February 21, 2020

Schiff at TEBH, Carr at IAC, Dayan at JNF

Congressman Adam Schiff (third from left) and (from left) Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills Rabbi Educator Adam Lutz, Cantor Lizzie Weiss and Associate Rabbi Sarah Bassin. Photo by Aly Blue Headshots

Addressing more than 1,100 people on March 19 at Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills (TEBH), Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) expressed support for Israel.

“The Jewish state is held to a completely different standard than any of its neighbors,” Schiff said from the bimah of the synagogue, which organized the evening with nonprofit Writers Bloc Presents.

Schiff appeared in a town hall-style conversation with TEBH Associate Rabbi Sarah Bassin. The two spoke about the temple’s gun violence initiative, with Schiff saying the nation had reached a tipping point in how it approaches gun policy, but more work was needed.

“I refuse to accept this is the best we can do,” said Schiff, who chairs the House Intelligence Committee and whose district includes West Hollywood, Burbank and parts of Glendale and Pasadena.

Attendees included TEBH President Barry Brucker and his wife Sue; Karl Thurmond, vice chair of the Milken Community Schools board of officers and Schiff’s former Harvard Law
School classmate; TEBH Rabbi Educator Adam Lutz and Cantor Lizzie Weiss; Andrea Grossman, founder of Writers Bloc Presents; and Rabbi Joel Simonds, the West Coast legislative director for the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism.

Jewish National Fund’s (JNF) Green Horizons liaison Ido Reichman-Eisikovits, JNF breakfast event chair Judy Levin, JNF Greater Los Angeles Board President Alyse Golden Berkley and Israel Defense Forces Major General (Res.) Uzi Dayan. Photo by Henry Porter

The Jewish National Fund (JNF) held its third annual Breakfast for Israel on March 13 at the Warner Center Marriott, which featured Israel Defense Forces Major General (Res.) Uzi Dayan as the keynote speaker.

“Being strong in the Middle East is the 11th commandment,” said Dayan, the national chair of JNF’s Green Horizons and nephew of Israeli military statesman Moshe Dayan. “What brought me to Green Horizons is that we are dealing with the future and the horizon of Israel. We must work together toward cohesion between Israeli society and the unity of the Jewish people, and I believe Green Horizons and Jewish National Fund contribute to this cause.”

JNF’s Green Horizons Liaison Ido Reichman-Eisikovits spoke about the impact of JNF in Israel. 

“JNF today is the real game changer in the Negev and Galilee,” he said. “It went from an organization that plants trees to one that plants seeds of leadership in Israeli youth. That work is invaluable for the future of our country.” 

As a part of its mission, JNF works with Israeli youth in grades 5-12 to create meaningful connections with the land while building interpersonal and leadership skills. Through a program organized by Green Horizons, JNF leads hiking and camping trips throughout Israel. Activities are designed to promote self-confidence, independence, social responsibility and an appreciation for Israel’s history and natural beauty.

JNF Greater Los Angeles Executive Director Lou Rosenberg discussed the daily on-the-ground work in Israel and the vision of JNF’s “One Billion Dollar Roadmap for the Next Decade” campaign.

The breakfast event was chaired by JNF Board Member Judy Levin.

Beverly Hills honorees Lori and Robert Goodman (third from left and second from right) with Israel’s Ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer (fourth from left) and Israel Bonds President and CEO Israel Maimon (far right) at the annual Israel Bonds International Prime Minister’s Club Dinner. Also pictured is Stuart Garawitz, vice president of national sales at Israel Bonds and Howard Goldstein, chairman of the board of development corporation for Israel Bonds (first and second from left). Photo by Peter Halmagyi

Beverly Hills residents Lori and Robert Goodman were among nine honorees presented with the inaugural Shimon Peres Leadership Award, in recognition of their exceptional dedication to Israel and Jewish causes. 

They were honored at the annual Israel Bonds International Prime Minister’s Club Dinner on March 3 in Hollywood, Fla.

At the dinner, Israel Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer, referencing Israel’s recent lunar landing craft launch, said, “Israel Bonds has been our booster rocket, helping to fuel Israel’s remarkable rise among the nations.” 

Mika Almog, granddaughter of Shimon Peres, cited the late president’s forward-looking vision in telling the honorees, “You, too, are made of the future.”

The Israeli-American Council (IAC) welcomed over 800 guests to the 11th Annual IAC Gala at the Beverly Hilton on the evening of March 17.
Photo by Linda Kasian Photography

The Israeli-American Council welcomed over 800 guests to its 11th Annual IAC Gala at the Beverly Hilton on the evening of March 17. Titled “My Story, Our Story,” the event celebrated the individual stories that are interwoven in the collective narrative of the IAC’s coast-to-coast community.

Special guest Elan Carr, the U.S. State Department’s recently appointed Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, was recognized for his work to develop and implement U.S. foreign policies on combating discrimination against Jews around the world. Carr called on the IAC and other Jewish community groups to stand with him in fighting anti-Semitism. 

“IAC, more than any other organization, exudes Jewish unity,” Carr said. 

The evening also featured a presentation on the story of Nir Caspi, a former member of the elite Israeli Naval Commando. Today, Caspi, co-founder and CEO of Café Landwer restaurants, lives in Boston and serves as a local IAC council member. 

The presentation included the screening of a clip from “One Night in Anzeria,” a documentary on Caspi’s survival of one of the most fatal operations in the history of Israel’s Navy and his subsequent journey of overcoming the odds to become a successful entrepreneur. 

Following the screening, Israeli television journalist Alon Ben-David interviewed Caspi about his journey and how it led him to become a leader within the IAC. 

“The IAC and I personally have a mission to show other aspects of Israel,” Caspi said. “We always talk about Israel in terms of politics. We need to present other aspects, like food, music and culture.”

The event also featured entertainment from popular Israeli singer Ehud Banai. 

Additional guests included Congressman Brad Sherman (D-Northridge), California State Assembly members Jesse Gabriel and Richard Bloom, and Los Angeles City Controller Ron Galperin.

“Israeli-Americans share a unique and powerful story, which is reflected in the perspective and work of the IAC,” said IAC Los Angeles Regional Director Nadav Banai. “Our 11th Annual Gala celebrated the stories that inspire our commitment to ensuring a strong Jewish and Israeli identity today and for future generations to come.”

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