JVS Honors The Felsenthal Family

Fall Gala “Two Generations Making a Difference” will be held November 16 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel

November 3, 2014 - The concept of helping a person at the moment in life when he or she is most in need of assistance resonates deeply within two generations of the Felsenthal family. The family’s commitment to JVS spans more than a decade and their contributions can be seen throughout the agency.

JVS will honor Judy and Jerrold Felsenthal, their son Leland and daughter-in-law Erica with the JVS Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of the family’s many years of dedication, commitment and generosity to the agency. The fall gala, “Two Generations Making a Difference,” takes place Sunday, Nov. 16 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. The event will be co-chaired by Jeffrey Paul and Rick Powell and will feature a special performance by the California Beach Boys tribute band, Papa Doo Run Run.

“Charity was always a part of my life growing up, and there’s hardly a day goes by that I’m not doing something for one charity or another, whether writing a check or taking food to the westside food coalition or to SOVA or tutoring,” says Judy Felsenthal. “I have been very blessed with a wonderful life, and it makes me feel good if I can make other people feel good and make a change in their lives.”

“We are delighted to honor a family that has been such a devoted and generous friend to JVS for so many years,” says JVS CEO Vivian Seigel. Through their support of our agency’s life-changing mission, Judy, Jerry, Leland and Erica set a shining philanthropic example.”

The family’s involvement with the agency began in 2004 when Judy was brought to tears listening to the story of a JVS Scholarship student and decided she needed to be involved in this donor-directed program. Judy joined the agency’s Board of Directors and ultimately chaired the JVS Scholarship Committee. She and her husband Jerry have since sponsored multiple scholarship recipients. Their abiding interest in education was shared by their eldest son, Leland, and his wife Erica, who have also sponsored a number of scholarship students and are Circle of Honor donors to the JVS Scholarship Endowment Fund. Leland, who currently serves as a vice president on the JVS Board, follows directly in his mother’s footsteps, as the JVS Scholarship Committee for 2015.

Dr. Erica Felsenthal, a practicing clinical psychologist, has helped develop training manuals for JVS’ Assessment and Disability clients, and is a member of the JVS Women’s Leadership Network (WLN), a donor directed group dedicated to supporting JVS’ diverse range of programs which assist women in crisis and transition.

The Felsenthals’ work for JVS is a small part of a life replete with business and charitable endeavors. Jerry Felsenthal operates a successful industrial real estate development, investment and management company. He served on the Beverly Hills Planning Commission for seven years including a term as the commission’s chair, and he currently serves on the city’s Public Works Commission.  

Judy Felsenthal has devoted her time and resources to such organizations as the Amie Karen Cancer Fund, Otis College of Art and Design, the Los Angeles Music Center, Cedars-Sinai Hospital Board of Governors, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Sinai Temple and the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation.

Leland is the CEO and president of Public Identity, a licensing and brand management corporation that he founded in his early 20s. Erica is an active volunteer who serves as a vice president of the Parent Association Board at Wilshire Boulevard Temple's preschool. She and Leland are the parents of daughters Violet and Zoey.

“Volunteering and doing work on behalf of different causes is part of how we define ourselves as a family,” says Leland. “We have good fortune and that’s a lucky place to be. It’s very important we share that with others.”

For more information about the gala, contact Randy H. Lapin, JVS Chief Philanthropy Officer, (323) 761-8598, [email protected].

About JVS: Serving the widely diverse Southern California community, JVS Los Angeles helps people of all faiths and backgrounds overcome barriers to employment so they can become self-sufficient. Our clients include recently separated veterans, people living in poverty, at risk, foster and probation youth, the long term unemployed, people with disabilities and mature workers, as well as downsized career professionals. Our goal is to provide individuals with the tools, resources and support they need through job training, mentoring, expert career coaching, job placement and retention support. Leaders in the workforce development field and advocates for the underserved, JVS Los Angeles was founded in 1931 to fight workplace discrimination and help Jewish refugees fleeing the political upheaval in Europe to find jobs and begin new lives. Over eight decades later we are going strong with nearly 30,000 client visits each year. To learn more, visit www.jvsla.org.

November 6, 2014