There’s always plenty of talk about L.A.’s diversity – and there’s plenty of texture and nuance to the concept here, as Ed Roski and friends demonstrated when he was honored with the American Friends of Hebrew University’s Scopus Award on April 19. Roski took the stage just before Michael Bolton serenaded a crowd of several hundred at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, offering a succinct view of the diverse perspectives that higher education can foster, telling the audience that great institutions such as Hebrew University help societies “make sense of the moment and help us forge a better future” … Roski and wife, Gayle Garner Roski, embody diversity of interests – he the decorated Marine and real estate magnate as boss of Majestic Realty Co.; she the accomplished artist whose works have graced the walls of galleries and covers of best-selling children’s books such as “Thomas the T. Rex” and “Me Ling in China City.” They share interests, too, a practice that has carried them from the rocky plateau of Masada to the depths of the ocean to see the hulk of the Titanic … More diversity of thought: Event dinner co-chair Patty Glaser of Glaser Weil – she and husband Sam Mudie split the duties with May and Richard Ziman, co-founder of Arden Realty – called up a quote of existentialist philosopher and author Albert Camus, billing it as an apt description of the Roskis’ zest for life: “Don’t wait for the last judgment – it comes every day” … The event featured religious diversity, too, starting with a benediction from Rev. Gregory Goethals, S.J., a longtime friend of the couple who serves as president of Loyola High School, a Roman Catholic institution in the Pico-Union district … Rabbi Naomi Levy delivered the invocation, with no shortage of dots to connect, starting with a professional interest in the same book business that commissions Gayle Garner Roski’s art. Levy is the author of “Einstein and the Rabbi: Searching for the Soul” – and she researched her book at Hebrew University’s campus in Jerusalem. … Einstein was the foil as Roski showed he has a diverse set of skills, flashing some humor amid his thoughtful acceptance speech. He mentioned that Einstein was a founding member of the board of governors at Hebrew University, then noted his own role on the board of trustees of USC. He told the crowd that members of such advisory bodies sometimes have differences of opinion – and that sometimes gives him pause to imagine what it would have been like to disagree with Einstein … Some unexpected diversity of experience from Hebrew University’s roster of local alumni came in the form of garment industry entrepreneur Vlady Cornateanu, whose Addiction line of novelty ties calls the California Market Center in the Fashion District home. Cornateanu earned a master’s degree in archeology from the school in Israel before going on to pursue a Ph.D. in New York, where a friend offered him a partnership in an apparel venture. Cornateanu never got back to his major, but he still supports his school … Geographic diversity yielded to a competitive sense that struck a chord when Mark Genender, managing director at Eldridge Industries in Beverly Hills and president of the American Friends of Hebrew University’s Western Region, told the crowd that the evening had raised about $1.6 million, taking the chapter’s total to $16 million for its current fiscal year. That’s on pace to lead the nation on fundraising for the second-straight year—and that includes the New York-based Northeast region, Genender emphasized from the dais, drawing a hearty round of applause … Sullivan Says: Diversity of taste is in the air anytime Willie Nelson’s name comes up in the Beverly Wilshire ballroom, which happened during Roski’s event when Gursey/Schneider’s Stan Schneider told tablemates that the country singer will headline an October gala to mark the 30th anniversary of the Autry Museum of the American West, which the retired accountant still serves as founding director emeritus.
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