September 2019

Publisher's Note September/October 2019

Max & Joanne Friedland

Chicken or fish?

The philanthropy industrial complex is alive and well in Las Vegas. Barely a week goes by without my mailbox being stuffed with invitations to events from worthy causes. Event planners have exploited the outer limits of chutzpah to move away from the formality of tuxes and tiaras. Over the years, as a result, my wife and I have amassed quite the costume and accessory collection. We are good to go if the gala is themed “Bring Back the Sixties,” “How the West was Won” or, as is extremely popular this year (wigs and masks obligatory), “Masquerade.”

So, this month, we look at Southern Nevada philanthropy. We explore some of the myriad causes and celebrate those tireless professionals who give heart and soul to support them.

It has been just over seven years since The Smith Center for the Performing Arts opened its art deco doors and thrilled audiences with its programming. It has become the home of the Las Vegas Philharmonic and the Nevada Ballet Theatre. In Ars Gratia Artis, pages 42-47, Brian Sodoma takes a behind the scenes look at the cost of mounting these wonderful performances, and how little ticket sales really cover. He interviews the heads of those organizations and discovers the extent to which fundraising keeps the doors open. Bravo!

In Hardwired to Give, pages 26-29, Lynn Wexler interviews a few local Rabbis and asks them to expand on the central role that Tzedakah (Charity) plays in Jewish life.

Regular readers of DAVID are aware that we cover some aspect of health and medicine in each issue we publish. This month is no exception with Paul Harasim covering medical philanthropy. Giving & Healing, pages 52-56, is an in-depth study of the field, from large corporate and individual giving to the personal generosity displayed when we walk into the Red Cross to donate blood.

Also this month, film critic Josh Bell looks at the subject of celebrity philanthropy. In his piece Star Givers, pages 40-41, Bell discusses the 1944 movie Hollywood Canteen and explores the activities of a few local charities, namely AFAN and the Tyler Robinson Foundation.
Dayvid Figler’s cover story, Mo Injustice, Mo Problems, pages 48-51, covers an exhibition showcasing the life and times of the Notorious RBG, better known as Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The Exhibition, originally organized by the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, is now mounted at the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Finally, please enjoy a short story by Jaq Greenspon. Holding Out for a Hero, pages 30-33, introduces us to a suddenly wealthy individual and his desire to take a page out of his favorite comic book hero’s double life and become Philanthropy Man. We should all have this problem!

L’shanah Tovah Tikateivu (Happy New Year, may you be written in the book of life for a good year.) Until next time, I’ll see you in the racks.

Max D. Friedland

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