Photo: Janet and Jake Farber
When the decision was made to create The Jewish Federation’s inaugural Jewish Community Lifetime Achievement Award, naming Janet and Jake Farber as the first recipients was the obvious choice.
Dinner Co-Chairs Laurie Davis Gray & Steven Gordon, Amy & Harold Masor and Jill & Steven Namm welcomed the high-spirited gathering of over 400 leaders of Jewish Los Angeles who gathered to honor the Farbers at The Skirball Center on October 1.
The evening began with a presentation of National Anthems and a special musical offering by de Toledo High School Advanced Vocal Ensemble. The Farbers’ rabbi, Rabbi Jonathan Jaffe Bernhard of Adat Ari El, shared a soul-stirring invocation, followed by the Motzi, led by the Farber grandchildren: Maya & Eddie Aharon, Keren Cohen & Alex Fard, Laura Lavender and Bernie Lavender
Dinner Co-Chairs Virginia & Frank Maas spoke passionately about the importance of the Lifetime Achievement Award, presented to those who set the highest bar for philanthropy and leadership in our community, a new benchmark of recognition.
In a video that highlighted Janet and Jake’s numerous contributions to Jewish life, their children and spouses – Rochelle and Freddy Cohen, Nadine and Steve Lavender and Rebekah and Howard Farber – spoke eloquently about the honorees’ impact on their lives, a testament to the power of generational philanthropy.
After Federation Chairman of the Board, Leslie E. Bider, offered heartfelt words about the Farbers’ decades of inspiration and activism, he shared that the award he was about to present was inscribed with the words of the shehechyanu, a prayer for new beginnings. He invited the room to recite it with him and all stood as Janet and Jake came to the podium and shared a heartfelt response and well-deserved applause.
Next, Julie B. Platt, General Campaign Chair, took the stage and spoke about Federation’s commitment to engaging teens in new and meaningful ways through the Los Angeles Jewish Teen Initiative. Given the Farber’s lifetime of passion for Jewish education, the teacher training segment of the initiative has been named the Janet & Jake Farber Teen Experiential Educator Network. All event proceeds and future donations to this remarkable initiative – matched by the Jim Joseph Foundation – will support a revitalized teen landscape, the perfect way to honor Janet & Jake’s life’s work — a strong, vibrant Jewish community for our teens and for generations to come.
Dinner Co-Chairs Sharon & Leon Janks closed the evening with thanks to all who came – most of whom stayed to kibbitz, table hop and congratulate Jewish Community Lifetime Achievement Award honorees Janet and Jake Farber. Sharon Janks also announced Dorothy & Ozzie Goren as next year’s honorees.
For information about the 2016 Jewish Community Lifetime Achievement Award, contact John Magoulas at (323) 761-8122 or JMagoulas@JewishLA.org