On April 11, 2022, the UCLA Y&S Nazarian Center for Israel Studies held its 10th anniversary gala at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts. The event celebrated the Center’s work to promote the study of modern Israel by sponsoring UCLA courses, public programs, academic research, and hosting visiting Israeli scholars, writers, and artists.
The evening included the presentation of two awards. The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation received the Center’s Visionary Award, which was presented by UCLA Chancellor Gene Block and accepted by the Foundation’s co-trustees, Richard S. Ziman and Martin H. Blank, Jr. And Sharon S. Nazarian, Ph.D., President of the Y&S Nazarian Family Foundation and Chair of the Center’s Community Advisory Board, received the Center’s Legacy Award for her unparalleled role in the founding of the Center. The evening also included a tribute to the late Younes Nazarian.
The program concluded with a discussion between the gala’s special guest speaker, MK Merav Michaeli – Israel’s Minister of Transport and Road Safety, member of the security cabinet, and leader of the Israeli Labor Party – and Editor-in-Chief of the Forward Jodi Rudoren who flew out from New York for the interview. The powerful discussion covered the future of the BennettLapid coalition government, the recent wave of violence in Israel, and issues related to women in Israel, which has been a focus of the minister’s activism for many years.
Professor Dov Waxman, Director of the Center and The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation Chair of Israel Studies at UCLA, hosted the program, which opened with a recorded message from the President of Israel Isacc Herzog who emphasized his deep appreciation for the Center’s continued efforts to promote the unbiased, academic study of Israel.
Close to 300 guests joined the UCLA Nazarian Center in celebration, including many leaders of the Jewish and broader Los Angeles community and UCLA. Guests included UCLA Chancellor Gene Block; Soraya, David and Shulamit Nazarian and family; Rabbi David Wolpe, Max Webb Senior Rabbi of Sinai Temple; Dr. Hillel Newman, the Consul General of Israel in Los Angeles; Jonathan Greenblatt, the National Director and CEO of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL); Lili Bosse, Mayor of Beverly Hills; Rabbi Noah Farkas, President and CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles; Andrew Cushnir, Executive Vice President and Chief Development Officer of the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles; and other prominent community members.