Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
Breaking News

On Back of Vodka Money, LA Gala Raises $14 million for Israel’s Red Cross Affiliate

— A record of nearly $14 million was raised by the American Friends of Magen David Adom at a Los Angeles gala.

Some $5 million of the total raised Tuesday at the Red Star Ball to support the services of Magen David Adom in Israel, an official Red Cross affiliate, came from a single donor, Maurice Kanbar, the creator of Skyy vodka. Some of the money will go to build a new blood services center in Israel.

The event honored David Suissa, president of Tribe Media, which publishes the Los Angeles Jewish Journal, with the Humanitarian of the Year Award; Stanley Black, founder and chairman of Black Equities Group, with the Lifetime Achievement Award, and Black’s grandson, Zach Zalben, senior vice president of Black Equities Group, with the Next Generation Award.

Merrill Moses, a three-time U.S. Olympic water polo player and 2008 Beijing silver medalist, introduced Yarin Ashkenazi, an Israeli soldier who was nearly killed in a terror attack, and Yair Schussheim, the MDA paramedic who saved him and helped him work toward recovery.

In addition, family members of MDA youth volunteer Netanel Litman, 18, and his father, Rabbi Yaakov Litman, who were killed last year in a West Bank terror attack, also were recognized. They were driving in a car with five other family members to the Shabbat pre-wedding celebrations of their daughter and sister when they came under fire.

Dvir Litman, 16, was presented an honorary uniform by MDA Director-General Eli Bin and a group of paramedics in honor of his work to save his family in the aftermath of the attack.

Engage

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.