Irvine Hebrew Day School Holds Inaugural Reception For New School Campus Capital Campaign School Announces $1 Million Lead Gift

(left to right) Hosts of the lovely Dessert Reception for Irvine Hebrew Day School at their exquisite Shady Canyon home are Alisa Abecassis and Jordan Rosen. *Photo Credit: Joel Austell

(left to right) Hosts of the lovely Dessert Reception for Irvine Hebrew Day School at their exquisite Shady Canyon home are Alisa Abecassis and Jordan Rosen. *Photo Credit: Joel Austell

Irvine Hebrew Day School hosted its first of many “New Campus Initiative” gatherings at the beautifully-appointed Shady Canyon residence of Alisa Abecassis and Jordan Rosen.

(left to right) Tammy Keces, Head of School for Irvine Hebrew Day School, Beth Elster, Andy Elster, Co-founder & CFO of Irvine Hebrew Day School and Karin Hepner , Co-founder & President of Irvine Hebrew Day School. *Photo Credit: Joel Austell

(left to right) Tammy Keces, Head of School for Irvine Hebrew Day School, Beth Elster, Andy Elster, Co-founder & CFO of Irvine Hebrew Day School and Karin Hepner , Co-founder & President of Irvine Hebrew Day School. *Photo Credit: Joel Austell

Karin Hepner and Andy Elster, Co-founders of Irvine Hebrew Day School, welcomed the intimate gathering of community members and major supporters, and talked about the school’s history, vision, and plans for an exciting new 5-acre school campus.  In addition, they both highlighted the essential role Irvine Hebrew Day School plays in the future of the Orange County Jewish community.

“We are thrilled to announce that Irvine Hebrew Day School is finalizing plans to purchase a prime 5-acre site in the City of Santa Ana for our new school campus, which will encompass three buildings on the site totaling 32,180 square feet of space,” stated Co-founder Karin Hepner.  “And, even more exciting is that we have just today received two anonymous lead gifts – one for $1 million and the second gift in the amount of $100,000.  This is the most powerful and impactful way for us to launch our Capital Campaign. It is testament to the commitment of our supporters and illustrates the active commitment necessary to make this beautiful vision become a reality for the whole Jewish community.” She continued, “We are humbled and grateful for this incredible generosity.”

As guests enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, Tammy Keces, Head of School, talked about the school’s outstanding and highly-successful and progressive educational model, which has shown that academic rigor and excellence in all aspects of education are possible in a Jewish day school .  Keces remarked “Irvine Hebrew Day School represents the Jewish future.  We are becoming a hub of Jewish life and learning.  This extraordinary opportunity to put a new, vibrant Jewish institution on the Orange County map is a chance for us to join together and build our collective legacy.  This extends far beyond anything we have experienced in decades.  This is the Jewish future, and it’s in our hands.” 

Paul Vann, Irvine Hebrew Day School Board Member. *Photo Credit: Joel Austell

Paul Vann, Irvine Hebrew Day School Board Member. *Photo Credit: Joel Austell

Co-founder Andy Elster shared, “It was just six years ago when I met Karin Hepner after we both experienced the loss of a parent. Our discussions centered upon how best to honor their memories and make a difference for our families. In just five short years, we have not only accomplished that but changed the lives of many in our community and become a model of education, both Jewish and secular, nationally. I am not only deeply humbled by our collective success to date but by the generosity of these two lead gifts, which are key stepping stones in building a bridge to bright future for the next generation.”

 A video of the proposed new school campus was presented, naming opportunities were discussed, and a Q & A followed.

IRVINE HEBREW DAY SCHOOL

(left to right) Hilary Gerber and Melissa Reiner. *Photo Credit: Joel Austell

(left to right) Hilary Gerber and Melissa Reiner. *Photo Credit: Joel Austell

Irvine Hebrew Day School, co-founded in 2014 by Karin Hepner and Andy Elster, provides an innovative, rigorous and progressive Jewish and academic education, rooted in educational best practices and the latest educational research.  Irvine Hebrew Day School is unique in its approach.  Co-founder Hepner describes it as “a design that has never before been drawn.”   The school prides itself on welcoming students and families from the broad Jewish spectrum, including diverse geographic and socio-economic backgrounds and those who have yet to find their place in any synagogue or community.

Irvine Hebrew Day School’s educational approach includes a social-emotional method known as  “Positive Discipline”, in which students are equipped with necessary skills for the greatest achievement and fulfillment in life. IHDS students enjoy a learning environment full of collaboration, wonderment, and passion for knowledge.  

According to standardized testing results, Irvine Hebrew Day School demonstrates that 62% of its students are designated as Gifted or Highly Gifted, as compared to the State and National averages of 6 to 8%.

Irvine Hebrew Day School has been accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).   To learn more about the exciting plans for the new Irvine Hebrew Day School Campus please call 949-478-6818 or visit www.irvinehebrewday.org.

Pacific Symphony Embraces Its Iranian-American Neighbors For A Festive Concert On March 24, Marking Iranian New Year, Nowruz

Post-Concert Celebration Reception Brings Together VIPs and Members of 
The Cyrus Society, Pacific Symphony’s Newest Support Group

Lobby Display for NOWRUZ CONCERT Celebrating Persian New Year.

Lobby Display for NOWRUZ CONCERT Celebrating Persian New Year.

There is a Persian proverb that says, “Show your dreams to others,” and Pacific Symphony did just that this past weekend. In its ongoing quest to present diverse music for diverse audiences, the Symphony offered a festive sold-out concert to celebrate the Iranian New Year festival of Nowruz, which marks the arrival of spring. Presented in collaboration with the Farhang Foundation, this special concert led by Music Director Carl St.Clair took place on March 24. The program featured works of Dvorák, contemporary Persian symphonic music, as well as traditional Persian music featuring guest artists that included acclaimed Iranian conductor, pianist and composer Shardad Rohani, along with the popular internationally renowned vocalist Hamayoun Shajarian and instrumentalist Sohrab Pournazeri. Pacific Symphony acknowledges the generous sponsorship of the Farhang Foundation in making this musical celebration such as success. 

(left to right) Sohrab Pournazeri, Virtuoso of the Tanbour and the Kamancheh, is a sensational phenomenon of modern Iranian music, Carl St. Clair, Music Director of the Pacific Symphony, and Homayoun Shajarian, Persian classical music and Persian classical crossover Vocalist.

(left to right) Sohrab Pournazeri, Virtuoso of the Tanbour and the Kamancheh, is a sensational phenomenon of modern Iranian music, Carl St. Clair, Music Director of the Pacific Symphony, and Homayoun Shajarian, Persian classical music and Persian classical crossover Vocalist.

A special reception took place post-concert in the Box Circle Club on the second floor of the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall for a select group of Symphony board members, Farhang Foundation board members, and members of Pacific Symphony’s newly formed Cyrus Society. The Cyrus Society is a group of business, community and cultural leaders with a passion for classical music, who open avenues of engagement to the Iranian communities of Orange County. Cyrus Society members are generously supportive of Pacific Symphony’s efforts to build long-term partnerships with the growing number of Iranian and Iranian-American leaders and residents in our region in order to support cultural celebrations and deepen understanding.

Reception guests had the opportunity to enjoy great food and beverages including Persian delicacies, imported and domestic cheeses, crackers, flatbreads, fresh and dried fruits and select sweets along with Persian-inspired wine supplied by Darioush Estate in the Southern Napa Valley. Darioush Signature Shiraz is known for its rich, spicy and soulful character and was relished with delight by all. The stars of the concert, vocalist Hamayoun Shajarian and instrumentalist Sohrab Pournazeri, stopped by the reception for a meet-and-greet and to pose for photos with guests, before continuing to the main lobby to autograph CDs for their fans. 

Music Director of the Pacific Symphony conducting the Orchestra with special guest   Shahrdad Rohani, at the Piano. Currently, Rohani   is Musical Director and Principal Conductor of the Tehran Symphony.

Music Director of the Pacific Symphony conducting the Orchestra with special guest Shahrdad Rohani, at the Piano. Currently, Rohani is Musical Director and Principal Conductor of the Tehran Symphony.

Anoosheh Oskouian (CEO of Ship & Shore Environmental, Inc.), who serves as a trustee of the Farhang Foundation and as a board member of Pacific Symphony, commented “I am so pleased that the Farhang Foundation has partnered with Pacific Symphony to celebrate Nowruz, which marks the arrival of spring and rebirth of nature.” She continued, “It has been my dream to bring this special Nowruz concert onstage to connect East and West musically.” 

Maestro St.Clair also commented: “For many years now Pacific Symphony has been striving to embrace Orange County’s rich and diverse communities through contextual programming. This program has been a way to connect on a more personal level and also reflects my own wish to enrich lives through the beauty and power of music.” 

Farhang Foundation

Established in 2008 in Los Angeles, Farhang Foundation is a non-religious, non-political and not-for-profit foundation with a mission to celebrate and promote Iranian art and culture for the benefit of the community at large. The foundation supports academic activities in Southern California by funding university programs, publications and conferences. The foundation also supports cultural programs such as the celebration of Nowruz and Mehregan, theater, dance performances, film screenings and poetry reading in Southern California. Farhang Foundation, in cooperation with various cultural and academic institutions plans major programs and exhibitions about Iran and its culture. For more info visit: www.farhang.org. 

CASA Holiday Luncheon Generates Much Needed Support for Foster Care Youths

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The Friends of CASA Holiday Luncheon, held at the posh ballroom of the Monarch Beach Resort in Dana Point, was a huge success, raising a record breaking contribution of $452,000 to benefit children in foster care. 

Over 500 guests in attendance got to browse and bid on auction items, mingle, sip champagne, enjoy a delicious lunch and watch a fashion show, featuring fashions by Tory Burch. But the highlight of the event was the eloquently told, first hand experience of Keynote Speaker Dimon Sanders, who shared her heartbreaking, personal experience as a foster youth who was taken from her home, forced to give up everything she cherished, and moved through 13 different living environments. Her savings grace was her CASA, who gave her a safe space and constancy, precious to children who can no longer rely on their parents. 

The event co-chairs were Melissa Rohani and Michelle Fisher. They were assisted by a team of over 85 Friends of CASA auxiliary group members, led by President, Lori Jackson. 

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An Enchanted Evening at Segerstrom Center for the Arts Candlelight Concert

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Candlelight Concert is truly one of the most magical nights of the year. The 45th Annual Gala, which raised $1.5 million for Segerstrom Center for the Arts’ world class programming, community engagement and education, offered the glamorous crowd of party goers an exceptionally “Enchanted Evening,” living up to the gala’s theme. 

Chairs Sandy Segerstrom Daniels and Jane Fujishige Yada welcomed over 450 attendees with charming anecdotes of their farm girl roots and recollections of their earliest exposure to the joy of live theater. Before dinner, guests were treated to a salute to Broadway with a selection of favorite show tunes sung by Tony Award winner Susan Egan and John Lloyd, Broadway stars Tony Yazbeck and Michael Bell, and the California State University Fullerton Singers. 

The highlight of the event followed - A lavish sit down dinner, elegantly staged on the stage of the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, and the opportunity to get up close to the music and dance to the legendary and iconic band, Earth, Wind and Fire. 

Party favors, for each female guest, were provided by Presenting Sponsor Lugano Diamonds. Additional underwriters who helped make the event a huge success included Sandy Segerstrom Daniels, Betty and S.L. Huang, Kia Motors America, Tracy and Roger Kirwan, Shanaz and Jack Langson, Mara and Keith Murray, Carol and Mark Perry, Janet and Clifford Ronnenberg, Connie and Peter Spenuzza, Carol and Kent Wilken, and Jane Fujishige Yada. 

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Rita Goldberg

Rita Goldberg, Editor-In-Chief, hails from New York, where she earned her degree from New York University’s School of Journalism and launched her career on the press room floor of Women’s Wear Daily. A long time resident of Newport Beach, she has served as Founding Editor for several prominent magazines and collaborated on two editions of The Art Lover’s Cook Book. She is a well ingrained community member of Coastal Orange County and is a Founding Board Member of The Newport Beach Film Festival and past Chair of The Newport Beach City Arts Commission. She brings over 20 years of professional journalism and editorial experience to Joli Magazine. A mother of three, during her spare time, she enjoys hiking, biking and taking advantage of the beautiful Southern California lifestyle.

Winston’s Crown Jewelers Holiday Party

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BY DAINERA VERDULT

Winston’s Crown Jewelers was abuzz with guests - nearly 300 in attendance - at its 20th annual Holiday Party. The elegantly attired, bejeweled crowd of VIP clientele turned out to enjoy an evening of food, drinks, and live music at the Mariners Pointe Plaza showroom and festively decked out adjacent cabana. 

Party-goers were treated to tray-passed hors d’oeuvres by Taste Catering and libations of choice, including the specially crafted signature drink - The Winstontini. The centerpiece, a diamond ice luge wowed guests and kept the flowing martinis chilled. 

Picture taking opportunities, in the fun holiday-themed photo booth, raffle prizes, courtesy of Newport Medspa, and take away gifts added to the celebratory vibe. 

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Waterfront Linda Isle Estate Charity Event

Andre Ghazarian

Andre Ghazarian

The elegant waterfront estate on Linda Isle, one of the most exclusive enclaves within Newport Beach, welcomed over 300 party-goers to a charity event benefiting Share Our Selves. The very private, by invite only, party was sponsored by Joli Magazine and Cammy Leslie of The McMonigle Group/Agent, Inc. Celebrity real estate personality and Founder/ Owner John McMonigle was on hand to greet guests and mingle with the tony crowd. 

Danielle Quellette, Angela Caliger, Lauren Phillips

Danielle Quellette, Angela Caliger, Lauren Phillips

Marina Flickenger, Lauren Powers, Pamela Noble

Marina Flickenger, Lauren Powers, Pamela Noble

Prego Mediterranean Restaurant Executive Chef Ugo Allesina personally dished up his delectable signature fare. Several bars, set up throughout the 6,300 square foot property, offered wine, provided by Giracci Vineyards, and other favorite libations. A lavish dessert table, courtesy of Confectious Pastry Shop, served as the centerpiece on the harbor front veranda. Live musical entertainment, provided by Divina Strings, and a DJ sound mix, curated by Julian Channels, kept attendees entertained. 

The evening also featured pop up boutiques and luxury product displays from local vendors including Bentley Newport Beach, Beverly Hills Rejuvenation Center, Bradford Renaissance Portraits, Levick’s Jewelers, Painting Your Soul, OC Peel Bar, Parlabella Jewelry, Pure Elements, Tulifts and William Frey Construction. Share Our Selves, the beneficiary of proceeds raised during the evening, provides much needed health care and other vital services to the homeless.

Rick and Dianne Allen

Rick and Dianne Allen

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Yoram Mimun, William Frey

Yoram Mimun, William Frey

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Rita Goldberg

Rita Goldberg, Editor-In-Chief, hails from New York, where she earned her degree from New York University’s School of Journalism and launched her career on the press room floor of Women’s Wear Daily. A long time resident of Newport Beach, she has served as Founding Editor for several prominent magazines and collaborated on two editions of The Art Lover’s Cook Book. She is a well ingrained community member of Coastal Orange County and is a Founding Board Member of The Newport Beach Film Festival and past Chair of The Newport Beach City Arts Commission. She brings over 20 years of professional journalism and editorial experience to Joli Magazine. A mother of three, during her spare time, she enjoys hiking, biking and taking advantage of the beautiful Southern California lifestyle.