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February 14, 2003     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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February 14, 2003
 

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NEWS, FEBRUARY 14, 2003 PAGE 15 YORK--United Jew- and the Jew- Federations of North today announced million in new emer- funding to support Is- they face continuing lives being and as they gional in the funding an- today are monies to mtinian Jewswho relief from their economic slide by to Israel. funds, collected the immense gener- of donors to the Israel Campaign of UJC of lAmerica, will be directed health services for Is- preventing and relier- trauma, and supporting immigrants. ;laughts by Palestinian and the prospect of in the region are physical emotional toll on Israelis basis," said Robert IEC Chair. "The Emergency Campaign was established not only as a tremendous symbol of our solidarity with our brothers and sisters in the Jewish home- land, but as a clear channel through which North Ameri- can Jews and their supporters may help Israelis face chal- lenges they never imagined. Indeed, donors to the Israel Emergency Campaign are making a significant difference in the lives of all Israelis dur- ing this ordeal." Allocations include $13.6 million for medical and health care services, $2 million for trauma prevention and relief, and $12.5 million for Argen- tinian immigration. Specifically, IEC funds allo- cated today will support medi- cal and health care systems by providing for the purchase and upgrade of hospital and emer- gency room equipment such as respirators, defibrillators, resuscitators, physical trauma and rehabilitation equipment, first-aid stations and protec- tive gear for medical person- nel for use during a chemical attack against Israel. Funds will also be provided to Magen David Adom for equipment to create blood Gordon ANGELES (JTA)-- B'nai B'rith Interna- needs a headliner to to a fund-rais- it knows where to ebrity Connection, is the exclusive for all of B'nai g dinners United States. is a pioneer celebrity brokering and hiring ce- ,ppearances celebrity brokering a small industry, it's as America be- ever more obsessed .*b rity. Curiously, vir- major players in are Jewish. Celebrity Con- conceived as a for celebrity in charity," re- who previ- Jewish non- Organizations, includ- B'rith and the Jew- Fund, and cur- v ce president of of Hollywood, days, celebrities for donating me for charitable ! Unless they were per- tng, and we simply search and acquisi- says Greenberg, teaches a course Role of Celebrity ic Relations" at the rsity of Southern rnia's Annenberg how- )- ps between celebrities be- )iex. For ex- fronted for and phar- manufacturers entities that sounded organiza- continues. "The charity and for- profit worlds began to over- lap, and we had to adjust to this new reality." These days, Celebrity Connections bro- kers deals for celebrities and receives 10 percent on top of the contracted price. The company has experienced dramatic growth, especially in the last six years, with sat- ellite offices in Germany and Spain in addition to its Los Angeles headquarters. According to Greenberg, the primary competition for Celebrity Connection-which has spun offa subsidiary, the BDI Development Group, to handle fund-raising and event management for nonprofit or- ganizations - is "ignorance that our industry even exists." "We spend a lot of time edu- cating prospective clients not only about the specialized ser- vice we provide, but about the entire process of matching the right celebrity with the right client," he says. "We ask them to tell us why they think they need a celebrity, and then we help guide them to realistic expectations" - about which celebrities they might attract and how much money a ce- lebrity can bring in. For example, efforts to fight Parkinson's disease saw fund- ing increase after actor Michael J. Fox got involved, while anti-AIDS efforts ben- efited from the advocacy of actress Elizabeth Taylor. Some actors, musicians, comedians and sports stars tnay appear for charities for a nominal fee, while others charge tens of thousands of dollars for commercials or endorsements. While Celebrity Connec- tion is the oldest and biggest firm in the industry, another key player is Celebrity Source in Los Angeles. Established in 1988 by Rita Tateel, who has a background in Jewish communal service, Celebrity Source also is a full- service firm, which often ar- ranges video or satellite ce- lebrity if celebrities can't at- tend an event in person. Celebrity Connection and allocate $28 ency nee bank stockpiles and to pur- chase protective equipment in the event of a chemical attack. Funding for trauma preven- tion and relief will make pos- sible social and community support services for the eld- erly in high-risk communi- ties; emergency preparedness upgrades in institutions serv- ing Israeli children, youths at risk, and the elderly; improve- ments to air filtration systems in special education facilities to ready them for terrorist or military attack; and training of coordinators and volunteers to help individuals and fami- lies cope with trauma and stress. In response to the continu- ing economic crisis in Argen- tina, interest in relocation to Israel remains high among the substantial population of Ar- gentinian Jews. The new allo- cation of $12.5 million of IEC funds will help the thousands more Argentinian Jews ex- pected to seek to immigrate in 2003, joining the more than 6,000 who relocated last year. The Israel Emergency Cam- paign Work Group, represent- ing UJC and the Federations Celebrity Source have differ- ent client bases, but the na- ture of the business- together with the limited pool of avail- able talent - means some per- sonalities may be booked by several firms. Another player in the field is Mark Goldman, founder and principal of the Oxnard, Ca- iif-based Damon Brooks, a boutique firm in the niche market of celebrities and ath- letes who have overcome dis- abilities. Goldman books them for charitable appear- ances, public relations pro- motions and motivational speaking engagements. Celebrities' managers and agents appreciate the role ce- lebrity brokers play in pair- ing their clients with worthy causes - and earning their cli- ents some publicity to boot. Movie producer Larry Brezner, who also manages Billy Crystal and Robin Will- iams, lifts a stack of letters, invitations and requests that clutters the desk of his Beverly Hills office. "This is just one day's mail," Brezner says, shaking his head as he fans the solicitations from charitable organizations that range in size from local medical clinicstowell-known national associations. For the most part, how- ever, Brezner already knows his stars' predilections and preferences. He also estimates that if celebrities agreed to support every worthy cause that came their way, "they would spend 90 percent of their time doing nothing else." Crystal, for example, "throws his energy into big projects, like the planned Per- forming Arts Peace Center at the Hebrew University, to which he has personally do- nated $1.5 million," Brezner says. "He is the recipient of the Scopus Award, and will also be the guest of honor this February at the Simon Wiesenthal Museum of Tol- erance annual dinner, which will be attended by every ma- jor studio head in the busi- ness." He added: "Virtually of North America, makes its funding decisions based on recommendations from UJC's overseas partners in Israel, the American Jewish Joint Distri- bution Committee and The Jewish Agency, which consult closely with Israeli govern- mental officials to assess and determine the most critical and pressing unmet needs. Since September of 2001, North American Jews and their friends have pledged $341.5 million - $251.5 million since April alone- to the Israel Emer- gency Campaign. The cam- paign continues to meet hu- manitarian, social and eco- nomic needs of the Israeli people as they deal with ter- rorist and other threats against their lives. "Through the Israel Emer- gency Campaign, North American Jews and our friends are trying to support our brothers and sisters in Israel during an extremely challenging time for them," said Karen Shapira, Chair of the IEC Work Group. "This is done in a way that is as free of process as possible, ensuring that some critical needs of Israelis as identified to us by every celebrity with whom we work has a big heart. Most of them are very grateful for the good fortune they have had in their careers, and for getting paid to do what they love to do anyway. So they feel an obligation to give back to the community." our overseas partners, in con- sultation with the govern- ment, are addressed effec- tively and swiftly." Before this new round of allocations, UJC and the Jew- ish Federations of North America have allocated $139 million to national and com- munity-designated IEC pro- grams, including summer camps that provided nearly 300,000 Israeli children safe and fun camping experiences this past season; an after- school activities program, now underway, for children and youth; a school guard safety program; support for Argen- tinian Jews escaping their country's economic collapse and immigrating to the Jew- ish homeland; and The Jewish Agency's Victims of Terror Fund, which provides eco- nomic and humanitarian grants to terror victims and their families. CYC 1NG AND FITNESS ORLANDO (formerly Schwinn) T Ii.I,JII',IIC, IE Our $2nd Yar 618 N MILLS AVE ORL ~.~111~ Ow~rship Next to Colonial Photo & Hobby llicLIc|zw- Repairs & Parts for all makes and models. New Bikes. 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