Hollywood’s “Leading Ladies” honored
at UJCBC Hallelujah Hollywood event
State Representative Eleanor Sobel - one of four honoree “Leading Ladies” at the United Jewish Community of Broward County’s second annual Hallelujah Hollywood event, held March 13 at the Emerald Hills Country Club - recalled being a volunteer for a Federation fundraising drive, in 1990, when the public service “bug” first bit.
The other three nominees - Broward County Commissioner Sue Gunzburger, Hollywood Mayor Mara Giulianti, and U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz - apparently caught the bug as well.
“It’s wonderful to serve [Broward County] with people who share the same concern for the community as I do,” Gunzburger said.
Sobel gave kudos, also, to the more than 230 people taking part in Hallelujah Hollywood, all of whom made a minimum family gift of $500 to the UJCBC 2005 annual UJA campaign. “To the Jewish community in Broward County, I say, ‘Thanks for all your work to help to ensure that no Jew, either young or old, goes to bed hungry’,” Sobel said.
“[At Federation] you are advocates for children and the elderly,” Gunzburger added. “You help those who often can’t help themselves. You are all heroes in my mind.”
Giulianti alluded to the fact that, during her nearly two-decade tenure as Hollywood mayor, the Federation had gone through a number of name changes, as well as a merger of the two Federations in the northern and southern parts of the county.
“For all the great work it does, it’s an honor and privilege to still be supporting the UJCBC - no matter what its name is,” Giulianti quipped.
Master of ceremonies Dr. Stan Spatz stressed that the Hollywood of today “is very different from the Hollywood of 30 years ago.”
“The JCCs and day schools were just taking root back then,” Spatz said. “Not all of us here tonight are part of Hollywood’s past - but all of us are part of Hollywood’s future.”
Hollywood resident Shane Wolf stressed that while the theme of this year’s UJCBC fundraising campaign is to live generously, “people in Hollywood have been living generously for many years.”
U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who lives in Weston but whose congressional district includes much of Hollywood, called it “a particularly amazing honor, to be embraced by a community that I am not a resident of.”
Acknowledging she was also a bit younger than the evening’s other honorees, Wasserman Schultz said she felt as if she was “standing on their shoulders.”
“The only way that I could do what I do today,” she said, “is because of people like Mara, Suzanne and Eleanor who were there before me.”
On a serious note, Wasserman Schultz said she came to Washington confident that Israel had more than enough friends on Capitol Hill. “But after walking the halls of Congress I learned that Israel can never have enough advocates,” she said. “When you meet people in Washington who think Israel’s not worth saving, or believe in Israel’s dismantling, you begin to realize that you have to fight for the State of Israel every day.”
Co-chairs for “Hallelujah Hollywood” were Mimi and Scott Roberts and Mindy and Ken Strauss, while comedian Steve Solomon provided the entertainment. The event’s corporate sponsors were BBJ Linens, Bell Care Nurses Registry, Diana Pittarelli Classic Realty Group, FPL, Joseph Curtis Insurance Group (Long Term Care Insurance & Annuities), Memorial Healthcare System, and Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc.