BJE Gala Honorees Help Raise Funds for BJE’s Teen Experiential Learning
On January 12, a sold-out crowd gathered at Sinai Temple for BJE’s annual gala, honoring four exceptional builders of Jewish education – Cheryl Weisberg Davidson, Marlynn and Rabbi Elliot Dorff, and Craig Rutenberg. Attendees, from across the Los Angeles area, represented a broad spectrum of Jewish life. The event helped raise funds to support BJE and its teen experiential programs which engage youth in action and reflection based on Jewish values of helping those in need.
Among the highlights of the evening was a presentation by Ayla Kattler, a participant in BJE’s Teen Service Corps, a summer program of community service framed by Jewish values. Speaking of her Teen Corps experience Ayla said, “This program has helped me and so many other teens cement our Jewish identities in experiences and values.” It was announced that an anonymous donor has endowed an annual day of BJE Teen Service Corps in memory of Barbara Yaroslavsky, a long-time director of the BJE board who embodied a commitment to Jewish education and service to others. The day will be devoted to addressing the issue of hunger.
“The focus of this year’s Gala was on experiential education, and was truly reflected in our honorees,” said Miriam Prum Hess, BJE director of donor and community relations. “In addition to demonstrating a profound commitment to Jewish education generally, each of them is meaningfully engaged in supporting and advocating for experiential education for Jewish teens.”
The BJE Gala was co-chaired by Maggie Howard, Brian Kaplan and Susan Jacoby Stern.