web analytics
July 3, 2015 / 16 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


ETTA’s Expansion

(L-R) Dr. Michael Held, executive director of ETTA; Sharon Levine, co-president of ETTA-OHEL’s board of directors; and Liebe and Ivor Geft, recipients of the ETTA Champions Award.

(L-R) Dr. Michael Held, executive director of ETTA; Sharon Levine, co-president of ETTA-OHEL’s board of directors; and Liebe and Ivor Geft, recipients of the ETTA Champions Award.

ETTA’s 20th Annual Gala, held recently at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, attracted more than 400 members of the Los Angeles community in support of ETTA’s work on behalf of Jewish adults with special needs.

ETTA, which has merged with OHEL Children’s and Family Services, is the premier resource for residential services for Jewish individuals with disabilities on the West Coast. It also provides many other services supporting people with special needs, including: life-skills training; job coaching; social events; a day program; a summer program; and educational programs. ETTA envisages an inclusive, participatory community of people with and without special needs – succeeding and growing together.

This year’s banquet was particularly meaningful, as it marked ETTA’s 20th Anniversary. The organization was founded in 1993 as the realization of retired LAUSD special education teacher Etta Israel’s dream. Her modest estate was dedicated to founding ETTA, which over the past 20 years has become a beacon of hope for people with disabilities and the families that love them.

ETTA’s work was celebrated and appreciated by gala participants, including the ETTA-OHEL board and ETTA’s advisory board. Many OHEL board members and executive staff were in attendance, as were many elected officials. They included State Controller John Chiang, California Democratic Party Vice Chair Eric Bauman, Assemblyman Richard Bloom, and Assemblyman Adrin Nazarian. ETTA’s Government Relations Group chairman, attorney Sam Yebri, officially welcomed them.

Dr. Michael Held, ETTA’s executive director, explained the organization’s current focus: a plan called “200 by 2020.” He is authoring this effort with ETTA’s Visionary Award recipient, Michael Baruch. Due to great need ETTA’s goal is to house, or support in various housing arrangements, 200 individuals with disabilities by the year 2020. Toward that end, Held proudly announced the opening of Bedford House, ETTA’s fifth home – and first on the Westside. This house is not a group home but rather a privately run home for high-functioning women who still require some support.

Liebe and Ivor Geft received the ETTA Champions Award. Liebe Geft is the director of the Museum of Tolerance, the educational arm of the Simon Wiesenthal Center. Ivor Geft is a renowned cardiologist at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, and teaches many Torah classes in the Los Angeles area. “What is so meaningful about supporting ETTA,” noted Liebe Geft, “is that it enables and ennobles these individuals with special needs to give to others, which is our purpose in life.”

Michelle Wolf, co-founder of the HaMercaz Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles and currently transitions project coordinator for Bet Tzedek Legal Services, received the Professional Leadership Award for her 25 years of advocacy and innovation in the field – helping her son Danny and countless others. Wolf was touched by the surprise appearance by and introduction from her daughter Rachel, whom ETTA flew in from New York.

An evening highlight was a speech by Moshe Bienenfeld, a young man with autism who was honored with ETTA’s Lazare, z”l, and Moselle Hendeles Young Leadership Award. Bienenfeld reminded everyone that people with challenges are not “disabled” but rather “differently abled.” He shared his pride in being a spokesperson for individuals with autism.

The evening concluded with the award presentation to Baruch, founder of Baruch Enterprises and tireless worker on behalf of ETTA. “What could be more important than giving a home to people who need a home?” Baruch asked the audience. “You all can help our vision to provide homes to all the people who are in need.”

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “ETTA’s Expansion”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Rocket that hit a field in the Eshkol region on July 3, 2015
ISIS-Linked Sinai Terrorists Attempt to Drag Israel Into War With Rocket Fire
Latest Sections Stories
South-Florida-logo

The smuggler’s life has been changed forever. He is faced with a major criminal charge. He will probably be sent to prison.

South-Florida-logo

“Thanks to a local philanthropist who shares our core mission, we now are able to connect more Jewish teens to Israel than ever before,” said Todd Cohn, executive director of Southern NCSY.

South-Florida-logo

In September 2013 he was appointed head rabbi of the IDF Central Command and is currently in charge of special projects for the IDF chief rabbinate.

Last month we outlined how a few years after Judah Touro’s death a public movement was inaugurated by the citizens of New Orleans to erect a monument to his memory, and that opposition to this tribute came from a number of rabbis throughout the country who claimed that Judaism forbade the erection of any graven […]

Marceau suggested a dark reason for his wordless art: “The people who came back from the [concentration] camps were never able to talk about it…. My name is Mangel. I am Jewish. Perhaps that, unconsciously, contributed towards my choice of silence.”

Anna Henriques, who hopes to one day head back to Jamaica, says, “Rabbi Raskin must be willing to respect what exists in Jamaica. The way to the future is to gently bring in the traditions of the past and at the same time embrace the idiosyncrasies of the Jamaican people.”

The Silver Platter has it all: gorgeous photography, oodles of useful tips and, more importantly, incredible recipes that you will find yourself making again and again.

It may be that seeking to connect with the past is rooted in the impermanence and impersonality of modern life.

It is very hard to build a healthy marriage when you do not have good role models.

My best book is one that hasn’t been published yet.

We tend to justify and idealize this division with pride attributing these tendencies as demonstrating a higher level of kedushah.

Everyone in the kehilla can get involved, she added, and mothers can network with each other.

More Articles from Jeanne Litvin
West-Coast-logo

We couldn’t help noticing that the first transaction that took place when he came into the store included a customer buying The Jewish Press.

Tal Dimenstein has been selected to present her ELI Talk about Appreciation during this year’s conference in Chicago.

Ramsay, daughter of famed football coach Jack Ramsay, has served the City of Los Angeles for the past 15 years.

Rabbi Cohen is amongst an elite group of educators worldwide, collaborating with Apple on global education initiatives and embracing new opportunities to bring the freshest, most innovative ideas to students everywhere.

Rabbi Pinni Dunner and Holocaust survivor Heddy Orden.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/community/west-coast-happenings/ettas-expansion/2014/01/23/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: