More than 1, 100 prominent Israeli-American community supporters and philanthropists from across the country raised $23.4 million at the Israeli-American Council (IAC)’S Seventh Annual Gala March 8 in Los Angeles.
The gala, at the historic Beverly Hilton Hotel, marked the Israeli-American community’s achievements over the past year. The funds will go toward IAC programs that strengthen the Israeli-American community nationwide, which is estimated at 600, 000 members. The funds will also help complete the purchase of a building and campus in the San Fernando Valley for a future Israeli-American Community Center, to serve the Greater L.A. area.
Evenhaim said the new Israeli-American Center will serve to further unite the community and the large array of activities the organization offers Israeli-Americans and American Jews of all ages. One of the Gala’s goals was to raise a portion of the $10 million necessary to complete the purchase of the property – and that goal was more than surpassed, Evenhaim said.
“The incredible outpouring of support at the gala underscores that Israeli Americans are highly focused on building our community for the future, ” said IAC National Chairman Shawn Evenhaim.
Among the leading IAC guests was Israel’s Consul-General in L.A., David Siegel, who lauded the organization’s work. “The IAC is the glue that keeps the Israeli-American community connected to the State of Israel, ” Siegel said.
IAC’s sold-out Los Angeles gala honored Roz and Jerry Rothstein, co-founders of StandWithUs, the international pro-Israel education and advocacy organization, and Stanley Black, this year’s lifetime achievement award recipient. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Black is the chairman and founder of Black Equities Group, a real estate investment company, and is among L.A.’s leading philanthropists.
“There is something we can learn from our enemies — they are unified. We need to be much more unified. We should not focus on the 20 percent we don’t agree on, we need to focus on the 80 percent that we all agree on, ” said Rothstein.
Speakers at the event included Gala Co-Chairs Ruth Davidov and Orly Maciborski, veteran L.A. community leaders and IAC supporters; IAC Los Angeles Regional Council Chairwoman Miri Shepher, one of L.A.’s most active communal leaders and philanthropists; and Evenhaim, who has been active in the real estate and building industries since 1989 and is a member of the National Association of Home Builders and the Building Industry Association of Southern California.
One of New York’s top comedians, Israeli-American Modi Rosenfeld, hosted the gala, while Israeli classic rock superstars Danny, Gidi & Friends performed. A pre-gala VIP event featured a Q&A session with the Israeli rock stars.