More than 700 guests, ranging in age from 9 to 96, gathered for the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust (LAMOTH) Annual Gala Dinner on Sunday night, November 4. The evening raised a fabulous sum of nearly $1M and honored community leaders and philanthropists including Shelley Litvack and Dr. Frank Litvack; internationally recognized author and journalist, Kati Marton; and renowned concert pianist and author, Mona Golabek. All were celebrated for their community leadership and their commitment to Holocaust remembrance and education. The evening’s emcee was Jessica Yellin, former White House Correspondent for CNN.
Museum Director, Samara Hutman, explained the importance of the event, “The evening was a poignant reminder of the importance of this community who gathered to carry on the legacy of memory. Holocaust Survivors, dignitaries, and so many from the Los Angeles community participated in the Gala dinner which supports the Museum whose work remains critical in Holocaust Remembrance activities.”
Honoree Frank Litvack highlighted the importance of the Museum, saying, “Today, LAMOTH is a vessel for history where the collective and individual stories of our parents, grandparents and neighbors can be preserved for all the future generations.”
The Litvacks were awarded the Legacy Leadership Award. Dr. Litvack, who left full-time medical practice to concentrate on entrepreneurial activities in health care technology, accepted the honor in memory of his beloved mother, Erika Frankl Litvack, a survivor of the Holocaust who inspired her children to achieve, lead, and treat others with kindness and respect. Other awardees have impressive credentials including Shelley Curtis Litvack, a television producer and director and six-time Emmy award winner for her work on day time Television shows. Kati Marton accepted the Humanitarian Award in honor of her parents Endre and Ilona Marton. She chaired the International Women’s Health Coalition and served as Chief Advocate for the Office of the Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict at the United Nations.
Mona Golabek received the Righteous Conversations L’Dorot Award in honor of her parents Lisa and Michel Golabek. She is a successful concert pianist who has appeared with many leading orchestras. She also co-wrote the book, Children of Willesden Lane, that chronicles her mother’s experience with the Kindertransport. In 2003 she created the Hold on to Your Music Foundation to expand awareness and understanding of the ethical implications of world events such as the Holocaust, and the power of the arts, especially music, to embolden the human spirit in the face of adversity. A play titled The Pianist of Willesden Lane, based on her book, opened at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles in April 2012. Ms. Golabek honored her mother’s legacy by performing a piano selection from the production, The Pianist of Willesden Lane.