The 2nd Annual Saving Lives Gala


From left to right, IDF Soldier Izzy Ezagui, FIDF National & Western Region President Julian Josephson, IDF Soldier Dmitry Halperin.
On Tuesday, March 19, 2013, approximately 600 people gathered at the Universal Hilton Hotel to honor Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) and Israel’s courageous soldiers. The 2nd Annual Saving Lives Gala once again proved to the soldiers that although they are confronted by enemies on their own soil, they can count on the continuous help of friends in faraway places. The Russian Community of Los Angeles raised an unprecedented $305,000, which will undoubtedly make a vital impact in the lives of the young men and women who protect and serve the Jewish homeland.

The evening’s success was in large part due to the tireless efforts of the Board, Executive Committee, and Gala Committee. The Saving Lives Gala Board included Ludmila Bess, M.B.A., M.D., Ella Frumkin, Alexander Gershman, M.D., Boris Gorbis, Esq., Marina Greenberg, M.B.A., Michael Landver, Eugene Levin and Yelena Vaynerov, M.D.

Saving Lives Gala attendees close the night with a special photo op.
The Executive Committee members were Irina Bess, M.B.A., Michael Finkel, Natalie Glosman, Celia Kelman, Victoria Lyubarsky, Svetlana Molchanov, Bella Finkel Moshkovich, Rita Rubinstein, Yana Sedler, Isabella Svilik, Julie Zaks and Stella Zilber. The Gala Committee was comprised of Arthur Benjamin, M.D. & Yulia Vernaya, Diana Berlin, Esq. & Peter Berlin, Esq., Irina Bess, M.B.A. & Oleg Bess, M.D., Ludmila Bess, M.D. & Fred Bess, Tatiana & Emil Borokhovich, Irina Braun, M.B.A. & Eddie Braun, M.D., Boris & Ella Brezinger, Marina Burstein, M.D. & Sam Burstein, M.D., Samuel Fersht, Ph.D. & Maya Gibalevich, Yelena & Michael Finkel, A. Sasha Frid & Vicky Kagan, Ella & Si (z’’l) Frumkin, Ekaterina Galina, D.D.S. & Eugene Glosman, Natalia & Alexander Gershman, M.D., Daniel & Galina Gibalevich, Natalie & Leonid Glosman, D.D.S., Inna Gofman, Marina Gold, M.D., Eda Gorbis, Ph.D. & Boris Gorbis, Esq., Marina Greenberg, M.B.A. & Igor Greenberg, Lana & Ben Guralnik, D.D.S., Irena Hauser & Sophia Kryszek, Lilian Izralson, Celia & Arkady Kelman, Vera Kleynberg, M.D. & Leonid Kleynberg, M.D., Sinaida Kniter, D.D.S. & Khaim Koifman, M.D., Ada & Henry Krigmont, Ph.D., Svetlana Kruglyakov, M.D. & Stan Kruglyakov, Vera & Michael Landver, Irene Lavretsky, RN, BSN, & Jacob Spivak, Helen & Eugene Levin, Regina & Alex Livshetz, Victoria Lyubarsky, Sofia & Vladimir Makovoz, Ph.D., George Mednik, M.D. & Marina Mednik, M.D., Svetlana Molchanov, Bella & Steven Moshkovich, Kira & Gennady Musher, M.D., Ph.D., Lilia & Vlad Nusinovich, M.D., Margaret & Leon Peck, D.D.S., Ph.D., Zoya Preys, M.D. & Gennady Orlovetsky, D.D.S., Yana & Boris Ratiner, M.D., Rita & Gennady Rubinstein, M.D., Eugena & Israel Salin, D.D.S., Anatoly & Yana Sedler, M.B.A., Emil & Elena Shamis, Bella & Simon Shpitalnik, Albina & Ale! x Sirota, Izabella & Edward Sirota, Isabella & Alan Svilik, Polina & Dmitri Triphon, Zakhar & Yelena Vaynerov, M.D., Erik Vayntrub, Esq. & Monique Glosman Vayntrub, D.D.S., Lilia Wexley, M.D., Bella & Boris Zak, D.D.S., Sophia & Ilya Zak, D.D.s, Julie & Alexander Zaks, M.D. and Stella Zilber.
Saving Lives Gala Executive Committee Members Eugene Levin and Ella Frumkin present the annual Si Frumkin Award to FIDF National & Western Region President Julian Josephson.
The event was saluted by Consul General of Israel David Siegel, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Congressman Brad Sherman, Congressman Henry Waxman, and Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, who received the first Si Frumkin award at last year’s Saving Lives Gala. The award, given in memory of the late Soviet Jewry activist Si Frumkin, was given to FIDF National and Western President Julian Josephson for his unparalleled dedication to FIDF and his steadfast commitment to improving the lives of the brave young soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces. The moving program included a multitude of other distinguished guests, including the founder and Executive Director of Eagles' Wings, one of the largest pro-Israel Christian organizations in the world, Pastor Robert Stearns, who communicated that “Bible-believing Christians stand arm in arm, hand in hand, and heart to heart with Israel and the Jewish people.” Several speakers in attendance traveled from Israel to be a part of this extraordinary event, including Lieutenant Tallie, a UAV operator, Dmitry Halperin, who made aliyah with his mother from Ukraine, and Nelly Barak, a bereaved mother who lost her son in battle. Finally, Izzy Ezagui, a combat soldier who lost his arm in battle, told his heroic story of strength and determination as he returned to combat after an unimaginable injury. He reminded us to “never give up hope and never stop fighting for what is right.”The dynamic program concluded with stellar performances by George Komsky, an incredible opera singer, Victor de Almeida, an exemplary violinist, and Eddie Grimberg, a talented musician who formerly served in the IDF. The outstanding entertainment had guests on their feet for the remainder of the evening. Though guests were sad when the event concluded, the Gala highlighted the tremendous support that the Russian Community of Los Angeles has for FIDF and the men and women who risk their lives to defend the state of Israel.

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