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News & Jews- April

We Can Fight Jew Hatred By Celebrating Our People’s Stunning Story, Says Former Envoy

  Jewish National Fund-USA partner (donor) Al Rudis, addressed guests at the organization’s Annual Legacy Luncheon with two words: “thank you,” in recognition of the community’s support for the land and people of Israel.
   Orange County philanthropists attended the March 1 event sponsored by Hillside Memorial Park and Mortuary at the Avenue of the Arts Hotel, where keynote speaker former United States Special Envoy for Combating Antisemitism, Elan S. Carr, shared his determination to fight Jew-hatred.
    Lamenting the current state of world affairs, Carr asked the audience rhetorically: “who would have imagined less than eight decades since the end of the most notorious crime ever committed in the history of the world, that took [the lives of] two thirds of European Jews, that antisemitism would be rising even in Europe, and yes, even here…in the United States.”

Al and Ruth Rudis

    Yet, Carr remained optimistic, saying: “when you’re confronting something like Jew-hatred, you have to defend…yet [you also have to play] offense…and you do that by proactively, affirmatively driving a philosemitic narrative that brings an understanding of…the breathtaking stunning story of the Jewish People…and the values of Judaism that have transformed civilization. We could not explain the existence of the United States without those values.”

George and Roberta Abramson

Guests were also inspired by recent Alexander Muss High School in Israel alum, Ron Benezri, who painted a vignette of his time on campus. “I can’t fully express how amazing my experience was at Muss,” said Benezri. “During my semester abroad, I was given a lot of independence and had to solve challenges on my own. What makes this program so unique is that we would take a history class in the morning and then travel to where it actually happened in the afternoon. The program dramatically impacted my life in a very short amount of time and makes me want to get more involved.”

Jerome and Ilene Schur

  Jewish National Fund-USA’s Director of Planned Giving, West Coast, Cynthia Hizami, Esq., also addressed the audience, where she shared the many ways supporters of Israel can achieve their philanthropic goals while taking advantage of existing U.S. tax laws. Hizami spoke about the effectiveness of Charitable Gift Annuities where individuals can receive a fixed income as high as 9.7%. She also discussed savvy ways people are utilizing Donor Advised Funds, IRAs, as well as traditional bequests.
    Hizami lauded the work of the Jewish Future Pledge, an initiative that asks people who are leaving money to charity in their will to designate at least half of those dollars towards Jewish and Israel related causes. “I believe the true purpose of Jewish Future Pledge is not just to collect signatures, but to ask people to think about where their legacy dollars are going,” said Hizami. “We as Jews should think about how we want to make this world a better place, especially in light of all that is going on in our world today.”
    To learn more about the many meaningful ways you can leave a legacy for Israel, contact Cynthia Hizami, Esq. at chizami@jnf.org or call (888) 563-2008. For more information, visit jnflegacy.org.  


Elegant Evening

ATID Hadassah fundraiser pays for medical equipment

By Ilene Schneider

   On May 4, at 5:30 P.M., Lugano Diamonds in Newport Beach will sponsor a fabulous cocktail party to support Hadassah’s extraordinary work on behalf of ATID Hadassah Group of Long Beach/Orange County. Attendees will enjoy elegant hors d’oeuvres, beautiful music, champagne and wine while viewing Lugano’s lovely jewelry. At the event, there will be an opportunity drawing to win a fabulous pair of diamond earrings valued at $8,500.
    Hadassah’s work on behalf of health care for all in the Middle East and its youth villages in Israel now serving many children from Ukraine as well are well known. ATID Hadassah’s goal is to raise $50,000 to provide much-needed medical equipment for Hadassah Hospital’s Hematology Department in Jerusalem.
    Because of space limitations in the Lugano facility (Lugano Diamonds, 545 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach—Fashion Island, next to R+D Kitchen Restaurant), this event is open to the first 70 people whose paid reservations are received no later than April 4. For details and to make a reservation, reply to hadassahatid@gmail.com.  

Prime Ministers in Perspective

Gavin Rain,
Jerusalem Biennale Gallery

    In a global premiere, a unique private collection of pointillism art (circles of color that form an image when viewed from afar) portraying Israel’s first twelve prime ministers will be displayed to the public in honor of Israel’s 75th Independence Day. The initiative of ex-South African Israeli Myron Zaidel, the collection entitled Prime Ministers in Perspective was created by one of the world’s leading pointillism artists, South African Gavin Rain. It will be displayed for the first time to the public in a two-week exhibition within the framework of the Jerusalem Biennale, in the central space of the historic Sha’arei Tzedek Hospital, from April 24 – May 7. On Israel’s Independence Day itself (April 26).
    Rain’s portraits of Israel’s prime ministers, which are comprised of multi-layered and multi-colored concentric circles on a white canvas, can only be appreciated when the viewer steps back. “Art is about creating a visual narrative” notes Rain, who combines his love of art and mathematics into his own neo-pointillist technique. “It is a metaphor for life—we should all step back to see the bigger picture, the people that help, guide and shape us.”
    The collection, which was commissioned by Myron Zaidel in 2019 in advance of his aliyah, took a year to complete, as both artist and collector worked together to research the twelve prime ministers.
    “My objective was to create something of value, that was unique and transportable, in the international language of art.” explains Zaidel. “As a Zionist, I wanted to take a period of Israel’s history, to focus on Israel’s first twelve prime ministers up to the end of 2020. The art form itself was appealing to me—you can look at the picture many ways and if you look at it the right way, you see the full picture.”
    Rami Ozeri, founder and creative director of the Jerusalem Biennale: “As part of Israel’s 75th anniversary celebrations and in times of dispute and polarization, we are honored to exhibit this exquisite series of portraits in the Biennale Gallery. 12 prime ministers, 12 superb characters, 12 leaders of the State of Israel, each of them with their own unique identity. When taken together, they tell the collective story of a nation born. The pointillist technique, developed and used by the artist Gavin Rain, sheds new light on these important figures and expresses the relation between their complete image and the countless components that create it.”
The exhibition places the spotlight on the twelve personalities in Israel’s 75-year history who have shaped the country up to 2020 – David Ben Gurion (1948-1954; 1955 – 1963), Moshe Sharett (1954 – 1955), Levi Eshkol (1963 – 1969), Golda Meir (1969 – 1974), Yitzhak Rabin, (1974 – 1977; 1992 – 1995), Menachem Begin (1977 – 1983), Yitzhak Shamir (1983 – 1984; 1986 – 1992), Shimon Peres (1984 – 1986; 1995 – 1996), Ehud Barak (1999 – 2001), Ariel Sharon (2001 – 2006), Ehud Olmert (2006 – 2009) and Benjamin Netanyahu (1996 – 1999; 2009 – 2021).
    All portraits are acrylic on canvas, one meter square, except for Ben Gurion, which is 1.8m x 1.2 m to accommodate his iconic hairline.
    Rain’s unique painting technique, which he continues to develop after years of experimentation, involves deconstructing an image into its simplest parts, a set of dots. He creates a grid of blocks, determines tone with a numerical rating depending on how light or dark it is, converts each number into a circle, plots the color application, creates a stencil with string, and only then begins to paint. “Most of my art is in the preparation. The decisions I make before I even go near a paintbrush.”
    A 50-page coffee table book, with text in English, Hebrew and French, was created to accompany the exhibition and to make the collection more accessible. The portraits are not for sale, and it is hoped that the exhibition will travel to other cities around the world, eventually finding a permanent home in a leading Israeli cultural institution. The exhibition is supported by the Department of Culture and Arts of the Jerusalem Municipality.
   For more information please visit https://jerusalembiennale.org/. 

In Memoriam
Rochelle Smola Gelman

Baruch Dayan HaEmet
Blessed is the name of the G-d of Truth
Rochelle Smola Gelman
Rachel bat Gedalya v’Nechama
passed away on March 24, 2023 at the age of 98
Wife of Irving “Papa” Gelman Z”L
Mother of Naomi Weiss Z”L and Rabbi Cantor Glenn Gelman Z”L
Mother-In-Law of Lou Weiss (and Linda)
Grandmother of:
Elan (Lonny) Weiss (and Allison), Rebecca Duel (and Manny Ruvalcaba), Leora (and Adam) Robles, Elana (and Anthony) Roumell, Lavy Weiss, Lyla Weiss (and Alex Bader), L Jacob Weiss and multiple Great Grandchildren
Contributions can be made to:
Rochelle Gelman Tribute Fund at Tarbut v’Torah
(funds will go to financial aid) and the
Jewish Community Foundation of Orange County for the Gelman Philanthropic Fund. For more information please call (949) 435-3490. 


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