Jewish Heritage Month
As part of Union Bank Heritage Month celebrations, we are proud to sponsor the Local Heroes Awards and to honor various individuals for their positive contributions and influence they have made to the Jewish American community.
Congratulations to our 2014 Local Heroes of the Year:
The Advot Project
Naomi Ackerman draws upon her vast experience as an actress in theater, musicals, films and television to develop programs that promote peace, change and encourage self-empowerment. A U.S. born, Israeli immigrant who now lives in Los Angeles, Ms. Ackerman is founder and director of the Advot Project, a registered 501(c) 3 that uses theater for transformation. The word "Advot" means “ripples” in the Hebrew language, representing the ripples that action engages. Through interactive drama experiences they foster self-esteem, prevent violence and promote social justice and healthy relationships. Ms. Ackerman was one of the founding members of "View Points" an Arab-Jewish theater group promoting tolerance and dialogue, sponsored and produced by the Peres Center for Peace. She wrote, directed and continues to perform her acclaimed one-woman show Flowers Aren’t Enough, which has been performed over 1500 times globally, including a performance at the United Nations. Ms. Ackerman continues to work as a social activist, mediator and conflict-resolution specialist. Her educational curriculum, "Relationships 101," is currently being implemented in public and private high schools as well as in juvenile detention camps in Southern California. She is married to Raphael Harrington and is the proud mother of three beautiful daughters, Zohar, Ella and Hadar.
Dr. Daniel J. Lieber
The Holy Land Democracy Project
Daniel Lieber, M.D. is an accomplished and renowned physician, and compassionate inter-faith relations activist. He is chair and founder of the Holy Land Democracy Project (HLDP), which is a collaboration between the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles and the Archdiocese of Los Angeles that brings an understanding of Israel as a Middle Eastern nation dedicated to a modern and democratic way of life. After touring Israel, teachers return and teach a five-lesson course on The Many Faces of Israel to charter, private and religious schools throughout Southern and Central California. The project, in its 10th year, has reached more than 30,000 high school students in over 60 high schools through 132 teachers and 10 administrators. Dr. Lieber is a board-certified fellowship-trained medical oncologist and internal medicine physician at the Angeles Clinic. Dr. Lieber earned his medical degree at the University of California, Los Angeles where he was recognized as a Regents Scholar and won the Stafford Warren Medal for Academic Excellence. He completed an internship and residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in hematology and medical oncology at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. He is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at the USC School of Medicine. Dr. Lieber is a Community Engagement Executive Committee Member of the Jewish Federation of Los Angeles and was recently honored by the organization for his community involvement.
View Past Jewish Heritage Month Honorees