January 24, 2019

Moving and Shaking: Ariel Sharon and Anne Samson honored

From left: At Los Angeles City Hall, businessman and activist Joe Shooshani, L.A. councilmember Bob Blumenfield, Jerry Levey, Israel Consul General David Siegel, Councilmember Paul Koretz and Adam King gathered to commemorate the passing of Israeli leader Ariel Sharon. Photo courtesy of Consulate General of Israel in Los Angeles.

On Jan. 14, the Los Angeles City Council honored the legacy and contributions of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who died Jan. 11 after spending eight years in a coma. 

An event in the John Ferraro Council Chambers at Los Angeles City Hall drew representatives of the Israeli government, including Consul General of Israel David Siegel, and L.A. City Council members.

“The state of Israel, along with the rest of the world, bows its head in mourning,” read a recent statement by the office of the Consulate General of Israel in Los Angeles, which helped organize the event. 

Sharon will always be remembered and his memory continues to live on our hearts,” Siegel added in the statement. 

Among those present for the event were L.A. City Council member Paul Koretz.

Anne Samson of Beverly Hills will be honored posthumously Jan. 26 at the Ben Zakkai Honor Society’s NCSY National Scholarship Dinner in New York.

NCSY is the Orthodox Union’s international youth movement. Samson, who was killed in an August automobile accident, will be inducted into the Ben Zakkai Honor Society and recognized with the Ezra Ben Zion Lightman Memorial Award, an honor named for a national NCSY adviser who had a strong influence on the lives of young people.

“Anne and her husband, Lee, have been associated with the Orthodox Union for more than four decades,” according to a press release. “Anne and Lee worked closely together innovating creative programs to reach teenagers, most notably, the first NCSY summer program — Camp NCSY — where young people from all over the West Coast found inspiration and education.”

Lee Samson was the first fulltime NCSY regional director. 

Proceeds from the scholarship dinner will help teens attend NCSY national programs, including summer travel. Also this year, the Samson family established a memorial fund to provide assistance to programs such as the organization’s Jerusalem Journal summer program, which offers hundreds of public school students their first experience in Israel.

Anne Samson was born in 1947 in a displaced persons camp in Salzburg, Austria. Her parents, Emil and Eva Katz, were Holocaust survivors from Hungary who lost most of their family members in Auschwitz. In 1949, Anne and her parents immigrated to Los Angeles.

She grew up in the Bnei Akiva youth movement and attended Camp Moshava every summer, where she met the love of her life, Lee Samson. The couple married in 1966 and spent the months following the Six-Day War volunteering in Israel.

Another event on Feb. 9 will call attention to Anne Samson’s legacy at the Orthodox Union’s Israel Center in Jerusalem.

Moving and Shaking acknowledges accomplishments by members of the local Jewish community, including people who start new jobs, leave jobs, win awards and more, as well as local events that featured leaders from the Jewish and Israeli communities. Got a tip? E-mail it to ryant@jewishjournal.com.