October 17, 2019

Haley Honored, JWW Walks, New TEBH Chief

From left: Philanthropist Dina Leeds (left) conducted an onstage interview with Former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley in Beverly Hills. Photo by Anthony RG

Former United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley received the Humanitarian of the Year Award from Friends of Magen David Adom (FMDA) Western USA on April 1 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel.

After accepting her award, Haley was interviewed by FMDA Western USA President Dina Leeds.  They discussed Haley’s upbringing by her Sikh immigrant parents, with Haley saying her parents urged her to carve a path for herself and never complain. Haley also spoke about her experience serving under President Donald Trump, U.S. support for Israel and women leaders.

“In every aspect in my career, there’s never been a line to the women’s bathroom … but I never thought of any of that because I didn’t want to be defined by labels,” Haley said.

Speaking about Trump’s foreign policy, Haley praised the decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear agreement, saying the past year has shown that concerns that the withdrawal from the agreement would have consequences were unfounded.

She also reiterated the current administration’s commitment to its continued support of Israel.

“When you look at the Middle East, Israel is the only bright spot we have,” she said.

Before serving in the U.N. from 2017-18, Haley served as the governor of South Carolina and as a member of the South Carolina House of Representatives. She said her experience in politics has taught her that the truth commands respect. 

“Truth is power,” she said. “I stood by what I believed and I stood by the truth.”

Asked how she incorporates tikkun olam into her work, Haley discussed the increasing polarization in the country, saying she has traveled around the world and heard firsthand about unspeakable atrocities against women and children.

“That’s evil,” she said. “Our political system — it’s just different opinions.”

Speakers at the event included philanthropist Michael Milken; acting Consul General of Israel in Los Angeles Eitan Weiss; Pastor Jeff Osborne; and Lawrence Middleton of the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Students from Yeshiva University of Los Angeles High School, Shalhevet High School, Valley Torah High School, Maimonides Academy and Beverly Hills High School also attended.

After the event, attendee and attorney Sasha Farahi told the Journal that Haley was a role model. 

“I wanted to come out and hear her speak because every time I hear her speak, I feel more empowered to overcome my fears, to stand up for the truth and to fight for what I believe in,” Farahi said.

She was not the only adoring fan in the crowd. During Haley’s remarks, people yelled out, “Nikki for president!” and “Nikki 2020!”

“No, that’s not going to happen,” Haley said. She did not rule out, however, that she would stop by the U.N. to support Israel.

“I told Danny Danon,” she said, referring to Israel’s U.N. representative, “don’t be surprised if I show up one day and defend him.”

Matt Davidson, executive director of Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills. Photo courtesy of Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills

Matt Davidson has been named executive director at Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills (TEBH). 

“Matt is well liked and respected by our outstanding clergy and staff, having previously served as our interim executive director,” TEBH Board of Directors President Barry Brucker said in a statement.

Davidson previously served as executive director, program director and director of communications at Kehillat Israel, a Reconstructionist synagogue in Pacific Palisades. 

According to Davidson’s bio, when he is not busy running a synagogue, he is a composer and a musician, an avid sports enthusiast and the father of two children. 

In a statement, Davidson said he “feels blessed to have joined the incredible Temple Emanuel community.”

From left: Ma’agalim CEO and Founder Assaf Wiess, Michael Hackman, Miriam Peretz, Caroline Hackman, and Ma’agalim Chairman Richard Schottenstein at the Hackmans’ home.
Photo courtesy of Richard Tabachnik

Michael Hackman, founder and CEO of Hackman Capital Partners, and his wife, Caroline, hosted 2018 Israel Prize winner Miriam Peretz at their home on March 12. 

Peretz shared her moving story of her tragic loss of two sons, and her connection to Ma’agalim, an Israeli educational organization that works with at-risk youth in Israel’s periphery.

Peretz was born and raised in Casablanca, Morocco. Her two sons,
Uriel and Eliraz, died in combat 12 years apart while serving in the Israel Defense Forces. 

Hackman Capital Partners recently purchased The Culver Studios, a historic studio where “Gone With the Wind” and “Citizen Kane,” among other legendary titles, were filmed.

Anti-genocide organization Jewish World Watch’s 13th annual Walk to End Genocide at Pan Pacific Park drew more than 700 participants.

More than 700 people gathered on March 31 in Pan Pacific Park in the Fairfax district to participate in Jewish World Watch’s 13th annual Walk to End Genocide. 

Participants included Susan Freudenheim, executive director of Jewish World Watch; State Assemblyman Richard Bloom; Los Angeles City Controller Ron Galperin; L.A. City Councilman David Ryu; and JWW Co-Founder Janice Kamenir-Reznik. Other participants at the event included members of Los Angeles’ Congolese, Rwandan, Rohingya and Zoroastrian communities, as well as representatives from synagogues and schools throughout the L.A. region, from Manhattan Beach to Woodland Hills.  

The 5K walk through the Fairfax district was followed by a discussion on how hate speech can lead to genocide and mass atrocities, as well as a series of speakers from multiple conflict areas talking about how they connect diaspora populations with their troubled homelands. 

A second Walk to End Genocide took place on April 7 at Temple Etz Chaim in Thousand Oaks.

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