A Perfect Case of Tikun Olam

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The Case For Marilyn Ziering And Family

When over 1,300 people gather to honor a person, in the most grand manner, you know he or she well deserved the attribute.

This week, Temple Beth Am, in Los Angeles, held a Gala Concert, at the Saban Theater in Beverly Hills, honoring Marilyn Ziering and her family. The Gala’s slogan: “No One Does It Better.” (www.tbala.org) (bhcourier.com)

In an evening full of splendid aura, Marilyn, the matriarch of the Ziering family, and the Ziering family, were honored for all their philanthropic work and their contributions to Beth Am congregation, where they are members, to the local community and to national and international projects.

Philanthropic Reach

The crowd at the Saban Theatre Photo Orly Halevy
The crowd at the Saban Theatre

Although I have personally met Marilyn, I did not know how far her philanthropic reach extended; this evening brought me up to date.

The theme of the Gala was music, which Marilyn adores; Mark Samuel and Dvorah Colker, the gala Co-Chairs and evening emcees’ stories have detailed the reasons why Marilyn and the Ziering family deserve the honor that was given to them.

Cantor Magda Fishman, Grammy Award winning singer Melissa Manchester and the Students of the Rabbi Jacob Pressman Academy Choir opened the evening of music theme; Placido Domingo, one of the world’s most renowned and influential opera voices, who is Marilyn’s personal friend and together they sit on the board of the LA Opera, was the highlight of the musical evening. He opened his performance with an aria from the Italian-language opera Nabucco (short for Nabucodonosor, English Nebuchadnezzar) based on the Biblical story of the plight of the Israelites who were assaulted, conquered, and subsequently exiled from their homeland by the Babylonian King Nabucco.

Speaking In Perfect Hebrew

From L Co Chair Dvorah Colker Placido Domingo Co Chair Mark Samuel Photo Orly Halevy
From LCo-Chair Dvorah Colker, Placido Domingo, Co-Chair Mark Samuel

Showing off with a few words in perfect Hebrew, Domingo told the audience that in 1962, two important events took place in his life: he married the soprano Marta Ornelas and the two of them moved to Tel Aviv to become members of the Hebrew National Opera, where they spent three seasons.

Rabbi Adam Kligfeld spoke most impressively, along with a fine sense of humor, about Marilyn’s extensive philanthropy work. In the Jewish tradition it is not about honor, he said; the word honor translates to the Hebrew word “Kavod” its grammar root means ‘heavy weight’. So if you want to honor Marilyn, said the rabbi, emulate her with your own philanthropy, in whatever way you can, of your own heavy weight.

When attending an evening dedicated to an outstanding person, each person has his or her own impression.

The Ziering Family Marilyn and Placido Domingo in the center
The Ziering Family, Marilyn and Placido Domingo in the center

The Ziering family activities are most impressive. Marilyn sits on many boards of most influential organizations and has her finger print on many projects that make the difference in our world. What impressed me the most about her is her being part of the “Recovered Voices Project.” Stemming from her father’s influence, an amateur tenor who loved operatic arias, Marilyn was always passionate for and about music. She now sits on the board of the Los Angeles Opera, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestras. Always finding ways to include Jewish music in her support for the Los Angeles Opera Company, Marilyn donated $3.5 million to fund the “Recovered Voices Project” which gives audience to operas composed by Jewish musicians in Europe, who were denied recognition by the Nazis. (New Life for Works Hitler Tried to Kill – www.nytimes.com)

“To give is not a choice, it is a necessary,” said Marilyn in her closing remarks.

From L Howard Walter Marilyn significant other Marilyn Ziering Placido Domingo
From LHoward Walter Marilyn significant other, Marilyn Ziering, Placido Domingo

It was an honor to be part of an evening in which the Jewish community celebrated the righteous Marilyn Ziering and family great humanitarian contribution.

If we leave the Jewish nation’s future in the hands of people like Marilyn Ziering, for sure it will be a bright one. But the Jewish people’s future will be even brighter if we are willing to work for it and on it.

Repairing The World

The Hebrew phrase Tikun Olam, means repairing the world, or healing the world, which suggests humanity’s shared responsibility to heal, repair and transform the world to be a better place. In Judaism, the concept of tikkun olam, originating in the early rabbinic period, has a more profound meaning and tikkun olam is one of the main tasks of the modern state of Israel.

Though the Jewish nation is small in numbers, a giant like Marilyn makes the nation a nation of giants.

Kol Hakavod (Congratulations in Hebrew)! May G-d endow the Ziering family with all they deserve and thus peace, justice and music will prevail.

During the 2006 second Lebanon War, Nurit Greenger, referenced then as the “Accidental Reporter” felt compelled to become an activist. Being an ‘out-of-the-box thinker, Nurit is a passionately committed advocate for Jews, Israel, the United States, and the Free World in general. From Southern California, Nurit serves as a “one-woman Hasbarah army” for Israel who believes that if you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything.

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