News

15-Year Anniversary of Ezra Center

Nationally known for his “Kaddish for September 11th” prayer composed in 2002 on the first anniversary of the terrorist attacks on America, Rabbi Kenneth Milhander will be the keynote speaker at Ezra Center’s 15th anniversary brunch at 11 a.m. at the Marriott Suites on Harbor and Chapman on Sunday, January 23, 2011. His topic will be “Judaism in 2030.”

Since 2001 Rabbi Milhander has been the spiritual leader of Temple Beth Tikvah in Fullerton.  His prayer for September 11 has been used by congregations and communities across the country. He has written several articles that have appeared in national Jewish magazines. Rabbi Milhander is past president of the Fullerton Interfaith Ministerial Association and currently serves as its secretary/treasurer. He is associate chaplain of the OC Fire Authority.

The Ezra Center provides a variety of activities for mature adults in North Orange County, including a kosher nutrition program, health assessment, and programs that are recreational, social, and educational.  These programs are held at Temple Beth Tikvah and Temple Beth Emet.

For reservations to the brunch, contact Margalit at (714) 776-1103.

Z.O.A. Chapter in O.C.

Paul Schnee, Executive Director, Western Region of the Zionist Organization of America, and Jacob Dayan, Consul-General of Israel in Los Angeles, addressed the general meeting of the Orange County Chapter of the Z.O.A. at Temple Bat Yahm in Newport Beach on November 1.

Schnee reviewed the role of the Z.O.A. as an advocate for Israel and for Jewish causes in the U.S.  According to Schnee, Israel is being demonized worldwide by servile media supporting Islamic goals and faces tensions with the first hostile American administration in its history. Here in the U.S. Israel and Jews are also encountering rising hostility orchestrated by Islamist and media agents.  Z.O.A. is involved in countering both of these dangerous trends. The recent efforts to curb Islamist activity by the Muslim Student Union at U.C. Irvine is an example of such work.

On the international level, the rising threat of a nuclear-armed Iran, which “should scare all civilized nations,” is being generally tolerated by the international community, which concentrates its efforts on condemnation of Israel, Schnee said. As he concluded, the world appears to have “an infinite tolerance for evil.”

Dayan described the current world situation as a confrontation with Islamic fundamentalism, where unconventional military tactics, propaganda, and “culture war” elements are blended. Iran is the principal national state source of conflict and is the primary threat to the U.S. position in the Middle East. If Iran succeeds in its nuclear arms program, American influence in the area will collapse, according to the consul general.  Despite the strains in political U.S./Israel relations, military and economic ties between the nations continue to grow stronger than ever.  Even on the political front, President Obama has forged a coalition of nations, including China and Russia, which may serve to thwart Iran’s nuclear arms ambitions, he concluded.

California Teens Eligible for $36,000 Community Service Award

For the fifth consecutive year, the Helen Diller Family Foundation wants to reward California’s most philanthropically minded young Jewish teens with a significant financial recognition of their commitment to social action.  Five California teens will be named recipients of the 2011 Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Award, and each will receive an honorarium of $36,000.

Tikkun olam is a Hebrew phrase that literally means “repair the world.”  The Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Award was established by Bay Area philanthropist Helen Diller, to help identify, reward, and encourage the next generation of Jewish leaders, and to encourage them to follow their visions for improving the world around them and giving back to their communities.  The award is funded by the Helen Diller Family Foundation, a supporting foundation of the Jewish Community Endowment Fund of the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin, and Sonoma Counties (SFJCF).

Teens can be nominated by teachers, community leaders, rabbis, or anyone who knows the value of their volunteer service and commitment, except family members.  They can also nominate themselves.  Each candidate must be a California resident aged 13 to 19 at the time of nomination.  Nominees must self-identify as Jewish, though community service projects can benefit the general community and the world at large.

Complete the simple online nomination form at http://www.jewishfed.org/diller/teenawards/. For further information: http://www.sfjcf.org/diller; (415) 512-6432; dillerteens@sfjcf.org.

Nominations must be submitted by December 17.  Representatives from the Helen Diller Family Foundation and SFJCF are available to talk about why the awards are so important today, the exciting achievements of past recipients, how the awards are determined and the cultural significance of $36,000.  Videos, photos, and interviews featuring past recipients who have made significant impact in their communities and throughout the world are available on request.

ADL Honors Lawyers

John Hurlbut, partner, Rutan & Tucker LLP; Phillip Kaplan, partner, O’Melveny & Meyers LLP; and Karla Kraft, partner, Hodel Briggs Winter LLP were honored at the Anti-Defamation League’s Jurisprudence Awards Dinner, on Wednesday, November 10, at the Island Hotel in Newport Beach.

The Jurisprudence Award is given in memory of Supreme Court Justice Marcus M. Kaufman for his exceptional work and commitment to the legal community and to the Orange County Judiciary.   Since 1993, the ADL has bestowed this award on attorneys who make outstanding contributions to the legal profession and to the community.  These attorneys further the League’s mission to ensure that justice is available for everyone.

This year’s honorees are recognized leaders within the legal community because of their exemplary contributions.   “The three honorees, John, Phillip, and Karla are true leaders in the legal community.  They have had tremendous accomplishments, exemplifying the ADL mission through their professional achievements and personal commitments to our community;” said Marc Schneider, ADL’s chair for the Orange County/Long Beach region.

The Jurisprudence Dinner committee is made up of individuals who represent the legal, business, and political communities in Orange County and Long Beach. This year’s honorary chairs are Erwin Chemerinsky, dean, University of California, Irvine School of Law, and Honorable Sheila Prell Sonenshine (Ret.). The dinner is being chaired by Don Morrow, Paul Hastings LLP; Mike Rubin, Rutan & Tucker; Brett Williamson, O’Melveny & Myers LLP; Martha Gooding, Howrey LLP; and Matthew A. Hodel, Hodel Briggs Winter LLP.

The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is a civil rights organization dedicated to fighting anti-Semitism, racism, prejudice, bigotry, defending democratic ideals and safeguarding civil rights for all.  For more information please contact the ADL office at (714) 953-2860 or KOGrady@adl.org.

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