An Affair to Remember: Gala Dinner Honoring Children of ALEH Negev-Nahalat Eran
Apr 6, 2009
Larry King Presents Doron Almog with The Tree of Life Award
The luxurious Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills has housed many entertainment and motion picture industry events, and is perhaps best known as the home of the annual Golden Globe Awards. But on March 31st, it hosted a different kind of star-studded affair, when some 500 people from the greater Los Angeles Jewish community gathered together to participate in a very special evening.
The “Tree of Life” dinner was held to honor the children of ALEH Negev-Nahalat Eran, a 25-acre rehabilitation village in the Negev for developmentally disabled children and young adults. Thanks to the joint efforts of the Jewish National Fund and ALEH Negev-Nahalat Eran, corporate sponsorship by El Al, and the hard work and dedication of the Co-Chairs and Committee, the Gala Dinner proved to be a combination of elegance, wit, sophistication, and benevolence.
The audience was certainly Mad About Paul Reiser – the seasoned actor, writer and stand-up comedian, who gamely served as the Master of Ceremonies for the evening. But although his witty repartee had the crowd in stitches, he ultimately drew forth some poignant tears as well, when he personally pledged a considerable sum in contribution to ALEH.
Other VIP’s in attendance included: Jacob Dayan, Israel’s Consul General in Los Angeles, whose invocatory remarks offered greetings on behalf of the State of Israel; actress Iris Bahr, who emotionally recounted her experience as the sister of a cognitively disabled child; and Rabbi Daniel Bouskila of Sephardic Temple Tifereth Israel, who spoke movingly of his warm connection with Major General (Res) Doron Almog, Chairman of the ALEH Negev-Nahalat Eran.
The evening reached its pinnacle when special guest and Emmy Award winning Larry King saluted Doron Almog for his achievements in establishing ALEH Negev-Nahalat Eran. Doron was emotional as he spoke of his own cognitively disabled son Eran, who tragically passed away just two years ago. One of the first residents of ALEH Negev, Eran was the inspiration behind the establishment of the rehabilitative village for disabled young adults, which has since been renamed in his memory, and now serves as an oasis of hope and potential for special children like him. As Eran’s legacy unfolded, the audience was visibly moved, with more than one person wiping away tears.
Singer-songwriter Peter Himmelman, renowned for his own critically lauded music as well as for being Bob Dylan’s son-in-law, surprised Doron and his wife Didi, with Pure of Heart – a song he wrote specially for the occasion, dedicated to the children of ALEH.
As the evening made quite a splash, it is perhaps only fitting that proceeds from the benefit will go towards the establishment of a hydrotherapy treatment pool at ALEH Negev-Nahalat Eran, which will serve a wide range of special-needs people.
Dinner co-chair Mr. & Mrs. Manochehr Nazarian with Yossi Kahana