The World’s Jewish Museum Hamakom Raises $1.4M at 3rd Annual Awards Gala

American Friends of The World's Jewish Museum-Hamakom Logo

American Friends of The Worlds Jewish Museum-Hamakom Logo

Rabbi David Wolpe and Comedian Howie Mandel Co-Host 3rd Annual World's Jewish Museum Awards Gala

Rabbi David Wolpe and Comedian Howie Mandel Co-Host World's Jewish Museum-Hamakom Gala

Moe Levy & Gail Asper present Lifetime Achievement Award to Rabbi Joseph Telushkin at World's Jewish Museum-Hamakom3rd Annual Awards Gala

Moe Levy & Gail Asper present Lifetime Achievement Award to Rabbi Joseph Telushkin

Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, Mayor Ron Huldai, Philanthropist Miri Nash Were Honored; Howie Mandel & Rabbi David Wolpe Co-Hosted

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES, November 23, 2021 / -- The American Friends of the World’s Jewish Museum (AFWJM) held the 3rd annual awards benefit gala for the World’s Jewish Museum Hamakom, on Thursday, November 19, 2021 at The Maybourne Beverly Hills. The 3rd annual gala continued to celebrate renowned architect Frank Gehry’s vision and architectural design for the museum and honored three remarkable individuals for their commitment to the WJM project, and the community. The gala evening successfully raised more than $1.4M and attendee donations continue.

Renowned scholar, author and spiritual leader Rabbi Joseph Telushkin received the Lifetime Achievement Award, Mayor of Tel-Aviv Ron Huldai accepted the Early Adopter Award, and Miri Nash, powerhouse in the world of Jewish philanthropy, was presented with the Israel Legacy Award. Comic and Emmy nominated television host Howie Mandel and Rabbi David Wolpe, named Newsweek’s “most influential rabbi in America”, returned to co-host.

The 3rd Annual Gala was presented by Gail Asper, President & Trustee of the Asper Foundation and Moses Levy, Executive Director of the Asper Foundation; Co-Directors of Development for The World’s Jewish Museum project. Shauna Shapiro Jackson, Executive Director of AFWJM chaired the gala. Frank and Berta Gehry, and John and Catherine Farahi served as Honorary Co-Chairs. Alan Hoffman, Executive Chair of the Israeli Management Committee and Yoram Cohen, head of Global Fundraising and Strategy, traveled to the Gala representing the Tel-Aviv management team.

Welcomed to the stage by Howie Mandel, Gail Asper, the founding force behind The World’s Jewish Museum, revealed that the projected cultural center would now be called The World’s Jewish Museum Hamakom; an addition of the Hebraic word for ‘the place’. Asper announced that more than half of the construction budget had been raised and plans were on track to lay the museum cornerstone in 2023.

Shauna Shapiro Jackson presented the award to Ron Huldai, Mayor of Tel-Aviv, lauding his early recognition of the project and generous earmark of 5.5 acres of prime Tel-Aviv real estate overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Huldai accepted his award via video. To warm applause he claimed there is no place better to house and represent Hamakom than world heritage site Tel-Aviv, the start-up capital of the world. Huldai serves as international Chair of the Board for the World’s Jewish Museum Hamakom.

Miri Nash, philanthropist, and former Executive Director of the Western Region Friends of the Israeli Defense Forces (FIDF) was introduced as a “true woman of valor”. Accepting the Israeli Legacy Award, Nash said the World’s Jewish Museum would be a “light in our children’s lives” and borrowed a phrase from Haim Saban, longtime supporter of philanthropic projects with Nash; “too much talking, no more talking – more fundraising!”

Rabbi Wolpe introduced Rabbi Joseph Telushkin as “one of the most respected rabbis, by other rabbis”. Named one of the ‘best speakers in the United States’ by Talk Magazine, and one of the ‘most influential rabbis in America’ by Newsweek, Rabbi Telushkin was an influential and early supporter of the World’s Jewish Museum Hamakom and is a member of the museum’s Board of Directors. Accepting the 2021 Lifetime Achievement award, Telushkin said that his mission in life has been to spread the ways in which Judaism can make the world a better place; “There are no Jewish answers to Jewish questions, there are only Jewish answers to universal questions.”

Mandel entertained the crowd as he and Rabbi Wolpe led the fundraising appeal to a generous audience. Pledges included a $250,000 donation from John Farahi, Co-Chair of the Board, CEO and COO of Monarch Casino & Resort, Inc. and $100,000 from David Wiener, Holocaust survivor, philanthropist, and a 2019 honoree. Guests pledged generously in honor of the awardees, as well as parents, children, and family members lost in the Holocaust.

Shauna Shapiro Jackson noted, “As we move closer to the fulfillment of our vision for the World’s Jewish Museum, I am convinced that we are building an iconic, one of a kind gathering place that will become a destination jewel in Tel-Aviv. This will be a place to celebrate the impact the Jewish people have had on the world through the ages and to inspire future generations for years to come. Since we began this project, it has been incredibly exciting to share this vision with friends across America, and watch it fire their imagination and enthusiasm.”

The World’s Jewish Museum will be an immersive experience, part of an iconic complex that will include a world class cultural and entertainment center. Designed by Frank Gehry, the museum will be a celebration of the contributions that the Jewish People have given to the world. The compound design will be a gathering place that links the past to the present and looks toward the future. In a setting of parkland, gardens, walking paths and wetlands, six pavilions will encircle a grand lobby. Each pavilion is dedicated to a different sphere of inquiry, or tenets of Jewish identity. Pavilions will be dedicated to the Covenant and the Land of Israel, the Creativity of Jewish Culture and the Arts, Enterprise, Science & Inquiry, Philosophy & Education, and Tzedek, Tikkun Olam and Tzedakah; incorporating justice, philanthropy and social change. Situated on the bank of the Yarkon River, and overlooking the Mediterranean, the museum is destined to become the hub of cultural and recreational activity in Tel Aviv.

About the World’s Jewish Museum
The mission of the World’s Jewish Museum is to create a distinctive experience unlike any other. By blending the museum’s unique content to iconic architecture, it will become one of the leading institutions in the world. The three pillars of the project will be the museum and cultural experience; education and outreach both in Israel and the Diaspora; and research using its international platform to disseminate information to communities throughout the world.

Philippa Jones
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