West Hollywood’s LGBT congregation Kol Ami announces this year’s “Guardian of Justice” honorees at a Gatsby-themed soiree this year on May 18th, 2014, honoring Rodney Scott, Dr. Iris Levine and Herb Schultz and Stuart Leviton. Rabbi Denise Eger: “We are delighted to honor such deserving community members and people who transform our Jewish, LGBTQ and West Hollywood world with the Guardian of Justice/Shomer Tzedek awards.”
Congregation Kol Ami celebrates its 22nd anniversary and the dawning of a new era. With a new vision and a re-energized spirit, West Hollywood’s Reform Synagogue is a seat of Jewish leadership and a cornerstone of the LGBTQ community. Throughout 2014, the congregation is debuting new programming that advocates social justice, promotes Jewish learning and values and creates community in West Hollywood. Congregation Kol Ami is rooted in a rich Jewish tradition, with a commitment to social justice, Israel, diversity and a world in which all individuals are honored and connected in community.
Kol Ami’s Gatsby Gala will be held this year at the iconic Edison, in downtown Los Angeles, from 6:30 pm to 10:30 pm. The evening will include appetizers, buffet dinner, open bar, a Jazz-age performance by Rachael North, a late night DJ set and an award ceremony, honoring Rodney Scott, Dr. Iris Levine and Herb Schultz and Stuart Leviton.
Rodney Scott, immediate past-President of Christopher Street West. Mr. Scott has served as the longest elected president of CSW/LA Pride and under his direction, LA Pride has grown to over 500,000 attendees and 2 million home viewers – one of the largest parades in all of Southern Calfornia.
Dr. Iris Levine, the Founder and Artistic Director of Vox Femina, Department Chair and Professor of Music at California State Polytechnic University in Pomona and founding member of Kol Ami. Vox Femina is LA’s premier women’s chorus and under Dr. Levine’s leadership, Vox Femina has held over 200 performances and achieved a peerless level of musical excellence.
Herb Schultz and Stuart Leviton, both members of our congregation, met at Kol Ami and celebrated their wedding in January. Mr. Schultz is the Western Regional Director of HHS and served in the administrations of both Governor Schwarzenegger and Governor Davis. Mr. Leviton is the first openly gay President of the Men of Reform Judaism, the national men’s auxiliary of the Union for Reform Judaism and is the immediate past-President of Kol Ami.
“Each year Congregation Kol Ami recognizes those who have made a difference in our community and the world,” Rabbi Denise Eger of Congregation Kol Ami tells A Wider Bridge. ” Our very first Shomer Tzedek-Guardian of Justice honorees were Adele and Larry Starr, the founders of PFLAG in Los Angeles. We have honored politicians, like Hon. Sheila Kuehl first openly gay elected official in California and Wells Fargo and R Family Vacations as businesses who have contributed to strengthening the LGBTQ community.”