November 22, 2018

Cedars-Sinai, Gift of Life, Friends of Sheba

From left: Bert Salke, Jennifer Salke, Clive Svendsen, Rosanna Arquette and Todd Morgann arrive at the Cedars-Sinai Board of Governors Dinner at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills. Courtesy of Cedars-Sinai Board of Governors

Leaders in entertainment, business, health care and philanthropy came together for the 2018 Cedars-Sinai Board of Governors Gala on Oct. 27 at the Beverly Hilton, which raised nearly $1.6 million for the Cedars-Sinai Board of Governors Regenerative Medicine Institute.

At the gala, Richard Sinaiko, a member of the Cedars-Sinai Board of Directors, announced that the Board of Governors fulfilled its $30 million pledge to the Institute in just four years, setting a fundraising record in the Board of Governors’ history. 

“The completion of the Board of Governors’ fundraising goal will help the Regenerative Medicine Institute continue its vital mission of restoring function in diseased or aged tissues by revitalizing existing cells or transplanting new ones,” a Cedars-Sinai statement said.

The Institute is led by Clive Svendsen, PhD, who is internationally recognized for his use of stem cell technology in an effort to create new treatments for diseases such as ALS, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, macular degeneration, Crohn’s disease and diabetes.

The event honored Todd Morgan, founder, chairman and CEO of Bel Air Investment Advisors, with the Philanthropic Leadership Award, which was presented by his wife, actress and honorary gala chair Rosanna Arquette

In his acceptance speech, Morgan spoke about his brother Tommy, who battled heart failure during a month-long hospital stay and surprised his family by recovering. 

“My brother was on the brink many times, but those Cedars doctors and nurses never gave up,” he said. “I’ll remember them as long as I live.”

Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon Studios, and Bert Salke, president of Fox 21 Television Studios, received the Hollywood Humanitarian Award, which was presented by actor Rob Lowe

“Dr. Svendsen’s work with stem cell technology is mind blowing,” Jennifer Salke said. “They are ahead in treating some of the most common and debilitating diseases.”

Actor Sean Hayes emceed the event. Additional guests included actress and producer Roma Downey (“The Bible”); Mark Burnett, chairman of MGM Worldwide TV; actor Max Greenfield (“The Neighborhood”); actress Marin Hinkle (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”); filmmaker Reggie Hudlin; music legend Smokey Robinson and Saudi Arabian actress Dina Shihabi (“Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan”)

The evening featured an acoustic set by Grammy-winning singer John Mayer.


Molly Soboroff, who was named executive director of Friends of Sheba Medical Center in Los Angeles.
Courtesy of Friends of Sheba Medical Center

Friends of Sheba Medical Center, Tel HaShomer has named Molly Soboroff its Los Angeles executive director. 

In an Oct. 29 announcement, the organization highlighted Soboroff’s experience in Jewish nonprofits and fundraising and a passion for supporting Israel. 

Since July, Soboroff has been serving as interim executive director for the organization, which raises funds and awareness to support the largest hospital in Israel and the Middle East. 

Soboroff, 31, began working at Friends of Sheba Medical Center in August 2017 as associate director of development for the organization’s L.A. chapter. She previously served as regional director of the young leadership division of the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF).

Prior to her role at FIDF, Soboroff spent three years at the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles as a KOREH L.A. AmeriCorps Fellow, a volunteer literacy program pairing community members with students in the Los Angeles Unified School District, and as the Federation’s community engagement council coordinator.

“Molly Soboroff is a talented and dedicated individual, and I am confident that, as Friends of Sheba Medical Center executive director, she will take the organization to new heights,” Friends of Sheba Medical Center Board President Parham Zar said in a statement. “Her leadership and expertise are exactly what we need to continue to grow and provide instrumental support to Sheba Medical Center, Israel’s national hospital and the most comprehensive center for healthcare in the Middle East.”

Soboroff, who holds a master’s of business administration in nonprofit management from American Jewish University in Los Angeles and a bachelor of arts in marketing communication from Emerson College in Boston, said she is excited about her new role at the organization.

“It is an honor to work with Sheba Medical Center and Friends of Sheba Medical Center,” she said. “Because I have a true passion for tikkun olam, for health and for community building, this position is ideal. Sheba upholds all these values every day as the doctors at Sheba administer humanitarian aid and lifesaving care to patients across the world.”


Bone marrow recipient Tony Wolfe; his donor Alan Weinberg; Kim Kardashian West, Leah Mantel Krief and Gift of Life CEO and Founder Jay Feinberg attended the inaugural Gift of Life Marrow Registry gala in Los Angeles.
Photo by Kara Frans Photography

The inaugural Gift of Life Marrow Registry gala on Oct. 29 at the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills honored reality star and entrepreneur Kim Kardashian West for her support of Gift of Life and of the “Hope4Adam” campaign, which in 2016 sought to find a matching donor for a young Jewish father from Los Angeles named Adam Krief. 

Krief, who was diagnosed with an aggressive form of blood cancer, died in 2017 at the age of 32 following complications from a bone marrow transplant. 

During his illness, the Krief family launched a campaign to reach out to marrow donors and record Krief’s medical experiences. Kardashian West was among the celebrities who tweeted to her followers in the hope of finding a match for Krief, using the hashtag #Hope4Adam.

“It’s an honor to be here to accept the first-ever Gift of Life Impact Award,” Kardashian West said. “I was first introduced to Adam’s story by my best friend, Allison, whose son was in the same class as their boy. And once I heard his story, I just knew that I wanted to do something.”

“I made a simple tweet,” she added. “Knowing that it could change someone’s life, that’s the easiest thing that I could possibly do.”

Krief’s widow, Lia Mantel Krief, presented Kardashian West with the award.

Attendees included Gift of Life CEO and Founder Jay Feinberg, a survivor of leukemia; donor-recipient pair Tony Wolfe and Alan Weinberg; and event chairs Michal and Jeremie Braun of Los Angeles, and Norma and Mark Citron of Calabasas.

Wolfe received a life-saving stem cell transplant from Weinberg. They were connected during the “Hope 4Adam” campaign and learned each other’s identities at the gala.

Established in 1991, “Gift of Life has grown the registry to more than 310,000 individuals who have volunteered to donate blood stem cells or bone marrow to save a life,” the organization said in a statement.


Front left: Shari Safra, Rachel Cohn, Briana Benaron, Leslie Schapira, Dafna Landau and AMIT Western Region Director Liron Yadin celebrated the launch of Los Angeles AMIT NewGen. Courtesy of AMIT

Nearly 40 young professionals celebrated the launch of Los Angeles AMIT NewGen, on Oct. 24 on the SIXTY Beverly Hills Hotel rooftop, and learned about AMIT’s educational approaches and its national NewGen community.

Philanthropist Shari Safra, chair of New York City AMIT NewGen, was among the attendees.

Los Angeles AMIT NewGen is a network of local young professionals, ages 25-40, who support AMIT’s mission and seek opportunities to make a direct impact on Israel, network with others and inspire the next generation of Jewish philanthropic leaders. 

 AMIT Children, a nonprofit organization based in Israel, operates a network of 110 schools and programs, including surrogate homes and youth villages across 32 cities, and serves 34,000 Israeli students. With the message of “Building Israel, one child at a time,” the organization believes educating the next generation is key to ensuring Israel’s future. 

“AMIT enables Israel’s youth to realize their potential and strengthens Israeli society by educating and nurturing children from diverse backgrounds within a framework of academic excellence, Jewish values and Zionist ideals,” an AMIT press release said.


Want to be in Movers & Shakers? Send us your highlights, events, honors and simchas. Email ryant@jewishjournal.com.