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Bet Tzedek, Supporters Celebrate 40 Years of Justice in Action in Largest Dinner Gala in Agency’s History

On March 5, 2014, more than 1,500 supporters, donors and staff gathered to celebrate Bet Tzedek’s 40th Anniversary at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza. The legal services agency’s Annual Dinner Gala, its largest yearly fundraiser, grossed more than $2.5 million to help ensure equal access to justice for all.

Robert “Bobby” Schwartz, Chairman of Bet Tzedek’s Board of Directors and partner at O’Melveny & Myers, opened the evening, remarking that “For nearly one-third of all Angelenos – the poor, the elderly and the disabled living below the poverty line – access to justice is elusive.”  That is why “For 40 years, Bet Tzedek has been part of the Los Angeles community…and assisting over 350,000 people who otherwise would not have had access to our justice system.”  He thanked all in attendance for their support.

Stanley Gold and Bruce Ramer. Credit: John Dlugolecki

Stanley Gold & Bruce Ramer. Credit: John Dlugolecki

 

The night’s honorees included Stanley P. Gold, president and CEO of Shamrock Holdings, and Bruce M. Ramer, partner in Gang, Tyre, Ramer and Brown, who received the Luis Lainer Founder’s Award.

 

Michael N. Feuer, Hon. Terry B. Friedman (Ret.), Luis Lainer, Mitch A. Kamin, David A. Lash Credit: John Dlugolecki

Michael N. Feuer, Hon. Terry B. Friedman (Ret.), Luis Lainer, Mitch A. Kamin, David A. Lash
Credit: John Dlugolecki

 

Bet Tzedek’s five previous Executive Directors, Luis Lainer, Hon. Terry B. Friedman (Ret.), Hon. Michael N. Feuer, David A. Lash and Mitch A. Kamin, received the Rose L. Schiff Commitment to Justice Award for building the agency into one of the nation’s preeminent nonprofit legal service organizations.

 

 

 

 

 

Aaron Spiwak and Andrea Ambrose Lobato were honored with the Rebecca Nichols Emerging Leader Award.  Staff attorney Joey Alarcon received the Jack H. Skirball Award for his service to thousands of individuals and families facing bankruptcy and other financial distress.

Sandy Samuels, Andrea Ambrose Lobato and Aaron Spiwak. Credit: John Dlugolecki

Sandy Samuels, Andrea Ambrose Lobato and Aaron Spiwak. Credit: John Dlugolecki

Elissa Barrett and Joey Alarcon. Credit: John Dlugolecki

Elissa Barrett and Joey Alarcon.
Credit: John Dlugolecki

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The importance of this dinner was summarized by Bet Tzedek President and CEO Sandy Samuels in his solicitation of those in attendance to support the agency. “In order for us to represent a Latino family in a slum housing case, an African-American widow victimized by a financial scam, an elderly grandparent defrauded by a family member out of her only asset – her home, a family with a disabled child in need of a limited conservatorship, or a Holocaust survivor seeking reparations to provide some modicum of justice for the horror he suffered, we need your help.” During the event, dinner attendees contributed an additional $70,000, with donations made using smart phones and text messages appearing on large screens in the giant ballroom. One such donation was made by former executive director David Lash’s two daughters, who contributed $100 with the message, “Congratulations to our father, David Lash.  Love, Drew & Ryan.”

On the first day of the Lenten season, Bet Tzedek was honored to have the Most Reverend Jose H. Gomez, Archbishop of Los Angeles offer the evening’s invocation. Credit: John Dlugolecki

On the first day of the Lenten season, Bet Tzedek was honored to have the Most Reverend Jose H. Gomez, Archbishop of Los Angeles offer the evening’s invocation.
Credit: John Dlugolecki

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Bet Tzedek is an affiliated agency of The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles.
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