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Jewish Heritage Month Los Angeles

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:

        Harry Corre 
        World War II POW and
        Veterans Service Officer and Patient Advocate 
        VA West Los Angeles Medical Center

        Watch video


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.

       
        Janice Kamenir-Reznik 
        Co-Founder and President 
        Jewish World Watch 

        Watch video



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


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Jewish Heritage Month San Diego

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 KPBS. The station broadcasts video profiles of the honorees throughout its Jewish American Heritage Month programming.

Congratulations to our 2013 Local Heroes of the Year:

        Sy Brenner 
        PTS Recovery Advocate
       

        Watch video



An author, speaker and advocate, Mr. Sy Brenner has worked with countless students, soldiers, and locals to tell his story and to educate others of the effects of Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS). Mr. Brenner wrote about his experiences as a Jewish-American WWII Veteran and ex-POW and the acceptance of PTS in his book The Night I Got Killed. Mr. Brenner has earned many medals and awards including two Purple Hearts, a Bronze Star, and a Combat Medic Medal.

When speaking to soldiers suffering from PTS, Mr. Brenner teaches the techniques he used to ease the memories of surviving Nazi capture. He teaches others in the San Diego community how to work through the pain of PTS. Mr. Brenner also goes into the community to educate companies, mental health physicians, military officers, students, and organizations about the effects of PTS of returning soldiers today and how families and fellow employees are affected. For ten years, Mr. Brenner was a guest speaker in UCSD’s History and War class. Mr. Brenner’s community involvement and volunteer work include Jewish organizations, local schools, San Diego History Museum, Veterans Museum in Balboa Park, churches, Rotary and Kiwanis clubs, Hospice communities, and more.

       
        Yale Strom 
        Artist in Residence 
        Jewish Studies Program, SDSU 

        Watch video



Mr. Yale Strom is the Artist-in-Residence in the Jewish Studies Program at San Diego State University (SDSU), a position created specifically for him in 2006. With vast artistic experiences in klezmer music, film, writing, photography and playwriting, Mr. Strom has much to draw from when working with his students. Mr. Strom specializes in teaching the history of Hebraic and Jewish influences on the arts, literature, philosophy, and religion of Western civilization. He also teaches a course on how the Holocaust is portrayed in feature films.

Mr. Strom is considered to be a revivalist and a leading ethnographer-artist of klezmer music and history; in fact, he founded his own klezmer band, Hot Pstromi. The klezmer style of music is rich in tradition and history and is documented in his book about his time spent on the former Eastern Bloc where he spoke with many people, including Holocaust survivors, and was immersed in history and culture through music.

Mr. Strom has been presented with many acknowledgements for his creative work in film, music, audio drama, and book awards. Through extensive involvement in the Jewish community, Mr. Strom has brought his creative and artistic talents not just to the students at SDSU, but to the greater San Diego community.


View Past Jewish Heritage Month Honorees


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