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Better Together: Our 2016 Real Estate and Construction Dinner Honoring the Held Family

For the third year in a row, The Jewish Federation’s Real Estate and Construction Division (REC) Dinner on May 11th was sold out! Ken Kahan, REC Division Chair, called it “the greatest annual Real Estate Dinner on the West Coast,” with over 1,300 people in attendance. The “Golden Globes” of real estate and a who’s who of industry leaders gathered in the International Ballroom at the world-famous Beverly Hilton to honor the Held Family — Joseph R. Held, Melissa Held Bordy, Robert D. Held — and to support the work of The Jewish Federation, which has enjoyed the Helds’ participation for decades.

The evening began on a high note when the a cappella group Pella Productions, performed the national anthems with style and passion.

Ken Kahan welcomed the audience, acknowledging REC Dinner Chairs Rodney Freeman, Robert Hart, Stanley Iezman, Jonathan Klein, Jon Monkarsh, Sandy Sigal, and Mark Weinstein, as well as Dinner Vice-Chairs Loryn Arkow, Sam Averbach, Bryan Berkett, David Chasin, Lisa Kaskel, Scott Laurie, and Reuben Robin. He also thanked the dinner committee who worked tirelessly to make the dinner a success. Setting the tone for the evening, Rabbi Bradley Artson, Dean of the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies at American Jewish University — and a close friend of the Held family — shared a soul-stirring invocation.

Having just returned from a Federation mission that included a visit to Auschwitz, Jesse Sharf, General Campaign Chair of The Jewish Federation, spoke passionately about the need to support the organization that touches Jewish lives throughout the world.

When Federation Chair of the Board Julie Platt took the stage to introduce the honorees, she began by acknowledging the contributions of their father Harold A. Held z”l, who was inducted into the REC Hall of Fame that evening. After speaking about his children Joe, Melissa and Robert, she shared a video that demonstrated their children — the next generation — not only had real estate in their very DNA, but were ready to give back to the community the way their parents had taught them. Alayna and Matthew Held, Sophia & Eric Held, Rebecca & Kenneth Furer, and Shayna, Jenna and Samantha Bordy then joined their parents on stage to present them with their awards as the room applauded warmly.

The honorees went on to speak movingly about their father and mentor in business and philanthropy, their unconventional but effective team approach to business, and the importance of making sure their children were well-prepared to work together in giving back.

After Ken Kahan concluded the evening, the next generation gathered for an after-party overlooking Beverly Hills. When it comes to Jewish values and the profession of real estate and construction, this year’s REC Dinner was proof that, like the Helds, we are all better together.

For more information about the Federation’s Real Estate and Construction Dinner, contact Alexandra Kadoche, REC Division Director at AKadoche@JewishLA.org or (323)761-8164.

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