Haim Saban and Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson have joined Jack and Gitta Nagel and Israel Consul General in Los Angeles David Siegel as Honorary Chairs for the September 15 Gala Event honoring former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. Event Chairs are Honey Kessler Amado, Mannon Kaplan, Marvin Markowitz, Dr. and Mrs. Jack Matloff, Dr. Larry Platt and Sam Yebri.
Mayor Villaraigosa is being honored for his friendship and support of the Los Angeles Jewish community and the State of Israel. The Mayor, who has visited Israel four times and been a steadfast friend and supporter of Israel, included a tour of Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem on his latest visit in June 2014.

The event, which will be held at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles, will include the presentation of the Inaugural NexGen Award to Stephen Matloff, an update on the Hospital by Professor Yonatan Halevy, MD, Director General of Shaare Zedek, remarks by Rabbi David Wolpe and Consul General David Siegel, Ilana Melmed’s “Whatever I Want to Be” and “Prayer for the State of Israel” by Cantors Marcus Feldman and Netanel Baram. David Suissa will serve as Master of Ceremonies.

Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa visited Israel in June 2014, accompanied by his companion Kimberly Honig, Western Region Advisory Council Member Sam Yebri and Western Region Director Paul Jeser., Western Region Director, who served as guide for the group.

The mayor attended and spoke at the annual Herzliya Conference, where he gave a presentation on Affordable Housing and was also was invited to the “Hollander Table,” a private, small by-invitation group hosted by Yossie Hollander, Chair of the Israel Institute for Economic Planning. Shaare Zedek Deputy Director-General Dr. Ofer Merin, Shaare Zedek Deputy Director General, also arranged for the group to visit an IDF Medical Training Base. and Then the Mayor also had a one hour meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu, during which they discussed Iraq, Iran’s nuclear program, domestic American and Israeli politics, as well as history, philosophy and literature.

However, visiting Shaare Zedek Medical Center was truly a highlight of his trip. The mayor was deeply impressed, not only with the level of medical care at the Hospital, but how Shaare Zedek is one big family, with people of all religions and cultures receiving treatment and working together. He commented that he could not comprehend why Israel’s neighbors could not understand what a model society it is, one to me emanated and not attacked.
Mayor Villaraigosa met many of Shaare Zedek’s outstanding staff, including Prof. Jonathan Halevy, Dr. Ofer Merin, Prof. Francis Mimouni, Prof. Michael Schimmel, Dr. Matti Erlichman, Dr. Yaakov Klein, and Naomi Tzioni, RD.

“Shaare Zedek is a reaffirmation of why I am so supportive of Israel,” observed Mayor Villaraigosa. “This is a Hospital that serves humankind and this is a perfect example of what distinguishes Israel from the rest of the world.”