July 17, 2019

Aish Gala, Sheba Benefit, Film Fest Honors Director

Hollywood legend Peter Bogdanovich and L.A. Jewish Film Festival Executive Director Hilary Helstein. Photo courtesy of L.A. Jewish Film Festival

The 14th annual Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival’s (LAJFF) opening night gala was held on May 2 at the Ahrya Fine Arts theater in Beverly Hills.

The premiere of the documentary “Carl Laemmle,” a film about one of the key founders of the movie industry and an unsung hero who rescued over 300 families from Nazi Germany, kicked off the weeklong annual showcase of Jewish heritage through film. Laemmle, a German Jew, came to the United States with almost nothing and went on to found Universal Studios.

LAJFF Executive Director Hilary Helstein was in attendance at the festivities, which honored Hollywood legend Peter Bogdanovich (“The Last Picture Show,” “What’s Up, Doc?”) with the Marvin Paige Hollywood Legacy Award. 

The celebratory gathering began at 7:15 p.m. with a red carpet outside the theater. Among those who turned out were Israeli actor Asaf Goldstien, star of the festival film “Back to Maracana”; Rabbi Marvin Hier of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, who appears in “Carl Laemmle”; and young star August Maturo, whose film “Shepherd: The Story of a Jewish Dog” also is part of the festival.

The program began at 8 p.m. and included the presenting of the award to Bogdanovich.

“I am very honored to be getting this tribute,” Bogdanovich said in accepting the award. “I am very touched by this.”

Speaking about the magic of the movies, Bogdanovich said, “You’re giving people little pieces of time that they never forget.”

The screening of “Carl Laemmle” — which features interviews with Bogdanovich, Hier, film critic and historian Leonard Maltin and Ron Meyer of NBCUniversal, among others — followed.

A post-screening Q&A featured “Carl Laemmle” writer-director James Freedman and other special guests.

The LAJFF, a program of the Jewish Journal, screens documentaries, comedies, dramatic features, shorts and more. This year’s festival ran through May 9. 

Click here to watch a video of the festival’s opening night.


From left: Aish L.A. Banquet Chair Richard Sandler, Journal Publisher and Editor-in-Chief David Suissa, satirist Ami Horowitz and Aish L.A. Executive Director Rabbi Aryeh Markman celebrated at the Aish L.A. annual gala. Photo by Jonah Light, Jonah Light Photography

Aish Los Angeles held its annual gala at the Taglyan Complex in Hollywood on April 14 as a sellout crowd celebrated Jewish unity and connection.

Richard Sandler, executive vice president, secretary and trustee of the Milken Family Foundation and a member of the board of The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, chaired the event.

Filmmaker, journalist and political satirist Ami Horowitz participated in the event and screened video footage showing the current state of anti-Semitism in the world. Journal Publisher and Editor-in-Chief David Suissa delivered the keynote address, and 15-year-old violin virtuoso Kiev Morales performed the Israeli national anthem.

Aish L.A. honored Eddie Kahen, founder and CEO of Aggregate Real Estate Solutions, with the Young Leadership Award for his “passionate, take-charge attitude,” Aish L.A. said. 

Aish L.A. Executive Director Rabbi Aryeh Markman challenged the crowd to complete a million-dollar capital campaign to buy Aish L.A.’s Morry’s Fireplace educational lounge in Pico-Robertson. The effort, according to Aish L.A., has been anchored by a lead gift from Dr. Ezra and Lauren Kest. 

Aish L.A. COO Rabbi Azriel Aharon ran the proceedings, which included food and drink that was enjoyed in a spirit of unity.

Banquet attendees included Jaime and Marilyn Sohacheski, Chavi Hertz, Aish L.A. founders Dick and Beverly Horowitz, Leonard and Joyce Wilstein, and Philip and Janice Kaufler. 

Aish L.A. said it was honored to have the namesake of the Boxenbaum Family Aish Outreach Center, Kharlene Boxenbaum, in attendance. 

Others at the event included Sharon Janks, a Federation board member, and her husband, Leon, and StandWithUs CEO Roz Rothstein and her husband, Jerry, COO of StandWithUs.

“Let us all keep the theme of Jewish unity and connection in mind,” an Aish L.A. statement said. “It so very important for all of us.”


Musical outfit Wilson Phillips arrive at the annual Women’s Guild Cedars-Sinai gala at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills. Photo by Alex J. Berliner/ABImages

The Women’s Guild Cedars-Sinai held its 60th anniversary gala on May 2 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel.

The evening honored Jane and Marc Nathanson with the Humanitarian Award, with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti introducing the couple. The event also marked the launch of the Neurology Transformation Project, which will support research and education for the understanding and treatment of complex neurological disorders.

Comedian Kevin Nealon served as the host and vocal group Wilson Phillips provided the entertainment.

Attendees included Women’s Guild President Shelley Cooper and gala chairs Wendy Goldberg, Lorette Gross and Lauren Segal.

The nonprofit Women’s Guild Cedars-Sinai helps advance the clinical and research priorities of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Since 1957, Women’s Guild members have raised close to $50 million in support of Cedars-Sinai, the organization says. “We listen and learn,” the group says on its website, “then roll up our sleeves and get to work.”


The Sheba 2.0 young leadership group boxed together to raise funds for the Israel-based Sheba Medical Center. Photo courtesy of Friends of Sheba Medical Center

More than 30 young professionals from Sheba 2.0, the young leadership group of Friends of Sheba Medical Center, came together for a workout class at BoxUnion Robertson and raised funds for Sheba Medical Center at Tel HaShomer. 

Sheba 2.0 committee members Dr. Nelia Barkhordar, Dr. Nicole Barkhordar and Sorelle Cohen chaired the April 30 event, during which participants enjoyed a high-energy 45-minute boxing class and then cooled down with post-workout refreshments from Recover 180 and Juice Crafters. 

The $1,800 raised at the event will support Israel’s Sheba Medical Center, recently named by Newsweek as one of the top 10 hospitals in the world. The magazine called Sheba “a leader in medical science and biotechnical innovation, both in the Middle East and worldwide. The center’s collaborations with international parties have advanced innovative medical practices, hospital systems and biotechnology.”

Sheba, which is affiliated with Tel Aviv University, is the largest and most comprehensive research and medical center in the Middle East, serving over 1.5 million patients each year. Friends of Sheba Medical Center raises funds and awareness for the hospital.


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