'The Glue Connecting Israeli-Americans to Israel'

IAC Annual Gala raises $23.4 for programs and center meant to strengthen Israeli community in LA, ties to Israel.

Uzi Baruch ,

ערב הגאלה
ערב הגאלה
צילום: Rani Sikolski

A whopping $23.4 million were raised for Israeli-American Council's (IAC) programs for the Israeli-American community throughout the US, in the organization's Seventh Annual Gala last Sunday in Los Angeles.

Over 1,100 prominent members of the Israeli-American community took part in the event at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, out of a total of roughly 600,000 Israelis who are estimated to be in the US.

Aside from IAC programming for the community, the funds are to help purchase a building and campus in the San Fernando Valley for an Israeli-American Community Center for the Greater L.A. area.

IAC National Chairman Shawn Evenhaim said the planned center is meant to unite the community, and that the goal of raising part of the $10 million needed to complete the purchase of the property was more than achieved.

“The incredible outpouring of support at the gala underscores that Israeli Americans are highly focused on building our community for the future,” said Evenhaim.

Israel's Consul-General in L.A., David Siegel, took part in the gala event, praising the organization for its work, saying "the IAC is the glue that keeps the Israeli-American community connected to the State of Israel."

The sold-out gala honored Roz and Jerry Rothstein, co-founders of StandWithUs, an international pro-Israel education and advocacy organization, along with 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% we don't agree on, we need to focus on the 80% that we all agree on,” said Rothstein at the event.

Speakers at the gala included co-chairs of the event Ruth Davidov and Orly Maciborski, veteran L.A. community leaders and IAC supporters, IAC Los Angeles Regional Council Chairwoman Miri Shepher, and Evenhaim, who has been active in the real estate and building industries since 1989.

The gala was hosted by one of New York’s top comedians, Israeli-American Modi Rosenfeld, while Israeli classic rock stars Danny, Gidi & Friends performed.