January 21, 2019

Moving and Shaking: LAMOTH recital, Fiesta Shalom at Sea and Thanksgiving

The Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust (LAMOTH) inaugural Young Pianist Showcase Recital took place Nov. 23 at the museum.

The event featured performances by Jacqueline Wax, 17, a senior at Milken Community Schools; Jonah Goldberg, 14, a freshman at Calabasas High School; Adam Amster, 11, a sixth-grader at Paul Revere Middle School; Elizabeth Chou, 12, a seventh-grader at Paul Revere Middle School; Josh Abel, 16, a junior at Hamilton High School; Jasmine Elisha, 15, a sophomore at Hamilton High School; Camille De Beus, 17, a senior at Santa Monica High School; Dave Mandi, 15, a sophomore at Pacific Palisades Charter High School; and Grace Alexander, 13, an eighth-grader at John Adams Middle School.  The Trio Catalyst, which features Wax, Aaron Feldman and David Sackler, also performed. Each performer played on the museum’s historic Bluthner piano.   

Pianist, author and actress Mona Golabek was featured in the program. Her mother, Lisa Jura, a piano prodigy who was saved from the Holocaust by the Kindertransport, is the subject of Golabek’s book “The Children of Willesden Lane,” which inspired the one-woman show starring Golabek, “The Pianist of Willesden Lane.”

De Beus and Alexander represented the museum as LAMOTH Ambassadors of Music and Memory during the Los Angeles Unified School District citywide reading of “The Children of Willesden Lane,” which took place at Ramon C. Cortines School of Visual and Performing Arts during the week of Nov. 3. The remaining students who performed at LAMOTH were recognized as Stewards of Memory and Music. 

Los Angeles based-pianist Tali Tadmor serves as program director of the LAMOTH Musical Ambassador program, which “is an opportunity for teenage students to learn about and advance the mission of Holocaust education and commemoration through music,” a press release said. 

The initiative was open to all California middle school and high school students, who were required to audition, complete essay questions, turn in recommendations from their respective music teachers and more. 

Habonim Dror Camp Gilboa board president Elizabeth Bar-El and philanthropist Harold Grinspoon. Photo by Shana Sureck

Habonim Dror Camp Gilboa board president Elizabeth Bar-El has been honored with the Harold Grinspoon Foundation’s JCamp180 Outstanding Board Leadership Award. She received the award during the organization’s annual conference in Springfield, Mass., on Nov. 2.

Habonim Dror Camp Gilboa, a Southern California-based summer camp, is a program of the international kibbutz-style labor Zionist youth movement, Habonim Dror (the Builders of Freedom). The international organization runs seven machanot (summer camps) across the United States and Canada, including Gilboa, its local camp. It also has an Israel summer program, a gap-year program in Israel and year-long work activities in North America.

Bar-El, a Habonim camper in the late 1970s, has served as Gilboa’s president since 2009. She helped oversee the camp’s purchase of a new home in Big Bear, Calif., in 2011, among other accomplishments.

JCamp180 is a program of the Massachusetts-based, grant-making Harold Grinspoon Foundation and honors those who have “shown consistent leadership … and made an important and ongoing impact on a Jewish summer camp’s long-term vitality and sustainability,” a press release said.

Israel’s Consul General in Los Angeles David Siegel and his wife, Myra Clark-Siegel. Photo by Rebecca Weiner

The second annual Fiesta Shalom at Sea — a Nov. 23 event to celebrate Israel across diverse Los Angeles communities  — started off with a cocktail reception on the FantaSea yacht. That’s where 200-plus attendees, including elected officials, community leaders and various other supporters of Israel, mingled and took photos with Israel’s Consul General in Los Angeles David Siegel and his wife, Myra Clark-Siegel

As the yacht went around Marina del Rey, attendees were treated to a program full of speakers emphasizing the importance of working across communities to solve problems, especially those in Israel. Bishop Kenneth Ulmer of Faithful Central Bible Church in Inglewood and American Jewish Committee-Los Angeles’ Rabbi Mark Diamond each led prayers to kick off the program that featured remarks by Siegel, Moctesuma Esparza and Hyepin Im. Both Esparza and Im, activists and leaders of Latino and Korean communities, respectively, reinforced the need to build bridges of understanding within communities in L.A. and those in Israel.  

Siegel talked about the strong bonds between Israel and North America. He presented the Theodor Herzl Award for Visionary Leadership to Assembly Speaker Emeritus John Perez and to Zev Yaroslavsky, who recently ended his run as county supervisor. Perez, who has worked in immigration legislation, praised Israel’s dedication to tolerance and community. Yaroslavsky, an activist on behalf of Soviet Jewry, spoke about the endurance of Jewish people through hope. 

Marina Rozhansky, director of media and communications for the consul general’s office, said, “Fiesta Shalom creates an environment in which we can open our worlds and our hearts to each other; where we can talk about our shared experiences and bonds and the values that knit our communities together into a beautiful mosaic.”

The event, which included a band playing popular Latin music, was hosted by the consul general, along with the office of L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti

— Rebecca Weiner, Contributing Writer

From left: The Rev. Ramon G. Valera, Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church; The Rev. David Loftus, Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church; Cantor Daniel Friedman and Rabbi Ahud Sela, Temple Ramat Zion; and The Rev. Steve Petty, Northridge United Methodist Church. Photo by Michael Guttman Photography

Approximately 500 community members gathered at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Northridge on Nov. 24 for an annual interfaith Thanksgiving event.

Participants from the local Jewish community included Rabbi Ahud Sela and Cantor Daniel Friedman of Temple Ramat Zion, a Conservative synagogue in Northridge. The Rev. David Loftus of Our Lady of Lourdes was among the other attendees.

The event featured singing, sermons and more. A choir of more than 100 singers from Temple Ramat Zion, United Methodist Church of Northridge and Our Lady of Lourdes performed.

Meet Each Need With Dignity (MEND), an anti-poverty nonprofit, collected nonperishable food items, and the Rev. Steve Petty of Northridge United Methodist Church spotlighted recent events in Ferguson, Mo. — riots followed a grand jury’s decision not to indict a white police officer in the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teen — as an “example of why we need to pull together,” Temple Ramat Zion spokesperson Michelle Nachum told the Journal in an email. Members of the Islamic Center of Northridge attended the event, as well. 

“Temple Ramat Zion is honored to once again represent the Judaic tradition at this unique observance, to share our wisdom with other faiths and appreciate the beauty of their beliefs,” Sela said, as quoted by a press release. “The holiday season is an ideal time to reach out to our Valley neighbors and explore what makes us all one people, all one nation, and all one community. Around the world, far too much attention is paid to our differences, when we should be honoring our similarities.”

Moving and Shaking highlights events, honors and simchas. Got a tip? Email ryant@jewishjournal.com.