Congregation Bais Naftoli held its 23rd annual breakfast on June 28, and honored Hungarian ambassador Reka Szemerkenyi and Rabbi Shaul Spira, who serves as youth director of the congregation and teaches at Cheder Los Angeles.
Congregation Bais Naftoli was established 23 years ago in memory of Holocaust survivor, Naftoli Friedman. Currently, his nephew, attorney Andrew Friedman, serves as president of the synagogue and organizes the annual breakfast, at which honorees are recognized for their contributions to the Jewish community.
Pictured at the breakfast are Rabbi Yoel Gold, of Congregation Bais Naftoli; Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer; Spira; Szemerkenyi; City Controller Ron Galperin; and Friedman.
Szemerkenyi became the Hungarian ambassador to the United States in February. In Hungary, the Jewish community is experiencing a renaissance. More than 100,000 Jews live in Hungary and there is new funding for Jewish education, as well as social and cultural programs. More than 600 cemeteries are being refurbished and synagogues are being rebuilt. Szemerkenyi was honored for establishing peace and harmony between all Hungarians, irrespective of race, color and religion.
Spira was recognized for his service and contributions to the children of the Jewish community. Spira’s Omen Club generates enthusiasm in the children of the temple every Sabbath.
Many dignitaries also attended including Congressman Edward R. Royce (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee; Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich, 5th District; U.S. Marshal David Singer; Los Angeles Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas; Los Angeles Police Department Deputy Chief Beatrice Girmala; Hungarian Consul Oliver Pinter; German Consul Stefan Biederman and representatives of the FBI, DEA and CHP. Congregation Bais Naftoli is located at 221 S. La Brea Ave. For information, call (323)931-2476.
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