OU West Coast Awards Banquet June 19 at Sephardic Temple in LA

24 May 2012


The West Coast Region of the Orthodox Union will present its Annual Awards Banquet Tuesday, June 19 at the Sephardic Temple, 10500 Wilshire Boulevard, beginning at 5:45 p.m.

The Banquet will be the closing event of the year’s activities for the Region.

According to Rabbi Alan Kalinsky, West Coast Region Director, “This event annually recognizes those who have strengthened Jewish life on the West Coast through their efforts and their example, and provides us with an opportunity to pay tribute to those members of our community who have made an outstanding contribution to furthering the mission of the Orthodox Union.”

Rivka and Raphy Nissel are being honored with the Keter Shem Tov Award. Dor L’Dor honorees are Tzvika and Sarah Nissel, Chaim and Dahlia Nissel and Erez and Rikki Nissel.

“Raphy & Rivka Nissel are wonderful role models,” declared Rabbi Kalinsky. “Communal leaders who recognize how vital Jewish education is for our children, they are committed Religious Zionists who spend a large portion of the year in Israel. Their sons and daughters-in law follow in their footsteps, with their commitment to Torah, community and Israel.”

The Rabbinic Leadership Award is being presented to Rabbi Y. Boruch Sufrin, the Head of School of the Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy in Beverly Hills. “Rabbi Sufrin is a wonderful, warm, caring human being,” Rabbi Kalinsky said. “During his tenure, he has shaped a new vision for this outstanding community day school, inviting the active participation of the faculty and parent body. His true sense of community reached a pinnacle this year when he organized a community-wide Shabbat weekend with Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, Chief Rabbi of Great Britain and the Commonwealth. Rabbi Sufrin is a true friend of the Orthodox Union, supporting our mission with great enthusiasm.”

The dinner will also pay tribute to the work of Yachad-LA, headed by Mrs. Perri Tabak and assisted by Ian Lurie, for Yachad’s dedication in serving the needs of developmentally disabled teens and young adults. The event will highlight the Women’s Torah Network and its leader, Mrs. Geri Wiener, for her inspiring weekly classes in the City and Valley for the past six years.

“My thanks go to Marty Nachimson, OU National Senior Vice President; West Coast Region President Dr. Stephen Tabak; and to Rabbi Adir Posy, Assistant Director-Synagogue Services, for all they have done to make the work of the Orthodox Union on the West Coast so meaningful to so many people,” Rabbi Kalinsky said.

The banquet will also celebrate an innovative and successful season for the NCSY West Coast Region. For details on the past year, see the sidebar (below) written by Executive Director Rabbi Effie Goldberg and Regional Director, Solly Hess.

For further information on attending the banquet, which will include an International Buffet Dinner, Sushi Bar, and Viennese Table, contact westcoast@ou.org, or 310-229-9000, ext. 200.



We at West Coast NCSY spent much time over last summer reflecting and analyzing our operation and programming. We knew that we had an impressive team of passionate outreach professionals and recorded unprecedented membership in 2011. We were now concerned with giving Jewish teens specialized attention in areas that would truly propel them to new levels of growth. Over the last three years, our teen initiative, LEAD (Leadership Education Advocacy and Development) has grown by leaps and bounds. Now, with the help of a particularly passionate teen leadership board, the group was poised for greatness. In October, West Coast NCSY’s regional board launched the Teen Philanthropy Movement.

Our incredible group of teen leaders spent three months working on a terrific social action campaign. Over that period, seven groups of students dedicated their time to researching non-profit organizations, meeting with representatives, learning with them on the Jewish perspective on philanthropy, and visiting their facilities.

On February 29, we held our first annual Decision Day on which four judges heard presentations from the students and decided which three organizations of the seven should receive and divide $5,000. The goal of the campaign was to not only teach the students to be thoughtful about gifts and distribution but also to foster leadership skills and heighten their sensitivity and awareness for the less fortunate in the Jewish community.

In addition, our staff spent considerable time this year revamping our educational component. Educating our teens in an informal setting is something unique that we provide. The Torah, leadership, and friendships are but some of the ways we help nurture our children. This year we paid special attention to students’ needs and offered a wide array of options for which they can connect to Torah learning.

We would like to congratulate our Director of Outreach, Rabbi Josh Horwitz, on organizing a successful Maimonides Scholar Program for the seventh straight year. The program pairs public school students with day school students in 100 hours of Torah study. This year, more than 50 teens participated and were celebrated at a siyum dinner at a private home.

NCSY’s success relies on many different people, but we would like to highlight the following friends. Many thanks to the Chairman of our Youth Commission, Dr. Josh Penn, and to Rhoda Weisman, who have been great friends and mentors to NCSY. Their vision and direction are major reasons for our growth and advancement. A special thanks to the other members of the commission: Jason Ciment, Elyssa Czuker, Yossie Essas, Jacquelyn Glazer, Ashi Gottesman, Dina Leeds, Elaine Levkowitz, Irwin Nachimson, Nachum Leib Pomeranz, Jonny Schoen and Alan Teichman. They have served as advisors on so many levels. Thank you for taking time away from your family and investing it with ours. We look forward to bringing you much nachas in the upcoming year.

Rabbi Effie Goldberg
Executive Director

Solly Hess
Regional Director

OU | Enhancing Jewish Life