February 28, 2020

Beit Issie Shapiro Event, Haddish is Bat Mitzvah

From left: Ronit Segelman, Pat Fine, Consul General Hillel Newman, Errol Fine and Soraya Nazarian attend Beit Issie Shapiro’s recent gala at Sinai Temple. Photo courtesy of Beit Issie Shapiro

Local community leaders came together on Nov. 21 to celebrate Beit Issie Shapiro, a leading Israeli disability organization based in Ra’anana that will celebrate its 40th anniversary next year.

Attendees at the evening event held at Sinai Temple included the new Consul General of Israel in Los Angeles Hillel Newman; Ronit Segelman, director of global resource development at Beit Issie Shapiro; Errol Fine, chair of the West Coast board of Friends of Beit Issie Shapiro; Jewish Journal Publisher and Editor-in-Chief David Suissa; Jean and Jerry Freedman; Stanley Black; Mike Nazarian, chairman of the Iranian American Jewish Federation; and Sasha Farahi of the Magbit Foundation.

A crowd of over 250 people learned about the innovations and breakthroughs of Beit Issie Shapiro, which has been granted Special Consultative status to the United Nations Economic and Social Council, and is a driving force behind Israel’s esteemed standing in the field of disabilities worldwide.

Seth Fisher, whose nephew attended Beit Issie Shapiro’s Early Intervention Center, gave an inspirational and moving presentation, and students from Newport Beach were recognized for their support of Beit Issie Shapiro’s Special Education School.

“I am so proud of our community for joining us on this important journey — opening worlds of possibilities and helping to create a more inclusive society,” said Soraya Nazarian, a consultant to American Friends of Beit Issie Shapiro. “We are delighted and overwhelmed by the support from our longstanding donors and our new ones. Beit Issie shines a light not just through Israel but the entire world, and this evening will allow us to impact thousands of children and adults with disabilities worldwide as we share our best practice through international consultation, collaboration and training.”

The evening’s highlights included a special message sent by Olympic gold medal-winning swimmer Lenny Krayzelburg, the musical atmosphere created by RebbeSoul and his band, and charismatic emcee Mark Goldenberg. 


Husband-and-wife philanthropists Paul and Vera Guerin attended the Cedars-Sinai Board of Governors gala, which honored Paul with the Philanthropic Leadership Award. Photo by Alex J. Berliner/ABImages

The Cedars-Sinai Board of Governors held its annual gala on Nov. 14 at the Beverly Wilshire hotel. 

The evening raised more than $2 million to support the medical center’s clinical programs, biomedical research and community outreach programs, and honored Paul Guerin with the Philanthropic Leadership Award and Don Passman with the Visionary Award. 

Actor and comedian Howie Mandel emceed the evening, and acclaimed musician Josh Groban performed renditions of “Over the Rainbow” and “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” 

The more than 700 guests included actress Rosanna Arquette; former California Gov. Gray Davis; actress Loni Anderson and her husband, Bob Flick; OPI founder George Schaeffer; and City National Bank chairman Russell Goldsmith.


From left: Rabbi Susan Silverman, actress Tiffany Haddish, Stephen Wise Temple Senior Rabbi Yoshi Zweiback and Stephen Wise Cantor Emma Lutz take a break from preparing Haddish for her Dec. 3 bat mitzvah in Beverly Hills. Photo courtesy of Rabbi Yoshi Zweiback .

Actress and comedian Tiffany Haddish, who found out late in life that she was Jewish, became a bat mitzvah on Dec. 3 at the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills.

Rabbi Susan Silverman, the sister of comedian Sarah Silverman, officiated Haddish’s ceremony. 

According to various media outlets, among those who attended the star-studded event were Billy Crystal, Sarah Silverman and Chelsea Handler.

Also in attendance was Stephen Wise Temple Senior Rabbi Yoshi Zweiback. In an email, Zweiback told the Journal he helped Rabbi Silverman, who is based in Jerusalem, on the service and with the music.

“It was very meaningful and joyous,” said Zweiback, who is on the board of Second Nurture with Rabbi Silverman, its founder, and Haddish. Second Nurture promotes a culture of adoption and foster care within Jewish and other communities.

Stephen Wise Temple Cantor Emma Lutz also took part in the service.

The daughter of an Eritrean Jew, Haddish grew up in foster care in South Central Los Angeles and was exposed to comedy though Laugh Factory’s Comedy Camp.

On the same day of her bat mitzvah ceremony, Haddish’s new Netflix comedy special, “Black Mitzvah,” was released. 


Julie and Steve Bram with their daughter Alanna Callner and son Ben Bram at the AJC Yellin Community Leadership Award ceremony. Photo by Howard Pasamanick Photography

The American Jewish Committee (AJC) Los Angeles honored Julie and Steve Bram with the Yellin Community Leadership Award on Nov. 24 at Stephen Wise Temple.

Named in memory of the late attorney, developer and activist Ira Yellin, the Community Leadership Award recognizes the accomplishments of Los Angeles’ outstanding leaders from all walks of life — civic, community, business and political — who have worked to make Los Angeles a better place for all of its citizens.

Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills Rabbi Sarah Bassin and Aziza Hasan, director of NewGround: A Muslim-Jewish Partnership for Change, delivered the keynote address on the importance of intercommunity dialogue and bridge building and the contributions made by the Brams in this field.

Richard Hirschhaut, the Los Angeles director of AJC, Stephen Wise Temple Senior Rabbi Yoshi Zweiback, and attorney and AJC ACCESS Chair Jonathan Waxman also spoke at the event.

The honorees’ son, Ben Bram, their daughter, Alanna Callner, and son-in-law, Jazz Callner, presented the award to the honorees.

Kate Zentall and Robert Trebor performed “Morocco Calling” and “Yearning for Peace,” two Jewish Women’s Theatre stories written by Julie Bram, directed by Susan Morgenstern and produced by Ronda Spinak. 

“The world is a tough place,” Steve Bram said. “Like everyone, we want our charity and volunteer work to be impactful. We believe AJC makes a difference. AJC has allowed us to get involved in world affairs affecting Israel and the Jewish people.”

Steve Bram is president and co-founder of George Smith Partners, a real estate capital advisory firm based in Los Angeles.

Also attending the event were Yellin’s widow, Adele Yellin, president of the Yellin Company, and attorney and AJC L.A. President Scott Edelman.

Julie Bram is the immediate past international relations co-chair of the Los Angeles office of AJC, which builds relationships with diplomats from around the world.

With 22 regional offices across the United States and 11 global posts, AJC promotes the advancement of democratic values worldwide, serving as the “State Department of the Jewish people,” according to AJC. 

AJC works to counter anti-Semitism and all forms of hatred, promote Israel’s place in the world, combat terrorism and extremism, and promote human rights and interreligious and interethnic understanding at home and abroad.


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