March 20, 2019

Philanthropists honored for lifetime of giving

Iranian Jewish philanthropist Izak Parviz Nazarian, 83, watched from his seat while Dora Kadisha, his daughter, spoke from a nearby stage about her love of Israel, her community and helping other people. It was her father who taught her the importance of this mentality, she said.

Nothing could have better illustrated the theme of “Passing the Torch,” a June 20 event that honored L.A. philanthropists Guilford Glazer, Jona Goldrich, Max Webb and Nazarian and highlighted the importance of continuing their legacy of giving among the coming generations.

“We are here to honor great men,” said Rabbi David Wolpe, who hosted the program at the Four Seasons Beverly Hills.

The spiritual leader of Sinai Temple was, of course, referring to Glazer, 90; Goldrich, 85; Webb, 96, and Nazarian, who overcame extraordinary circumstances to become some of the most prominent Jewish givers in America during the 20th century. Glazer suffered through a poverty-stricken childhood in the American South before fighting in World War II, Goldrich and Webb survived the Holocaust and Nazarian, who served with the Israeli army during the War of Independence, left Iran during its revolution.

Collectively, they have given approximately $1 billion toward building the L.A. Jewish community. Glazer, Goldrich and Webb have all achieved success in the world of real estate. Nazarian co-founded technology company Qualcomm.

From left: Andrea Goldrich Cayton & Melinda Goldrich, Chara Schreyer, Erika Glazer, Dora Kadisha. Photo by Harmony Wedding Photography.

The evening, which featured speakers Wolpe and Israel Consul General in Los Angeles David Siegel delivering praise, also included prerecorded interviews with the honorees about their family histories, their financial successes and thoughts on philanthropy.

“How do you become a successful philanthropist?” Wolpe asked Goldrich in one of the videos. Goldrich replied that you have to pay the “Jewish tax” of sending money to Israel and donating to Jewish causes. It was a sentiment shared by the other honorees: Between them, they’ve helped launch and fund synagogues, Israeli universities, the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust and other Jewish institutions and organizations.

During the awards portion of the evening, the four men remained in their seats, while their daughters — including Melinda Goldrich and Andrea Goldrich Cayton, Erika Glazer, Chara Schreyer and Kadisha — took the stage. The women received commemorative plaques and spoke of ways they have committed themselves to philanthropy. The four honorees did not address the crowd.

The program wrapped with Gail Reiss, president and CEO of American Friends of Tel Aviv University (AFTAU), announcing the launch of the Andrew E. Zalkow and Mark I. Schickman Scholarship. The scholarship will pay for students to study conflict resolution and other disciplines at Tel Aviv University. Reiss asked attendees to make donations to the new fund.

AFTAU, which aims to support and promote Tel Aviv University, organized the event. All the honorees have been longtime benefactors of the university.