A gift that keeps on giving: The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles will hold an event early next month acknowledging the gift by Richard Ziman of more than 250 tzedakah (charity) boxes. Ziman has been collecting the ornamental boxes for more than 50 years. “The significance of these boxes drew me,” he said, “the sense of giving back and making a difference. Tzedakah is one of the most important commandments. … It is part of our fabric.” Jay Sanderson said the gift, which is already on display in the lobby of the organization’s headquarters, symbolizes an important value in Judaism. Most of the federation’s contributions come from small donors, he said, adding “these boxes are a way people give to the federation, also the first thing a child learns about when they learn about tzedakah.” … Also in a giving mood is Eli Broad. Speaking at the 13th annual stem cell symposium at the Eli & Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at UCLA, he made a surprise announcement of a $1 million gift to fund innovative pilot stem cell research projects. “Our goal in funding scientific and medical research is to improve the human condition. Stem cell research and genomic medicine are advancing how diseases are diagnosed, treated and even cured, and we want to encourage that progress to continue,” he said in a Broad Foundation press release. … Oprah Winfrey sold “Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer II” by Gustav Klimt for $150 million earlier this month. She paid $87.9 million when she bought it at auction in 2006 through Christie’s in New York. … Ted Boutrous continues to be a voice for a legal check on the Trump administration, reiterating in a recent tweet a post from last year in which he pledged to defend pro bono anyone sued by the president for “exercising their free speech rights.” … Elon Musk – one day he’s advising the Republican president, the next he’s off talking about universal basic income. Fast Company reports that at the World Government Summit in Dubai, Musk said automation would increase efficiencies to the point that a vast portion of the labor pool would be unnecessary. “There will be fewer and fewer jobs that a robot cannot do better,” he was quoted as saying. “These are not things I wish will happen; these are things I think probably will happen.” To address that, he said, “I think some kind of universal basic income is going to be necessary.” … Jonathan Weedman has taken over as executive director of the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles. He moves from his role as senior vice president at the Wells Fargo Foundation. … The Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation kicked in $50,000 to mentoring group Spark Los Angeles, unlocking $25,000 in matching funds. … Grammy events saw Lyor Cohen hang with Chance the Rapper at Chateau Marmont in West Hollywood and Lucian Grainge with Katy Perry at the Universal Music Group after-party at the Ace Hotel downtown. … Los Angeles was well-represented at Steven Schwartzman’s 70th birthday party in Palm Beach, Fla. The event was closed to the media, but Bloomberg reports the Blackstone chief drew Nicolas Berggruen, Howard Marks, and Steve Mnuchin (can L.A. still claim him now that he’s been confirmed as Treasury secretary?). … Harvard University professor Elisa New has a new online poetry course, “Poetry in America for Teachers: The City From Whitman to Hip Hop,” which features Frank Gehry reading Carl Sandburg. … Ron Burkle was among the backers of a campaign to raise money for the treatment in Boston of a Yazidi child badly burned in an attack by ISIS. … John Scully is said to have joined Peter Diamandis and Dean Kamen in backing a venture using placenta blood cord stem cells to regenerate damaged and/or aged tissue. … Max Nikias reiterated USC’s commitment to diversity in his annual State of the University address last week, saying, “We honor efforts to keep our nation safe. However, we will champion the inclusiveness and openness that set our nation and its top universities apart.”
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