It is known that any serving consul and his aides at the Consulate General of Israel in Los Angeles have a long tradition of constantly reaching out to the local communities, whether it is the Korean, the Spanish speaking, the many Christian communities, or many others.
Last week it was no different when the entire staff of the Consulate General of Israel, headed by Mr. David Segal, Israel consul General, with the cooperation of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, and the support of Congressman Howard Berman, Sheriff Lee Baca, Haim Saban, Chairman and CEO of Saban Capital Group, Inc, Mexican American actor and director Edward James Olmos, award-winning actress and philanthropist Eva Longoria, Bishop Kenneth Ulmer, Head Pastor at Faithful Central Church, Moctesuma Esparza, award-winning producer, entertainment executive, entrepreneur and community activist and Grace Yoo, executive director, Korean American Coalition, and other elected officials, community leaders and many guests gathered in Marina Del Rey, on the FantaSea Yacht, donated for the event by the owners, the Ginzburg family, for the third Fiesta Shalom at Sea.
Gabriela Teissier from Univision emceed the event, which carried a warm, cordial and high spirit atmosphere and ended with a dancing performance and dancing music for all.
Mr. Segal presented Moctesuma Esparza, who exemplified visionary leadership through community empowerment, with the Theodor Herzl Award for Visionary Leadership.
This initiative of the Israeli Consulate aims to continually strengthen the bonds between the diverse communities of Los Angeles and the State of Israel.
The intent of such an event is to offer an informal and friendly environment through which elected officials, community leaders and clergy will connect with Israeli and Jewish leaders to deepen the dialog leading to mutual understanding of the issues facing communities wherever they are.
“To me, visiting Israel was a life changing experience” Bishop Kenneth Ulmer told the guests.
Congressman Berman and Sheriff Baca expressed their excitement about the event’s goals; “we can feel the love,” they said. “When they cut my budget I go to the ‘Wailing Wall'” Sheriff Baca made a double meaning joke.
James Olmos, who is working to produce a movie about Peter Bergson and Ben Hecht, the author of the book Perfidy, Zionists who crusaded in the United States on behalf of Jews in Europe during World War II, concluded the speeches’ portion of the event with his statement, “we all come from one race, the human race with many wonderful cultures.”
Only two years ago, Eva Longoria knew almost nothing about Israel and that is the end goal of this project: to make sure that people know about Israel, visit Israel and shape a positive opinion about the state and spread the word. Because the success of Jewish communities around the world is a model to follow; because Israel has been fighting for her survival for 65 years and the Jewish state wants nothing more than peace, tranquility and to be left alone to thrive, grow and have a positive effect on the entire world. And she can certainly achieve this with the help of people like those who attended this event.
Israel is just about the only country in the world that makes the headlines almost every day and the headlines are not always positive. They are about the many issues that have formed around the conflict the Arab nations have had with the Jewish state since she came to be again, or about a new invention that has just come out of an Israeli laboratory, or about a team of Israeli doctors who rushed to help a nation in distress somewhere in the world. It all sums up that the people of Israel are extending their arms in unity and asking to share kinship with all; I think the world is reciprocating and the overwhelmingly attended Fiesta Shalom at Sea event is just the attestation.