November 17, 2018

Moving and shaking: Joseph Lieberman honored, Shalom Institute gala and 3G at LAMOTH

Former U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman was the honored guest at the Jan. 4 panel discussion “Setting Educational Policy for the 21st Century” at Young Israel of North Beverly Hills. Organized by Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy and moderated by Museum of Tolerance Director Liebe Geft, the event brought together more than 50 politicians, educators and clergy from across the Southland to discuss the present state and future of public and private education.

“Our interest in education should find its origin in our religious and patriotic obligations,” declared Lieberman, the former Democratic senator and vice presidential candidate from Connecticut, in his own introduction. Of his fellow participants, Lieberman asked, “How do we make all lives matter — in our schools, in our community and in our society?” 

Over 1 1/2 hours, participants provided their thoughts on teacher training, literacy rates, religious education, education reform, underprivileged schools, the difficulties faced by minority students and numerous other subjects. Although there was little consensus with regard to solutions, everyone in the room agreed that the issues facing education, public and private, are unprecedented and mounting.  

“We are not fulfilling our obligation to our children today,” Lieberman said. 

Additional attendees included Los Angeles City Councilmembers Bob Blumenfield and Herb Wesson Jr., Los Angeles Unified School District board member Steve Zimmer, Green Dot Public School founder Steve Barr, former state Assembly Speaker John Perez, Los Angeles City Controller Ron Galperin, Rabbi Pini Dunner of Young Israel of North Beverly Hills and Rabbi Y. Boruch Sufrin of Harkham Hillel.

— Aron Chilewich, Staff Writer

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Pacific Southwest Region’s annual gala, which supports the organization’s mission to combat anti-Semitism and bigotry, raised more than $1.1 million this year.

From left: ADL honoree Dean Marks, ADL regional director Amanda Susskind, honoree Dominic Ng, actress Joely Fisher and ADL regional board chair Eric Kingsley. Photo by Michael Kovac

The Dec. 9 evening at the Beverly Hilton hotel honored Dean Marks, Motion Picture Association of America executive vice president, deputy general counsel and chief of global content protection; and Dominic Ng, East West Bank chairman and CEO.

“The mission of ADL resonates with me because I was fortunate to have been raised with values of empathy and tolerance,” Marks said, as quoted in an ADL press release. He was presented with the Jurisprudence Award by John Rogovin, executive vice president and general counsel at Warner Bros., where Marks had previously served as senior vice president for intellectual property.

Meanwhile, Anthony N. Pritzker, managing partner at Pritzker Group, presented the Humanitarian Award to Ng, who compared the ADL mission to that of East West Bank.

“We have common goals … constructive dialogue, education and advocacy,” Ng said.

Ng and Marks “were honored for excellence in their professional fields, leadership in the community and their philanthropic endeavors,” according to the ADL release.

An Afghan-Muslim teenager named Duniya, who is currently studying in Los Angeles and was a recent participant in ADL’s Holocaust education program, the National Youth Leadership Mission, was a guest speaker.

Other remarks at the event — whose theme was “ADL: Now More than Ever” — were delivered by Bill Lewis, assistant director in charge at FBI-Los Angeles; Rialto Middle School Principal Rhea McIver Gibbs; and recent Occidental College graduate Hannah Mandel, who lauded ADL efforts in combating campus anti-Semitic acts.

Actress Joely Fisher served as master of ceremonies, and Reverse Osmosis, a USC a cappella group, performed.

Honorary dinner co-chairs were Peggy and Andrew Cherng, William J. McMorrow, and Wendy and Barry Meyer. Dinner co-chairs were Ivy Kagan Bierman, and Harriet and Steven Nichols.

The Shalom Institute — the Malibu home of Camp JCA Shalom and an experiential retreat — honored Ari Moss, Elisa Becker and Jackie Pepper during its 2014 gala on Dec. 6 at the W Hollywood hotel.

From left: Shalom Institute 2014 gala honorees Jackie Pepper, Ari Moss and Elisa Becker. Photo by Kim Silverstein/Silverlinings Photography

During last month’s event, Moss, a member of the Shalom Institute board of directors and a Camp JCA Shalom alumnus, received the David and Rae Finegood Leadership Award. Becker, associate director at the institute and day-camp director, was honored with the Herr Zakh Tsu (Yiddish for “listen up”) Award for exceptional staff contributions. And Pepper, who has spent 17 years at JCA Shalom as a camper, counselor and Shalom Institute staffer, received the Emerging Young Leader Award.

The event, which drew nearly 300 attendees, raised more than $100,000 to support Shalom Institute program enhancements, Camp JCA Shalom camper scholarships and facility improvements. 

Shalom Institute Executive Director Bill Kaplan was among those who attended, as was board president Andrea Spatz, board member Dennis Moss, and board members emeritus Rae Finegood and Art Friedman. The gala chair was Jodi Moss

A new program housed at the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust (LAMOTH) that was founded by grandchildren of Holocaust survivors hosted a private screening of the film “Unbroken” on Dec. 16, the first night of Chanukah, at the ICM Partners’ screening room. 

Galit Prince, 3G at LAMOTH executive board member (right) with her grandmother, Ester Tepper. Photo by Gina Cholick

More than 100 members of the community attended the inaugural event for 3G at LAMOTH, which is dedicated to preserving the legacies of grandparent survivors through education and remembrance. This screening was designed to introduce 3G at LAMOTH to the community and set a precedent for more events aimed at examining the stories of the Holocaust. 

The movie, directed by Angelina Jolie, is based on the true story of Olympian Louis “Louie” Zamperini’s experience as a prisoner of war in the Pacific Theater during World War II. Following the screening, Jon Hutman, the film’s production designer, led a Q-and-A with the audience and spoke about Zamperini’s grandson’s direct involvement with the production of the film. He also discussed the role of a production designer in capturing the emotion and experience of the characters within a story. 

Caitlin Kress, co-chair of the 3G at LAMOTH executive board, which sponsored the event, expressed how films like “Unbroken” are important to the mission of 3G — recording and sharing the stories of elders. 

“Our 3G at LAMOTH is very much centered on the importance of storytelling. Not just as interesting information or entertainment, but as a tool of forming identity, fostering memory, delivering wisdom and connecting the past to the present,” she wrote in a thank-you note to Hutman.

Other members of the 3G executive board were also in attendance at the event, including Jon Steingold, Becca Katz, Galit Prince, Guy Lipa, Rachel Hamburg, Samira Miller and Jordanna Gessler. LAMOTH Executive Director Samara Hutman was there was well.

The next event, “A Night of History and Humanity,” will take place at LAMOTH on Feb. 5. 

— Rebecca Weiner, Contributing Writer

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