Los Angeles County Supervisors Sheila Kuehl and Mark Ridley-Thomas and JVS SoCal CEO Alan Levey were among the community leaders celebrating the grand opening of the West Los Angeles America’s Job Center of California (AJCC) in Culver City on Aug. 10.
Katherine Moore, senior vice president of communications at JVS SoCal, formerly known as Jewish Vocational Services, said her organization was awarded the contract to operate the center through a competitive bidding process. The center is funded by Culver City and L.A. County with money they receive from the federal government. The center will serve Culver City, Marina Del Rey, Playa Del Rey, Westchester, Ladera Heights and the West L.A. area.
The AJCC “is a one-stop shop for workforce services, providing a comprehensive range of no-cost employment and training services for employers and job seekers,” according to a press release for the event.
Additional attendees at the ribbon-cutting ceremony included Jan Perry, general manager of the Economic and Workforce Development Department for the city of Los Angeles; Cynthia Banks, director of the L.A. County Workforce Development Department, and Carolyn Anderson, regional deputy division chief of the California Employment Development Department.
Recently appointed Los Angeles Police Department Chief Michel Moore appeared at Orthodox community Congregation Bais Naftoli on Aug. 15 to discuss security concerns facing the Jewish community in Los Angeles.
Addressing about 60 people at the shul on La Brea Boulevard in the Mid-Wilshire neighborhood, Moore said religious individuals and families in the area face “unique risks” on Shabbat when they walk to synagogue.
Moore, appointed to head the police department this past June, spoke of his commitment to ensuring the safety and security of the community, adding that he also expects people to take responsibility for their own safety.
“Your safety is not my sole charge,” he said. “Your safety is our shared responsibility.”
Moore also addressed the homelessness crisis in this city, with an estimated 28,000 people living without shelter on any given night. He said the solution is not for police to arrest homeless people who may be in violation of the law but for there to be more housing.
“The solution today is not trying to enforce your way out of it,” he said.
Attendees at the event included L.A. City Councilman Paul Koretz; L.A. City Controller Ron Galperin; Bais Naftoli President Andrew Friedman; Rabbi Zvi Boyarsky, director of constitutional advocacy at the Aleph Institute; L.A. County Assessor Jeffrey Prang and Hungarian Deputy Consul General Istvan Grof.
Many of Bais Naftoli’s congregants are from Hungary.
The JVS Scholarship Program awards ceremony on July 26 celebrated the 243 Jewish students who received scholarships this year. JVS SoCal CEO Alan Levey and JVS Scholarship Committee Co-Chairman Mathew Paul opened the ceremony at Sinai Temple.
“Awarding scholarships to such accomplished students is tremendously inspiring,” Paul said. “I look forward to their future success and contributions as representatives of the JVS Scholarship Program to their schools and communities.”
The celebration enabled recipients of scholarships to recognize and thank the JVS Scholarship Program donors, who contributed some of the $744,650 raised for the needs-based scholarships for college students.
Established in 1972, the program has awarded more than $9 million to nearly 5,000 students from Los Angeles County, helping them on the path toward academic success.
The program is “the largest need-based scholarship program serving Jewish students within the Los Angeles community” stated a press release for the event.
Before selecting the scholarship recipients, the JVS Scholarship Committee interviewed more than 150 students about their involvement in community service, academic performance, financial needs and family history. Schools the recipients are attending include Harvard University, Stanford University, the Sackler Faculty of Medicine at Tel Aviv University, USC and Cal-State University, Northridge. Some of the degrees they are pursuing include medicine, law and the arts. Among the scholarship recipients are immigrants and students with learning disabilities.
The event included a performance by 2018-2019 scholarship recipient Kate Feld, a cantorial student at the Academy of Jewish Religion, California, who showed off her operatic vocals.
Another highlight was a surprise marriage proposal of a couple — scholarship alumnus Ashkan Morim to scholarship alumna Morin Zaray — who had met at the 2017 awards ceremony.
— Charlotte Kramon, Contributing Writer
Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Koretz led an Aug. 21 city council presentation in honor of the late American composer Leonard Bernstein, who would have turned 100 years old on Aug. 25.
During the presentation in the City Hall council chambers, Koretz called Bernstein “a beloved contributor to the artistic soul of Los Angeles” and the council approved a resolution declaring Aug. 25 “Leonard Bernstein Day in L.A.”
Samuel Paul, media consultant to the Leonard Bernstein Office, accepted the resolution.
Scott Goldman, artistic director at the Grammy Museum, spoke on behalf of the museum and the Skirball Cultural Center, where the two institutions’ exhibition “Leonard Bernstein at 100” is on display through Sept. 2 .
The exhibit at the Skirball is one of dozens of local programs that in the past year have been celebrating Bernstein’s centennial, including performances at the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the L.A. Opera and elsewhere.
Approximately 150 people attended the third annual Creative Community for Peace (CCFP) summer reception on July 18.
CCFP is an organization that brings together prominent entertainers to celebrate expression through art and to oppose the cultural boycott of Israel.
Held at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles in partnership with the Grammy Museum’s “Leonard Bernstein at 100” exhibit, the event featured appearances by Oscar-winning producer Howard Rosenman (“Call Me By Your Name”) and Oscar and Grammy-nominated composer Stephan Moccio.
Rosenman shared his thoughts on Bernstein’s musical legacy, and Moccio collaborated with vocalist Maty Noyes to perform fan favorites from “West Side Story.”
Rosenmen, who was a close friend of Bernstein, also praised CCFP’s work in using art to generate peace and counteract the cultural boycott of Israel.
“This work is so important because it emphasizes the bonds of creativity — and music especially demonstrates that brotherhood and unity can be achieved for all nations because music is one of the great arts that binds us all together,” he said.
David Renzer, co-founder of CCFP and chairman and CEO of Spirit Music Group, emphasized Bernstein’s support of the State of Israel. He spoke of Bernstein’s role as the conductor of the Palestine Philharmonic Orchestra, which became the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra, for 25 seasons.
— Charlotte Kramon, Contributing Writer