July 15, 2019

Movers & Shakers Rep. Royce Honored, Israeli Soldiers Tour

From left: StandWithUs (SWU) Southwest Campus Coordinator Charline Delkhah; SWU Southwest High School Coordinator Kate Chavez; IDF reservists Linda and Ron; SWU High School Intern Yael Gluck; YULA Israel Advocacy Club Presidents Meital Gershov and Yonah Berenson and YULA Girls High School faculty member Menachem Hecht at Young Israel of Century City. Photo Courtesy of StandWithUs

About 120 high school students heard Israel Defense Forces (IDF) reservists Linda and Ron at the Oct. 14 kickoff event for the YULA Israel Advocacy Club at Young Israel of Century City (YICC).  

Linda and Ron were part of the Israeli Soldiers Tour organized by the group StandWithUs, which features reservists who reveal their personal experiences serving in the IDF. The tour runs from Oct. 14–28 throughout North America.

“The stories of participants have never been told. They share their backgrounds, life in Israel and answer tough questions, putting a human face on the IDF uniform,” StandWithUs said in a statement.

Both soldiers, whose last names of were withheld for security purposes, spoke about anti-Semitism. 

Ron, 26, said he faced it while competing as a triathlete in countries where he had to hide his identity, including the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.  

Linda, 23, said she was drawn to Israel’s democracy and diversity, especially in the IDF, and made aliyah to find security in Israel from the anti-Semitism she experienced in Venezuela.

Linda serves in the social welfare unit, which takes care of the financial and social needs of soldiers. 

Yael Gluck, the 2018-19 StandWithUs high school intern at YULA Girls High School, arranged the talk, which was organized to prepare students for the challenges regarding Israel they may face at universities and in their communities.  Delivering remarks, YICC senior Rabbi Elazar Muskin stressed that students need to address these challenges through “participation.”  

Also attending the event was Menachem Hecht, director of Israel education at YULA Girls High School and YULA Israel Advocacy Club adviser.  

Linda and Ron also spoke at Milken Community Schools during a visit arranged by StandWithUs high school intern Nicole Bardi.

Republican Jewish Coalition Executive Director Matt Brooks presents Congressman Ed Royce with the Ronald Reagan Leadership Award.
Courtesy of Republican Jewish Coalition

The Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC), at its 2018 California Bash on Oct. 15 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, featured a tribute and farewell to retiring Republican Congressman Ed Royce of Fullerton, whom the organization called “a great friend of the RJC and of Israel.” 

“It was a wonderful evening of friendship, unity and love of our great country,” the RJC said in a statement. “Our thanks to all of the featured guests and to the hundreds of RJC members and friends who joined us for this special event!”

Royce, who serves California’s 39th District and chairs the House Foreign Affairs Committee, was presented with the RJC’s Ronald Reagan Leadership Award. Royce announced in January he would not seek re-election this November.

The sold-out evening featured speakers and special attendees, who included Donald Trump Jr.; Kimberly Guilfoyle, vice chair of America First Action, a super PAC dedicated to electing federal candidates who support the Trump administration; Pastor John Hagee, founder and chairman of Christians United for Israel; and conservative activist Charlie Kirk, founder of the nonprofit Turning Point USA.

Also participating was Bishop Robert Stearns, who sang “The Star-Spangled Banner,” and Temple of the Arts Rabbi David Baron, who gave the invocation.

Anna Cave, director of the Ferencz International Justice Initiative at the USHMM’s Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide, and Ben Ferencz, the last surviving Nuremberg prosecutor.
Courtesy of U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) held a screening of the new documentary “Prosecuting Evil: The Extraordinary World of Ben Ferencz,” at the Pacific Theaters at The Grove on Oct. 10.

More than 300 guests viewed the film and participated in a post-screening discussion led by Anna Cave, director of the Ferencz International Justice Initiative at the USHMM’s Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide, and Ben Ferencz, 99, the last surviving Nuremberg prosecutor.

Barry Avrich, the producer and director of the film, also participated in the program. 

“Prosecuting Evil,” which debuted at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival, tells the story of Ferencz and his lifelong advocacy for justice for victims of genocide and crimes against humanity. 

Ferencz has been involved with USHMM since its creation 25 years ago. He has donated his personal archives to the museum, which include 500,000 pages of documentation, and funded the Ferencz International Justice Initiative at the museum’s Simon-Skjodt Center. 

In 2015, he received the museum’s highest honor, the Elie Wiesel Award, for his work holding Nazi perpetrators accountable for their actions, and his advocacy for Holocaust survivors and other victims of genocide.

Consul General of Israel in Los Angeles Sam Grundwerg and Nina Hachigian, deputy mayor for international affairs for the city of Los Angeles, appeared at the L.A. Clippers’ preseason game against Maccabi Haifa Basketball Club.
Courtesy of the Consulate General of Israel in Los Angeles

Maccabi Haifa Basketball Club played the Los Angeles Clippers in an exhibition game on Oct. 11 at Staples Center. Maccabi Haifa was not much competition for the NBA’s Clippers, who won, 124-76. 

Before tipoff, Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter Tova Litvin sang “Hatikvah.”

Consul General of Israel in Los Angeles Sam Grundwerg was among those who attended the game, along with several staff members of the Consulate General of Israel in Los Angeles. Also in attendance were Nina Hachigian, deputy mayor for international affairs for the city of Los Angeles; and students from Los Angeles High School and the school’s Principal Travis Brandy, who were invited by the consulate and the city of Los Angeles. 

 “This game is not only a celebration of the U.S.-Israel relationship, but also of our common values and love for sports and competition,” Grundwerg said.

From left: Craig Prizant, Michael Rosenfeld, Glorya Kaufman and Brian Wickersham attended the groundbreaking for a new theater building at Vista Del Mar Child and Family Services.
Courtesy of Vista Del Mar Child and Family Services

Vista Del Mar Child and Family Services President and CEO Nancy Tallerino, Board Chair Laurie Konheim and Vice President of Development and Marketing Craig Prizant gathered on Oct. 11 to offer gratitude to philanthropist Glorya Kaufman, whose gift will fund a new theater building and dance program for the facility. 

The Glorya Kaufman Performing Arts Center, designed by AUX Architecture’s Brian Wickersham and contractor Turelk, is scheduled to be completed in fall 2019. It will have a 300-seat theater and rehearsal space. 

Vista Del Mar’s Jewish Life Programs, which serve children with autism and other special needs, will enjoy a home on the site.

Kaufman’s lifelong love for and involvement with dance, coupled with her family’s tradition of giving, has translated into her philanthropic support for dance and caring for the disadvantaged. Kaufman’s gift is part of a Vista Del Mar philanthropy initiative focused on raising funds for the organization’s therapeutic programs. 

“I feel extremely privileged to have the life that I have and the means to make a difference in the lives of others,” Kaufman said in a statement.

Vista Del Mar’s Theater Arts Program students performed a drumming and dance piece.

Originally founded as the Jewish Orphan’s Home of Southern California, Vista Del Mar serves more than 5,000 disadvantaged children and families in Los Angeles each year.

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