I am Michael Messinger and I am proud to serve as Chair of the Los Angeles Leadership Council for Birthright Israel Foundation. This past year, 2020, began my first full year in this role and I’m humbled by the dedication of the Greater Los Angeles community to partner with me and all our council members, to generously support Birthright Israel Foundation.

For the first time in the history of this organization, Birthright Israel was forced to postpone all travel to Israel. In response, Birthright Israel Foundation launched its greatest fundraising effort to sustain this strategic asset to the Jewish people that took 20 years to build.

You, our Los Angeles community, responded to this call to action in an amazing fashion. Together, we surpassed our fundraising goal ensuring Birthright Israel’s vitality through the pandemic.

The Impact of Birthright Israel

These last several months have given me the chance to reflect on why Birthright Israel is so important to me.

Growing up, my parents always instilled in me and my siblings, a sense of philanthropy, especially Jewish philanthropy. I was fortunate to attend Jewish Day School, and it was there, where my love for the State of Israel began.

So, when I was approached to support Birthright, it was natural for me to give, especially to an organization that would connect young Jews to Israel. I made donations, agreed to join the leadership council, and then together with my wife Lexie, hosted an event for our friends at our home. And to our pleasant surprise, we raised a lot of money!

But what really transformed me to want to do whatever I could for Birthright Israel happened as a result of me participating in one of Birthright Israel Foundation’s missions to Israel.

Every Dollar Counts! Donate today and help send a young Jewish adult ona life-changing trip to claim their birthright.
Every Dollar Counts! Donate today and help send a young Jewish adult ona life-changing trip to claim their birthright.

I saw first-hand this “magic” called Birthright in action. Imagine standing in an arena with thousands of young Jews, from 68 countries, singing and dancing together, being excited about Israel and being Jewish and being with other Jews. Participants return home energized with their new connection to Israel, new understanding about their Jewish identity, a new interest in connecting with other Jews, and new confidence to speak up for Israel on their college campus or through social media.

Anyone who knows me knows I’m a numbers guy and want to invest my time and resources into something that has proven results. There are countless studies conducted by Brandeis University to quantify the impact of this program. To name a few:

  • 74% of Birthright Israel participants feel a connection to Israel
  • 85% of participants describe the trip as a life-changing experience
  • 36% of participants are more likely to get involved in their Jewish community
  • 30% more likely to donate to Jewish or Israeli causes

Our Commitment to the Jewish People

I truly believe Birthright Israel has the greatest impact on the continuity of the Jewish people. It is why I choose to give my time to this organization, and more importantly it’s the main reason Lexie and I have made it our top philanthropic priority. We feel empowered to give and ensure that Birthright Israel will ALWAYS be able to take any eligible applicant – without ever having to turn anyone away. This is why this year especially, we chose to increase our gift.

It also means, surrounding ourselves with like-minded philanthropists who are interested in partnering with us to continue to build this program. With that in mind, I’m proud to announce the establishment of the LA Advisory Cabinet to focus on raising visibility and necessary funds for Birthright Israel Foundation in Los Angeles.

I feel it is paramount to fully recognize and celebrate the generosity of you, our Los Angeles supporters, with the launch of the Greater Los Angeles Honor Roll. The Honor Roll showcases donors of $1,800 and above that are ensuring the Jewish future and strengthening our Jewish community.

We invite you to join us. Together, we can continue to build on this program that provides young Jews from Los Angeles with an incredible gift, the gift of a connection to Israel and their heritage.

Lastly, on behalf of myself and the entire Los Angeles community, we want to hear from you. If you are looking to get involved, please contact the Foundation today by email or phone:

Deborah Dolgin
VP, Western Region
deborah.dolgin@birthrightisrael.org
(323) 384‑3931

Thank you for partnering with me on this crucial mission on behalf of young Jewish adults in Los Angeles and across the world.

Michael Messinger's signature
Michael Messinger
Chair, Los Angeles Leadership Council
Birthright Israel Foundation

Greater Los Angeles Honor Roll

$1,000,000+

  • The Adelson Family Foundation
  • Cheryl & Haim Saban

$100,000+

  • Alyce & Philip de Toledo
  • Dorit & Shawn Evenhaim
  • Arline & Buddy Pepp
  • Sassoon Family Foundation
  • Miriam & Isaac Shepher

$60,000+

  • Jodie & Steven Fishman
  • Lexie & Michael Messinger
  • Allison & Bennett Rosenthal
  • Leno & Paul Sislin

$30,000+

  • Alison & Shawn Horwitz
  • Lisa & Victor Kohn
  • Corie & Michael Koss
  • The Saidoff Foresight Foundation
  • Alisa & Yossi Simsoly
  • The Bley Stein Foundation and Ronald Stein
  • Anonymous

$10,000+

  • Debbie & Mark Attanasio
  • Nancy & Scott Beiser
  • Alan Berro
  • Art & Dahlia Bilger
  • The Black Family
  • Dana & Rick Entin
  • Angela & Daniel Feiner
  • Helgard Field-Lion & Irwin S. Field
  • Carin & Glenn Freeman
  • Lori & Robert Goodman
  • Farah & Steve Gozini
  • Rhonda & Greg Greenstein
  • Caroline & Michael Hackman
  • Judy & David Hager
  • Nancy Stark & Stanley Iezman
  • Rachel & Bruce Jeffer and the Harris C. Jeffer Foundation
  • Susan & Daniel Kane
  • The Keston Family
  • Wendy & Gary Leshgold
  • Jody & David Lippman
  • Barbara & Robert Margolis
  • Sharon & Simon Mendelson
  • Anonymous
  • Adam and Gila Milstein Family Foundation
  • Keira Guez & Farshad Morè
  • Jami Gertz & Tony Ressler
  • Linda & Tony Rubin
  • David A. & Karen Richards Sachs
  • Dr. Claudia & Sandor Samuels
  • Michael Scott
  • David and Fela Shapell Family Foundation
  • Anna & William Tenenblatt
  • May & Richard Ziman

$5,000+

  • Judy & Elie Balas
  • Sandi Rosenbaum & Howard Banchik
  • Donna & Ron Bender
  • Melissa & Alexander Block
  • BTIG: Wes Gradone, Randal McCallum and Evan Seidenstein
  • William Comanor
  • Alison & Gary Diamond
  • Jila Farahi
  • Lorraine & Ray Friedman
  • George A. Goldberg
  • Bruce Goldsmith
  • Linda & Gerald Grossman
  • Stephen Gunther & Linda Essakow
  • Hella & Chuck Hershson
  • Marsha Jacks
  • Michelle & Alan Kaye
  • Dr. Ellen & Harvey Knell
  • Carole & Gary Lazar
  • Ronda & Barry Lippman
  • Anita Lorber
  • Robert Meth
  • Julie & Ken Moelis
  • Patricia Glaser & Sam Mudie
  • Deedy Oberman
  • Anonymous
  • Wendy & Ken Ruby
  • Joan & Arnold Seidel
  • Natasha & Kamyar Shabani
  • Annette & Leonard Shapiro
  • Jennifer & Michael Singer
  • Andrea & Glenn Sonnenberg
  • The Samuel and Helene Soref Foundation
  • Jill Stein
  • Carol & Jay Stein
  • Toby & Bob Waldorf
  • Helga & Elia Weinbach

$3,600+

  • Julie & Steve Bram
  • Beverley & Gary Futterman
  • Michelle & Jordin Mendelsohn
  • Michael Moshi
  • Julie & Marc Platt
  • The Rainer Family Charitable Trust
  • Janice Kamenir Reznik & Benjamin Reznik
  • Martin Seaton

$1,800+

  • Martha & Barry Berkett
  • Lynn & Les Bider
  • Carolyn & Robert Blashek
  • Sandy & Clifford Bochner
  • Andrea & Barry Cayton
  • Lisa Helfend Meyer & Ronald Cherney
  • Cheryl & Bradley Cohen
  • Gary S. Cohn
  • Barbara & Gilbert Dembo
  • Marlynn & Rabbi Elliot Dorff
  • The Albert And Joan Dorman Family Foundation
  • Jody & Mitch Dunitz
  • Jaye & Neal Eigler
  • Nancy & Alan Epstein
  • Sharon & Joseph Freed
  • Dr. Debra Luftman & Dr. Harlan Gibbs
  • Benita & Bert Ginsberg
  • Marian Rosenthal & Charles Goldsmith
  • Dr. Ora & Lance Gordon
  • Ivy Greenstein
  • Emily & Stephen Hirsch
  • Ada & Jim Horwich
  • Roneet & Ken Kahan
  • Mort Kirshner
  • Judy Knapp
  • Janine & Richard Kolodny
  • Jessica Gersh Leff & Aaron Leff
  • Shelly & Don Levy
  • Evelyn & Martin Lutin
  • Pam & Stan Maron
  • Sandra & Andrew Matthew
  • Carole Meltzner
  • Roberta & Robert Novick
  • Judy & Alan Nussenblatt
  • Susan & Mel Plutsky
  • Jill & Michael Rabin
  • Barbara & Paul Reitzin
  • Jarrow Rogovin
  • Nanci & John Rosenfeld
  • Hannah & Avery Rosin
  • Linda & Bill Rouse
  • Barbara Kreitzer & Alan Sanders
  • Lauren & Anton Schiff
  • David Schwartz
  • Scott Shagrin
  • Julie & Brad Shames
  • Annette & Dan Shapiro
  • Alex Shayevsky
  • Kirsten & Brian Shirken
  • Nancy & Mark Spear
  • Eve Kurtin & Michael Steinberg
  • Janey Sweet
  • Jonathan Teller