Michael Waterman’s 2017 Gala Speech

June 4, 2017

As a prelude to my two minute speech – let me warn you that  – when I mention names, I am bound to omit
many, many wonderful people – and for that, I apologize in advance.  I have been given the task of summing up almost 70 years of history and purpose in the next 2 minutes.

In 1949, Mike Dinin’s father, Dr. Samuel Dinin who was head of the L.A. Bureau of Jewish Education, officially began the Los Angeles Hebrew High School.  The first president was Dr. Jacob Sokol and the first (and only) teacher of the 36 students was Dr. Michael Slatinsky – who later became the principal.

Through the hard work and encouragement of early pioneers like Samuel Farkas, Rabbi Jack Pressman – and great teachers like Dr. David Lieber, Dr. Walter Ackerman, Dr. Eliezer Slomovic, Dr. Michael Singer, Rabbi Benzy Bergman, Benzy Kogan, Craig Taubman – we have fulfilled a vital need in the Southern California Jewish community:

We have taught young men and women Hebrew, how to live a meaningful Jewish life – and, perhaps, most importantly – the idea of being a Mensch in the modern world.

Hebrew High’s graduates include many who have served in the IDF and many who have made Aliyah to Israel.

They also include:

  • a consultant to many US presidential candidates – Dr. Steven Spiegel, one of the most honored professors at UCLA
  • the head of the Israeli University known as the IDC Herzylia – Jonathan Davis
  • California State Senator Ben Allen
  • A couple of UCLA student body presidents – most recently David Bocarsley
  • Archaeologist and Biblical Expert Ziony Zevitt
  • Former L.A. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky
  • The current U.S. Chamber of Commerce head of trade between the United States and China – Jeremie Waterman
  • Rabbis: Daniel Pressman, Edward Feinstein, Nina Bieber, Ronald Garr, Kalman Appel, Yossi Goldman, Mark Hyman, Ronnie Levine, David Spritzer, Efraim Warshaw, Elliot Spiegel, Matt Michaels, Joel Rembaum, Ralph Resnick, David Resnick, Moshe Rothblum, Micah Hyman, Richard Camras, Lennie Rosenthal, David Hoffman, David Lazar, David Vorspan, Robert Golub, Rick Sherwin, Robert Rome, Stanley Rosen, Ronald Shulman, Joel Wise, Stewart Vogel
  • Cantors Joe Gole, Judy Dubin Aranoff, Mark Gomberg, Nate Lam, Avrum Schwartz, Robert Pflug, Mollie Wine, Jeremy Lipton
  • Medical Doctors. Meyer Bassan, Ron Karsin, Cary Rosenberg, Paul Kranz, Ben Waterman, Gabe Waterman, Jeff Waterman, David Braun, Jon Braun, Larry Neinstein, Burt Liebross, Danny Farkas, David Farkas, Ted Farkas, Rob Titcher, Dan Lieber, Michael Lieber, Lloyd Pilch, Curtis Handler, Eric Handler, Steve Handler, Andrew Spitzer, Debbie Oles, Mitchell Schoen, Joey Gindi, Mark Torbiner, Neil Wenger, Mayer Brenner, Daniel Freeman, Terri Getzug, Lee Rosen, David Smotrich, Eve Guth
  • Educators David Ackerman, Mike Dinin, Carolyn Reznik Camras, Andy Polsky, Art Williams Dr. Ron Reynolds, Arlene Lepoff, Dr. David Elcott, Howard Gelberd, Mark Lazar, Gregg Alpert, Bernard “Nardy” Samuels, Abby Waterman Gonshor, Janice Smith Tytell, Pam Brainen, Howard Fisher, Robin Kind Graff, Ardyth Sokoler
  • Attorneys and community leaders Milt Hyman, Ben Reznik, Janice Kamenir Reznik, Peter Reynolds, Evelyn Baran, Gloria Baran, Sheila Spiwak, Dr. Gil Graff, Alan Avi Broidy, Jeff Levine, Robert Braun, Doron Tisser, Art Greenberg, Jeff Goss, Susan Jacoby, Elke Landau Coblens Aftergut, Sandy Samuels, Lance Bocarsley, Larry Miller, Rachel Sisk, Howard Pilch, Saul “Sunny” Brenner, Tzivia Schwartz Getzug, Nahum Lainer, Luis Lainer, Mark Lainer, Joann Arison Colker, Danny Spitzer, Marshall Goldberg, Gordon Wallack, Martin Jannol, Harold Masor, Marc Rohatiner, Deborah Barak, Nadine Farber Lavender, Betsy Gindi, Jeffrey Rabin, Stephen Sass, Gail Lesner Bockman, Howard Farber, Larry Greenfield

I have been honored to teach at Hebrew High for the past 17 years and I can tell you that our current students are wonderful people who will carry on the traditions and standards of Hebrew High and of the Jewish people.

There are cards on the tables – that will allow you to help us.  Many of our long time contributors – who helped fund the school to allow all of these great students to have had a fantastic, inspirational education – have passed away – after all the school is almost 70 years old.

We need YOU to step up and fill the void – we need more scholarship and operational money.  We have substantial commitments from Jesse & Stacy Sharf, Bruce Whizin, Bruce Friedman, Marvin Smotrich, Marilyn Ziering, the Farkas brothers, Ben & Janice Reznik, Karen & Michael Fried, George Farbstein and others ….However, we need a lot more to continue to produce these kind of wonderful people.

Jackie and I know how important this is and have just pledged $50,000.

Please take a couple of moments and fill out the card – We NEED you to make a difference in the future of our community!