Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles raised over $460,000 at its annual gala, The Big Event, to support the needs of youth throughout Los Angeles. Hosted at Stephen Wise Temple on Tuesday, May 3, The Big Event showcased the impact of JBBBSLA’s life-changing programs and honored three volunteers, Manny Flekman, Danielle Pullman, and Randy Levine.
Funds raised at the event allow JBBBSLA to help youth through four innovative programs: Youth Mentoring for LA’s Jewish youth in need of a mentor; Camp Bob Waldorf, providing overnight camp and retreats for LA’s underserved children and teens; College Access + Success providing professional college guidance and scholarships for former mentees and campers to academically thrive; and the groundbreaking Teen Talk App for teens across the world seeking social and emotional support for mental health challenges and other issues.
JBBBSLA’s CEO, Cari Uslan, believes The Big Event’s fundraising will help more youth access JBBBSLA’s programming.
“Our amazing Board, staff, and volunteers are stepping up to face today’s challenges,” Uslan said. “There is no doubt we are serving more youth whose families have struggled to make ends meet and who have undergone painful experiences caused by the last two years of the pandemic. Our programs at JBBBSLA have never been more relevant and we are committed to continuing to work with youth and help them reach their full potential.”
“Before I was matched, my life was very different,” former little brother Alan Karbachinsky said. “My parents were divorced, we didn’t have a home, and I struggled with hunger. When I first met my big brother Navid, he looked me straight in the eyes and said, ‘It’s going to be okay.’ My big brother gave me the support I needed and thanks to a JBBBSLA scholarship, I’m graduating from my dream school, USC. I would not be who I am today without this organization.”
At the Big Event, JBBBSLA presented the Sidney J. Rosenberg Lifetime Achievement Award to Board Member Manny Flekman for his 25 years of commitment to JBBBSLA and his extraordinary leadership on the Camp Committee. Flekman is a Holocaust survivor who fled Germany and eventually made his way to Los Angeles where he has led a life of giving back to the community. JBBBSLA also presented the Big Spotlight Award to two bigs, or mentors, Danielle Pullman and Randy Levine. Pullman is a big sister and leader of Disney’s first Jewish employee affinity group and Levine is a big brother, an active board member, and committed committee member for JBBBSLA’s annual Camp Bob Waldorf Golf Tournament.
For information, visit jbbbsla.org.
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