December 10, 2019

Moving and shaking: Duo Re’im, Steve Greenberg wins, BJE Gala and more

Israeli folk music veterans Duo Re’im (“Re’im” is Hebrew for “friends”), featuring Benny Rosenbaum and Yisrael Gottesdiener, appeared live at Beth Jacob Congregation during “From Israel with Love.”

The Jan. 10 event was the third annual concert at the Modern Orthodox congregation under the leadership of Beth Jacob Congregation Chazzan Arik Wollheim. The goal of the event is to “bring Judaism to life through music,” according to Beth Jacob Congregation spokesperson Niva Taylor.

Six hundred people turned out, with additional performers that included Wollheim as well as the Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy Choir under the leadership of its music director, Tomer Adaddi.

Apparently, Duo Re’im stole the show, with the twosome performing “well-known favorites like ‘Al Kol Eleh’ and ‘Yerushalayim Shel Zehav,’ making for an unforgettable evening,” Taylor said.

Longtime Beth Jacob Congregation member Alice Schoenfeld sponsored the gathering.

A Jan. 14 Builders of Jewish Education (BJE) gala at Sinai Temple honored the Simha and Sara Lainer Family Foundation, which awards scholarships to Jewish day schools of all denominations across Los Angeles and provides matching grants to schools that are building endowments.

Mark, Luis and Nahum Lainer, sons of the late Simha and Sara Lainer, hold up a photograph of their parents. Photo courtesy of Builders of Jewish Education

More than 400 attendees turned out for an evening that raised approximately $400,000, according to Leeba Morse, campaign associate of donor and community relations at BJE, an umbrella organization for Jewish day school life in Los Angeles. 

Attendees included Mark, Luis and Nahum Lainer, sons of the late Simha and Sara Lainer.

The event also recognized de Toledo High School, Milken Community Schools, Shalhevet High School and YULA Boys and YULA Girls high schools for “raising $17 million in endowments,” according to Morse.

The 2015 United Nations Ranan/Lurie Political Cartoon Awards have named Jewish Journal editorial cartoonist Steve Greenberg a winner of their “Citation of Excellence” for his April 10 Jewish Journal cartoon, “The Nuclear Agreement.”

Jewish Journal editorial cartoonist Steve Greenberg, a 2015 United Nations Ranan/Lurie Political Cartoon Awards winner. Photo courtesy of Steve Greenberg

Commenting on the recent Iranian nuclear agreement between Iran and Western powers, the cartoon features a handshake between “The West” and “Iran.” “The West” hand has its fingers crossed and the “Iran” hand also has its fingers crossed with the crossed fingers appearing as nuclear missiles. 

Greenberg draws a weekly cartoon for the Jewish Journal op-ed pages titled “Greenberg’s View.” 

The Jan. 10 World Congress of GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender) Jews and Jerusalem Open House for Pride and Tolerance (JOH) “An Evening of Art” fundraiser at a Hollywood Hills home drew approximately 45 attendees, according to Frank Giaoui, president of the World Congress of GLBT Jews.

Speakers included Giaoui, who emphasized some of the challenges facing the GLBT community worldwide before spotlighting the stabbing attack at the gay pride parade in Jerusalem last summer. Giaoui provided his remarks to the Journal following the event.

The evening treated “VIP donors” to a guided tour of the Hollywood sign, according to a World Congress of GLBT email. Additionally, an art sale was held, raising funds for both the World Congress of GLBT Jews and JOH. 

“The event was very successful and exceeded our expectations,” said Giaoui, who declined to disclose the amount of funds raised.

Attendees included Rabbi Lisa Edwards of Beth Chayim Chadashim, which co-sponsored the event; Rabbi Laura Geller of Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills; Asher Gellis, executive director and co-founder of JQ International; and Tami Miller, development director at JQ International, Giaoui said.

The World Congress of GLBT Jews aims to be a world voice for GLBT Jewry, with chapters in Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, France, Israel, Mexico, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States.

JOH is a self-described “leading organization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people and their allies in the heart of Jerusalem.”

Eitan Okun, director of the Paul E. Feder Alzheimer’s Research Laboratory at the Gonda Brain Research Center at Bar-Ilan University in Israel, visited Cedars-Sinai Medical Center on Dec. 7. There he met with Cedars-Sinai Medical Center neurosurgeon Dr. Adam Mamelak and Ueli Rutishauser, assistant professor of neurosurgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

From left: Eitan Okun, director of the Paul E. Feder Alzheimer's Research Lab at the Gonda Brain Research Center at Bar-Ilan University in Israel, and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center neurosurgeon Dr. Adam Mamelak. Photo courtesy of American Friends of Bar-Ilan University

His trip also included a visit to the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA the next day, where he met with Varghese John, who leads a drug discovery and translational laboratory in the Department of Neurology; Gal Bitan, an associate professor in the neurology department, and Kathy Shenassa, scientific program coordinator at the UCLA Center for the Study of Parkinson’s Disease.

Okun’s focus is on developing a vaccine for Alzheimer’s, according to Ron Solomon, executive regional director of American Friends of Bar-Ilan University, the United States-based fundraising arm of the university. Okun, who works in a lab with mice, benefits from consulting with doctors in Los Angeles who are working with human patients, Solomon said.

Moving and Shaking highlights events, honors and simchas. Got a tip? Email