President’s Podium

By Tony Berns and Jake Kaufman, Co-Presidents

Serving as your Co-Presidents of The Guardians of the Los Angeles Jewish Home has been one of the greatest honors of our lives.  

As we transition out of our leadership role, we reflect on the organization’s successes during our term.  When we first took office, we solicited input from our Past Presidents, Executive Board and our Membership to establish the following collective goals:

  1. Give more value to your Guardians Membership.
  2. Build Membership.
  3. Continue to become a more fraternal organization.
  4. Clearly define our fundraising and community outreach objectives.
  5. Listen to and engage our current members.

In reviewing the first 18-months of our 2-year term, we are proud to say, together with each of you, we’ve accomplished the above goals!  But even more than these accomplishments, we are proud of where we are today.  Proud of our people, our momentum, and our future!

The Guardians is in a fantastic position today.  Over the past year and a half, The Guardians has doubled in active membership.  We’ve reorganized internally and built an efficient, proactive and responsive office staff. Our relationship with The Home and its leadership has never been stronger.  Our Young Divisions are flourishing and remain the most admired young philanthropic organization in the city.  And together we’ve hosted and enjoyed more programs over the past year than the previous 5 years combined.  

Some highlighted events: 

– A Welcome Back Cocktail Party at Laura and Harvey Alpert’s beautiful home in Beverly Hills

– 19th & 20th Annual Poker Tournaments at the Petersen Museum and Santa Monica Musuem of Flying, hosted by the YMD

– 4th Annual Magic Castle Night, hosted by the YWD

– 16th Annual Golf Tournament at Mountain Gate Country Club, hosted by the YMD

– Summer Soiree Fundraising Party at Ben Leed’s incredible beach home in Malibu

– Men’s Only Comedy Night at The Improv

– (2) 12/24 parties, hosted by the Young Divisions

– Rock of Ages at Skirball, celebrating 8 magical Decades of The Guardians with a tribute to all our Past Presidents via a time capsule tribute through Music from each decade

– 5 Social Mixers hosted by the Young Divisions 

– Many wonderful Board and Executive meetings at Brentwood Country Club, Seasons 52, Lawry’s and The Luxe Hotel 

As an organization, we met all our financial and membership objectives, and energized all age groups, from the “Young Guys” to the “Old Guard”.

As we leave our honored post in a few months, we are excited for The Guardians’ future.  The next Executive Board will be of all ages, and will continue to improve efficiency and focus.  The pump is primed.  The bond with The Home will continue to strengthen and our Young Divisions will remain a top priority.  As we always say, “The Guardians is about growing with the right people.”  If you know someone, of any age, that can help make a positive difference, we ask you to invite them to the next Guardians meeting or event.  Please help our Guardians family grow!   

Being a Guardian is a privilege and something we will cherish and honor for the rest of our lives.   Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for allowing us the opportunity to lead you.

With love, appreciation and respect,

Tony and Jake