Gala 2023

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On Sunday, December 3, 2023, at 5:30 pm, we invite you to join us as we honor Lisa & Victor Kohn at our Celebration Gala at Valley Beth Shalom, along with Rabbi Tova Leibovic-Douglas & Austin Douglas, Judith Weinstock Alumni Leadership Award recipients.

To become a sponsor or purchase a tribute, please click here.

Lisa & Victor Kohn

Rabbi Tova Leibovic-Douglas

& Austin Douglas

2023 Gala Honorees

Lisa and Victor grew up at opposite ends of the Earth: he in Santiago, Chile, and she in Tarzana, California. Yet they found each other at the perfect time in their lives.

Lisa’s family, a mix of Orthodox and Reform Jews, came to the US from Europe in the early 1900s. Lisa’s parents were among the founding members of Temple Judea. She graduated from UCLA and spent many years working in the garment industry. During that time, she participated in various events and committee with The Jewish Federation of Los Angeles and Vista del Mar.

Victor’s Jewish background was more traditional, raised by parents who emigrated to Chile from small villages in Hungary; his father in the 1930s and his mother in 1946, as a Holocaust survivor. Victor came to the US in 1982 to attend the MBA program at Stanford University. In 1986, he accepted a job as an investment analyst and portfolio manager at Capital Group, an investment management organization, the same firm he still works for today.

Lisa and Victor were married at Valley Beth Shalom synagogue, immediately became members and raised their two daughters, Lauren and Gaby, at VBS’s nursery school and day school; Lauren and Gaby later attended Milken Community High School.

Upon starting a family, Lisa became a full time Mom and later became a Lion of Judah and joined the boards of Camp Ramah in California and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC). Lisa now dedicates a lot of time to making sure that Jewish Camping in Europe thrives. She was so inspired by what she saw at Camp Ramah that she now works to find a way to provide Jewish children and families throughout Europe the same Jewish camping experience that American Jewish families are so lucky to access. Lisa and Victor support Jewish camping in Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Hungary, Romania, Poland, and Bulgaria. They are also proud to share that Jewish families from Ukraine have recently been able to attend camp in Hungary, giving them a sense of relief and normalcy.

Today, the Kohns are active members and volunteers with Valley Beth Shalom Synagogue, the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, Camp Ramah in California, AIPAC, and the JDC.
If Austin Douglas had not made aliyah with his family in 1994, it’s likely that he would have been in the same edah (age group) at Camp Ramah that summer as Tova Leibovic-Douglas, and this story might have turned out differently. Luckily, the two did meet at camp years later, in the summer of 2007. Tova was working as the Tikvah Educator at Camp Ramah after spending many summers as a camper and counselor. Austin landed in Los Angeles during his post-IDF travel excursion and upon the recommendation of his cousins (who were Tova’s counselors long ago), was encouraged to join the Mishlachat (Israeli staff). The rest, as they say, is history.

Both returned to Ramah the following two summers, Austin as Rosh Outdoors and Tova as Rosh Amitzim. For Austin, Ramah immediately became a place of comfort and connection to Judaism as well as a source of community. Tova, who comes from a family who has valued Ramah for as long as she could remember, can trace nearly every major life decision to her experiences at 385 Fairview Road. Meeting her beloved and forging lifelong relationships with her deepest and closest friends; falling in love with Judaism and deciding to become a special educator, and later a Rabbi; learning how to parent…each of these life-altering experiences was inspired by, learned near, or felt upon that majestic hill, the givah at the center of camp.

One of their favorite and most cherished moments was the surprise aufruf that the Tikvah campers planned for them a week before their wedding. This surprise represented the best of Camp Ramah in California: experiential Judaism, embracing neurodiversity and inclusion, and a creative spirit. Tova returned most summers while studying in rabbinical school. She was Rosh Mador, a yoetzet, and taught for the Nechama staff wellness program. Austin loves that he still gets to spend summers in Ojai, especially since it means that chocolate muffins on Shabbat are still part of his diet. Tova and Austin feel blessed that they have been able to introduce their children to Ramah in the gan, and to witness them fall in love with camp just as they had so many years earlier.

Tova and Austin believe in the magic of Ramah. They have taken the lessons and values of this important place and have integrated them into their home and daily lives. Tova is an independent rabbi, ritualist, spiritual counselor, consultant and educator who believes in helping individuals find themselves within Jewish wisdom. Austin owns a property management company specializing in residential and commercial real estate as well as project management. They are deeply involved at Milken Community Schools, IKAR, and their children’s school, Westland.

Tova and Austin live in Los Angeles with their two children, budding Ramahniks Evie (8) and Nora (5). You can find them most weekends throwing spontaneous dance parties in their kitchen.

Support Camp Ramah and show your admiration for Lisa & Victor and Rabbi Tova & Austin by becoming a sponsor or purchasing a tribute.

Proceeds from the Gala Celebration will be directed towards Camp Ramah in California, ensuring that our beloved camp remains on firm financial footing so that we can focus on facilitating a Journey for a Lifetime for thousands of Ramahniks for generations to come. Your generosity will enable Camp Ramah and The Zimmer Retreat & Conference Center to grow from strength to strength, continuing to develop and innovate their signature industry-leading programming each summer and all year long for the many children, teens, and adults who find a place for themselves in our kehillah kedoshah (sacred community).

To become a sponsor or purchase a tribute, please click here.

To purchase tickets to the after-gala alumni gathering, please click here.

For questions or to participate in the Gala, email or call 310-476-8571

Celebration Chair
Lesley Wolman

Development Chair
Nancy Beiser

Chair, Board of Directors
Lee S. Rosen, MD

Honorary Co-Chairs

Lynn & Les Bider • Alyce & Philip de Toledo • Roz & Abner Goldstine

Sheila & Aaron Leibovic • Julie & Marc Platt

Celebration Co-Chairs

Donna & Ron Bender • Ellen & Jeff Brown • Rochelle & Freddy Cohen

Karmi & Harold Monsher • Hannah & Yossi Reinstein •

Elizabeth & Rabbi David Saiger

Honorary Committee

in formation, as of 09/13/23

Adele & Trevor Abramson • Jenny & Aaron Aftergood • Sara & David Aftergood • Jake Aftergood • Maya Aharon • Jackie & Yahya Ahdout • Amy & Jonathan Aires • Beth Astor Freeman & Maury Alcheck • Aaren Alpert • Merrill & Gregg Alpert • Elana & Rabbi Bradley Artson • Marissa & David* Ashkenazi • Rhoda & Dr. Robert** Barnhard • Drs. Alyse* & Jonathan Baron • Diane Be’ery (Meskin) & Gilad Be'ery • Briana & Jeffrey Benaron • Debi & Elie Benaron • Alyse Golden Berkley • Ami Berlin • Ilene & Dennis Berman • Sylvia Bernstein-Tregub • Dr Aviva and Leon Biederman • Suzy & Stephen Bookbinder • Nancy & John Bornstein • Harriet Rossetto & Rabbi Mark Borovitz • Lynn Gordon & Jonathan Braun • Lynette & Derek (z”l) Brown • Carolyn & Rabbi Richard* Camras • Shana & Joshua* Caplan • Yoni Cohen • Faith & Jonathan Cookler • Lisa & Craig* Cooper • Amy Skopp Cooper • Aimee & Eric Corne • Susie Forer-Dehrey & Yehuda Dehrey • Glennie Kipper Dinin • Gaby & Jack Donitz • Marlynn & Rabbi Elliot Dorff • Judy & Fred Douglas • Bonnie & Allan Duboff • Rabbi Michelle Missaghieh & Dr. Bruce Ellman • Lisa Lainer-Fagan & Brian Fagan • Janet Farber** • Rebekah & Howard Farber • Keren & Alex Fard • Sarah & Rabbi Noah Farkas • Alison* & Michael Feinberg • Rabbis Nina & Ed Feinstein • Diana Fiedotin • Ami Fields-Meyer • Rabbi Shawn & Tom Fields-Meyer • Rabbi Aaron Finkelstein and Julie Sugar  • Jodie & Steven Fishman • Trish & Bill Flumenbaum • Carin & Glenn Freeman • Jenna Freeman • Susan & Jack Frydrych • Stuart Gabriel & Judith Katzburg • Talia & Alex Garry • Keren & Eric Geier • Sarah & Josh Gelbart • Barbara & Joel Gereboff • Karen & Mark Gentleman • Terri Getzug, MD  • Tzivia Schwartz Getzug* & Steve Getzug • Aviv Gilboa* • Susan North Gilboa & Rami Gilboa • Elaine & David Gill • Sharon & David Gilman • Jennifer & Lionel Glancy • Jedd Gold • Dr. Andrea Kasowitz & Andrew Goldberg • Yona Goldberg • Jory Goldman • Karen & Jeff Goss • Robin & Gil Graff • Rabbi Adam Greenwald & Anne Hromadka • Joelle & Daniel Gryczman* • Chaplain Deborah Schmidt & Rabbi Abraham Havivi • Shira & Justin Hellman • Rabbi Uri & Dr. Myna Herscher • Rabbis Becky & Joshua Hoffman • Karen & Jeffrey Hogan • Marcie & Scott Howard • Lela & Dr. Norman** Jacoby • Stacey Janks Jasper & Eric Jasper • Jewish Family Service Los Angeles • Stephanie Kantor • Gaby & Jeffrey Kaplan • Joanna Kasirer & Joshua Kaplan • Mannon Kaplan** • Debra & Robert Kasirer • Rachel Lesin & David Kasirer • Rena & Max Kates • Malcolm Katz & Sally Weber • Noa & Josh Keimach • Rebecca* & David Kekst • Linda & Abe Knobel • Michal Kogan Kress • Gaby Kohn • Lauren Kohn • Lois & Steven Kolker • Carol & Irwin Koransky • Carole & Gary Lazar • Blair & Rabbi Nolan Lebovitz • Tori Lynn Leibovic • Allyn & Jeff Levine • Irene & Howard** Levine • Ann Lieberman  • Rabbi Sharon Brous & David Light • Jill & Nat Linhardt • Virginia & Frank Maas • John Magoulas • Rabbi Igael Gurin Malous • Abby Fifer Mandell & Avram Mandell • Suzanne Reznikoff Marks* & Zachary Marks • Abby & Jonny* Mars • Amy & Harold Masor • Hilary & Michael* Mattes • Julie & Joel Mayer • Deborah Musher & Rabbi Joe Menashe • Ilana** & Mark Meskin • Marlene (z”l) & Randy Michaels • Adrian* & Larry Miller • Janet & Jeff Mintz • Laurie Levenson & Doug Mirell • Courtney L. Mizel* • Alice & Gordon Myers • Elana & Rabbi Adam Naftalin-Kelman • Jill & Steven Namm • Paulette & Ron Nessim • Esther Netter • Gail & Ken Nussen • Judy & Alan Nussenblatt • Julie & Ron Pardo • Shirley & Brad Patt • Rabbi Cheryl Peretz • Ariella Moss Peterseil & Nachum Peterseil • Courtney & Jonah Platt • Dr. Susan & Mel Plutsky • Heidi & Albert Praw • Tara & Jay** Reisbaum • Rabbi Joel & Fredi Rembaum • Ralph Resnick • Janice Kamenir-Reznik & Benjamin Reznik • Lana* & Richard Rizika • Peggy Robin • Nurit & Rich Robin • Floryn & Daniel Rosenberg • Gwen & Jeremy* Rosenthal • Margalit Rosenthal • Hannah Platt Rosin* & Avery Rosin • Sunny & Larry Russ • Danielle & Nathan Saadat • Sandor & Dr. Claudia Samuels • Annie & Art Sandler • Betsy Katz Sandler & Scott Sandler • Ellen & Richard Sandler • Ilene Basloe Saraf* & Tal Saraf • Sandi & Avi** Schlesinger • Dana* & Evan Schlessinger • Susan & Isaac Schmidt • Rabbis Deborah & Brian Schuldenfrei • Joan & Dr. Paul** Schultz • Dr. Sami* & Adam Schwartz • Danielle Kasirer & Jamie Schwartz • Rabbis Nicole Guzik & Erez Sherman • Dr. Sarah & Andrew Shulkind • Lena Silver • Rita & Jack z'l Sinder • Betsy Uhrman & Joel Snyder • Michelle & David Spiegel • Marci & Dr. Andrew** Spitzer • Gideon Spitzer • Louise Spitzer • Talia Spitzer & Zach Sharfman • Sheila Baran Spiwak* & Alan Spiwak • Jamie & Jared Stein • Susan Jacoby Stern & Joel Stern • Ethan Stern • Katie & Brian Sumers • Amy & Rabbi Avi Taff • Anna & Bill Tenenblatt • Doreen & Daniel Tenenblatt • Rabbi Stewart Vogel • Rhona & Avi Wacht • Jacklyn & Michael Waterman • Annette Appleby Weinberg • Allie & Jeremy Weinstein • Stephanie & Michael Weisberg • Shannon & Justin Weissman • James & Carole Wenger • Melissa Balaban & Adam Wergeles • Rabbi Elianna Yolkut & Dr. Stephanie Wethington • Betty & Ross Winn • Lesley & Jeff Wolman • Orna & Keenan Wolens • Susie & Ron Wolfson • Rabbi David Wolpe • Dan Zagursky* • Elana & Scott Zimmerman • 

* Board member
** Life Trustee

Special Thanks to Our Sponsors:

Yahalom (Diamond)

Lisa & Victor Kohn

Alyce & Phil de Toledo

Sapir (Sapphire)

Rachel & Lee Rosen

Abner & Roz Goldstine

P'latina (Platinum)

Zahav (Gold)

Julie & Marc Platt and Family

Sheila & Aaron Leibovic

Donna & Ron Bender

Janet Farber

Nancy & Scott Beiser

Kesef (Silver)

Jill & Steven Namm

Dr. Susan & Mel Plutsky

Nurit & Rich Robin

Peggy Robin

Gwen & Jeremy Rosenthal

Rochelle & Freddy Cohen

Cassie & Eitan Weinstock

Alan Spiwak & Sheila Baran Spiwak

Sylvie & Mark Deutsch

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Administrative Office

17525 Ventura Blvd #310
Encino, CA 91316
Phone: 310-476-8571
Fax: 310-472-3810

Camp Mailing Address

385 Fairview Road
Ojai, CA 93023

Camp Location

385 Fairview Road
Ojai, CA 93023
Phone: 805-646-4301
Emergency Pager: 805-227-8023