel Journey, spoke about their respective organizations. 

Sander highlighted volunteer opportu-nities available at JBBBSLA, and Khazanov discussed ways people could work abroad through Masa.

JBBBSLA provides free one-to-one mentoring for Jewish boys and girls. The organization is seeking young adults to serve as Big Brothers and Big Sisters to children in the program.

MASA Israel Journey describes itself as providing “an immersive international experience in Israel for young adults” ages 18–30. Its programs include internships, service learning and Jewish studies programs.


From left: Comedian Stephen Glickman attended author Sara-Chana Silverstein’s book launch for “Moodtopia” at Barnes and Noble at the Grove. Photo courtesy of Sara-Chana Silverstein

More than 100 people came to the Barnes & Noble store at The Grove on Aug. 28 to celebrate the release of “Moodtopia,” a book about herbal remedies and aromatherapy by Sara-Chana Silverstein.

The event began with an introduction from Silverstein and her writing partner, Susan Golant. Golant has written many books, including one penned with former first lady Rosalynn Carter, and has taught for the UCLA writers program for 20 years.

“Writing a book is like giving birth,” said Silverstein, an Orthodox woman
with seven children. “It’s painful and you never think you can make it, and then, after hard work filled with laughter,
tears, fear and diligence it finally happens and boom — you are holding it in
your hands!”

The attendees, who included Jewish comedian Stephen Glickman (“Big Time Rush,” “Storks”), sampled herbs and aromatherapies, some of which were donated by the Jewish-run company Art Naturals. 

By Debra L. Eckerling, Contributing Writer


First graders at Orthodox day school Cheder Menachem enjoy their first day back to school. Photo courtesy of Cheder Menachem

Orthodox all-boys school Cheder Menachem celebrated its largest enrollment in the school’s history as it welcomed its students back on Aug. 28.

“We’re on the map, it’s good,” Rabbi Yisroel Hecht, director of development at Cheder Menachem, said in a phone interview. 

This year, 350 boys from kindergarten through eighth grade are enrolled in the school.

Students at Cheder Menachem represent a “big swath of L.A,” with students coming from as far as Pasadena, Burbank and Long Beach, Hecht said.

On their first day back, students walked an Oscars-style red carpet, noshed on smiley face cookies and received personalized water bottles. 

“The kids are excited, many of the kids are first-time students,” Hecht said. “It was an easing into school and a fun happy day. It was very cute.”

Faculty members, including Rabbi Mendel Greenbaum, the school’s principal, and Yudi Blauner, director of secular studies, joined students on their first day back. 

Cheder Menachem, accredited by Builders of Jewish Education, is affiliated with the Chabad movement. 


Musician David Zasloff brought his one-man show, “Shofarpalooza” to Temple Ner Simcha.
Photo courtesy of David Zasloff

Musician David Zasloff brought his one-man show, “Shofarpalooza” to Temple Ner Simcha  in Westlake Village on Aug. 25. 

The Los Angeles musician and comedian, who has recorded with the alt-rock band Linkin Park, regaled the appreciative audience with songs, stories and humor. 

Highlights included Zasloff’s rendition of Kol Nidre on the shofar (he also plays a jazzier version of the trumpet he described as “Cool Nidre”), and Hebrew favorites such as “Am Yisrael Chai” on a mixed bag of instruments — including a modified electric autoharp that, Zasloff claimed, sounded like King David’s harp, an Asian flute and a cajon (a box-shaped Peruvian drum he uses to make the connection between Jewish and African musical traditions). 

“They laughed at my jokes and applauded,” Zasloff told the Journal. “That’s all you can ask for.” 

— By Steven Mirkin, Contributing Writer 


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