Sadly, Ozzie Goren passed away on October 15, 2016, at the age of 94. His family and we at the Federation are all grateful that he was strong enough to attend and fully enjoy his special honor at our Jewish Community Lifetime Achievement Award Gala Evening just a few weeks ago, and we know he was too. As you’ll read below, it truly was a special night for all involved, and to say it was a pleasure to know him is a tremendous understatement.
On September 29, 2016, over 400 of Los Angeles’ most passionate community members joined at The Beverly Wilshire Hotel to pay tribute to Dorothy & Ozzie Goren, honoring them with our Federation’s Jewish Community Lifetime Achievement Award — a new benchmark of recognition for those who set the highest bar for philanthropy and leadership in our community.
Dinner Co-Chairs Carin & Glenn Freeman opened the program with a warm welcome to the guests and beautiful words to their dear friends Dorothy & Ozzie. The crowd took a brief break from the celebration to hold a moment of silence for former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres, who had passed the day before. As if to signify the circle of life, the Goren grandchildren took the stage shortly thereafter to recite the motzi.
The festivities resumed with genuine remarks by Dinner Co-Chairs Toby & Bob Waldorf and Marcie & Steve Medof, followed by a heartfelt speech from Skirball Cultural Center’s Rabbi Uri Herscher. The attendees were then moved to tears by a tribute video that highlighted the Gorens’ longtime support of our Federation and global Jewish community as well as their passion for social justice.
Julie Platt, our Federation’s Chair of the Board, had the honor of presenting Dorothy & Ozzie with the Lifetime Achievement Award. This segment of the evening was an emotional one not only for the presenter and the recipients, but for the audience as well, made up of people from all stages of the Gorens’ life and members from organizations they’ve worked so hard to sustain — a true testament to this extraordinary couple that has been such a force for good in our community.
Federation President & CEO Jay Sanderson took the stage to spotlight the Gorens’ commitment to ensuring our Jewish future and share that all proceeds from the evening will benefit The Jewish Federation’s Los Angeles Jewish Teen Initiative (LAJTI) as a way to honor this commitment. Dorothy & Ozzie have always placed a heavy emphasis on incorporating Judaism into the lives of Jewish teens by passing their values to their children and grandchildren, and LAJTI is our Federation’ community-wide effort to realize that vision on a large scale.
Dinner Co-Chair Lynn Bider closed out the night, which Dorothy later mentioned felt like her own Bat Mitzvah celebration. You deserve it, Dorothy — and Ozzie, too! We wish you both continued good health and prosperity, and are so grateful for all that you have done on behalf of our community — Jewish and beyond. Ad me’ah v’esrim — you should live until 120!
To learn more about The Federation’s Jewish Community Lifetime Achievement Award Gala Evening, please contact Stacy Katz at (323) 761-8375 or SKatz@JewishLA.org.
The Los Angeles Jewish Teen Initiative is co-funded by The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles and the Jim Joseph Foundation, with seed funding provided by the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles. To learn more about LAJTI, please contact Jessica Green, Director of LAJTI, at (323) 761-8343 or JGreen@JewishLA.org.