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.
The honorees will be formally recognized as part of the Annual Local Heroes Awards, which Union Bank partners with public television station KCET. The station broadcasts video profiles of the honorees throughout its Jewish American Heritage Month programming.
Congratulations to our 2013 Local Heroes of the Year:
World War II POW and
Veterans Service Officer and Patient Advocate
VA West Los Angeles Medical Center
At 90 years old, Harry Corre’s commitment to his fellow veterans is demonstrated through his work as a patient advocate at the VA West Los Angeles Medical Center and as a veterans service officer of the nonprofit organization, American Ex-Prisoners of War. His involvement is rooted from his experience as a prisoner-of-war during World War II. He was captured by the Japanese while serving as an Army Corporal in the 59th Coast Artillery Regiment in the Battle of Bataan, when Japan invaded the Philippines after bombing Pearl Harbor. Although Mr. Corre escaped from the infamous Bataan Death March, the 19-year-old Boston native became a POW once again upon his recapture at the fall of Corregidor. He contracted diphtheria and spent one year in the Zero Ward Hospital in Cabanatuan. After spending one more year at Cabanatuan’s main camp, Mr. Corre was sent to Japan on a cargo ship that previously transported horses. He worked for a year and a half in horrific conditions at a privately owned coal mine. Mr. Corre weighed 97 pounds when he was repatriated by American forces
Now, Mr. Corre is the one helping our nation’s veterans. He has served as a patient advocate at the VA West Los Angeles Medical Center since 2006. In this role, he has helped hundreds of veterans with any problems or complaints. As a service officer for the American Ex-Prisoners of War, he serves as a voice to those who have been weakened by the tragedies of war. In addition, Mr. Corre is the American Ex-Prisoners of War coordinator for the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center and the Los Angeles VA Regional Office. He was the West Los Angeles chapter commander for the American Ex-Prisoners of War for six years, state commander for two years and is now serving as the West Los Angeles chapter adjutant. The emotional scars of his experience have not healed, but his commitment to America’s soldiers perseveres.
Co-Founder and President
Jewish World Watch
Janice Kamenir-Reznik is Co-Founder and President of Jewish World Watch (JWW), a leading nonprofit organization based in Encino, California, that fights against genocide and mass atrocities worldwide. Established in 2004 with co-founder Rabbi Harold Schulweis, JWW has raised more than $11 million to implement its mission, which includes providing relief and support to survivors of genocide and mass atrocities taking place in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Sudan. Economic development, education, and health and safety programs help support survivors on the ground, while student activism, political influence, community partnerships and events mobilize others to take action locally. JWW’s success has gained the attention, respect and support of local, state and federal governments.
Ms. Kamenir-Reznik currently serves as a commissioner of the Los Angeles County Citizens’ Economy and Efficiency Commission. She previously practiced law as a partner of Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP. She has served as a leader of various boards and committees, including as President of California Women Lawyers and President of the California Women’s Law Center. Ms. Kamenir-Reznik received her master’s degree in social work from USC, master’s in Jewish Nonprofit Management from Hebrew Union College, and her bachelor’s and juris doctorate degrees from UCLA.
View Past Jewish Heritage Month Honorees