Biz Ins and Outs

Scott Pelley receives Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism

On Nov. 21, Scott Pelley, the managing editor and anchor of the “CBS Evening News” and correspondent for “60 Minutes” received the 2016 Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism from Arizona State University.

ASU Provost, Mark Searle, presented the award to Pelly to recognize his journalistic integrity and values – similar to those of the school’s namesake. The room at the downtown Sheraton Grand Phoenix hotel was filled with business executives, civic leaders, media leaders, Cronkite School supporters and students.

Pelly discussed what it takes to be a great journalist today, and the dangers that false reporting on social media and news aggregator sites pose.

“Is terrorism the greatest threat to our country, or a recession?” Pelley asked the audience. “I suggest to you today that the quickest, most direct way to ruin a democracy is to poison the information. Those are the stakes that we have to address.”

Allstate Insurance office volunteers in the community

Robert Harris, an Allstate Insurance agent in Scottsdale, which is independently owned and operated, is proud to volunteer with the Scottsdale Police Department – K9 Unit, the Scottsdale Police – Crime Prevention Unit, the Scottsdale Fire Department – Fire Prevention Unit and Foothills Animal Rescue of Scottsdale. “It’s an important way we give back to our community.” Mr. Harris is pleased to announce that The Allstate Foundation supported all four organizations with a $1,000 grant each in honor of his volunteer efforts in our community.

JNF Donors and Israelis open their hearts during and after fires

As life returns to normal in the weeks since devastating fires destroyed 10,000 acres of land and forests throughout Israel, Jewish National Fund (JNF-USA) announced on Dec. 16 that it had raised $6 million to help the nation recover with new fire trucks and life-saving equipment, and is working to regrow and regenerate thousands of lost trees.

“Last month Israel experienced the worst fires in our Jewish nation’s history and the resources of Israel’s fire and rescue services were depleted,” remarked JNF-USA President Jeffrey E. Levine. “I say with great pride and much thanks that JNF-USA donors came forward to help meet the great need, purchasing 25 new trucks and with commitments for more on the way. Additionally, it was amazing to see how Israelis from all across the nation came together to help each other.”

In Northern Israel, Michal Shiloah Galnoor, CEO of Western Galilee Now, a consortium of businesses in the north, described how innkeepers and kibbutzim opened their doors for anyone needing shelter from the fires: “It was so beautiful to see that hundreds of rooms were made available for free to anyone in Israel in need of a safe place to go. While we had our own fires and almost lost Stern Winery, the communities really came together – Jews, Arabs, and Christians – this is the power of coexistence.”

New York Bagels ‘N Bialys opens second location

New York Bagels ’N Bialys has opened a second location at 922 E Apache Blvd., in the heart of Tempe. The new storefront is located on the first floor of the 922 Place Apartments. They will serve their popular egg-a-bagels, Reuben sandwich and much more. They will also offer desserts such as the black and white cookie, Brooklyn Ding Dong, coffee cakes and pound cakes – all made at the Scottsdale location.

Their Scottsdale location is at 10320 N Scottsdale Road. Both restaurants are open seven days a week for breakfast and lunch.

Chai Judaica & Gifts now open

Chai Judaica & Gifts located at the Pollack Chabad Center for Jewish Life opened last month in time for Hanukkah shoppers. Chai Judaica & Gifts is the place to find the perfect gift for all of your special occasions. The items they carry include mezuzot, books, religious items, jewelry and everything in between. It is located at the Pollack Chabad Center for Jewish Life at 875 N McClintock Dr., Chandler. Gift shop hours are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday from 9 am-2 pm; Wednesday by appointment only and Sundays 9:30-10 am and 12-12:30 pm. For more information, please contact the office at or call 480-855-4333.

Ben Graff elected to Central Arizona Water Conservation District Board

Ben Graff, a land-use attorney with Withey Morris, PLC was elected to the Central Arizona Water Conservation District Board on Nov. 8 with 358,859 votes.

Ben is an expert in a variety of scenarios and issues related to the water demands of Maricopa County and our various municipalities. Ben’s successful practice is sustained through his contacts with planning staff, appointed officials and elected officials in towns, cities and counties throughout Arizona. During law school, Ben was appointed by Governor Janet Napolitano to serve a two-year term as a Regent for the Arizona Board of Regents. Today, he serves as a Regent Emeritus, a precinct and state committee-person, and is involved with Valley Partnership, Arizona Forward and is a graduate of the Flinn-Brown Civic Leadership Academy and Valley Leadership.

The CAWCD Board is comprised of 15 unpaid members from Maricopa, Pinal and Pima counties, each serving staggered 6 year terms. In total, five new board members were elected on Nov. 8.

Garrett Holm hired as Special Abilities Coordinator

Garrett Holm was recently hired as the Special Abilities Coordinator through a grant provided by the Jewish Community Foundation and Jewish Federation Aligned Process. Garrett will provide a bridge for individuals with special needs and their caregivers to access programs and services available within the community. His responsibilities will include the development of a community resource access platform, respite activities, and outreach programs.

Garrett has served in a variety of professional and volunteer capacities since 1996, including his service as a teacher, school administrator, policy analyst and advisor to the Superintendent of Public Instruction for the State of Arizona, Director of Education and Training for CARF International and President of the Academy for Certification of Vision Education and Rehabilitation Professionals (ACVREP).

Graduating in 1996 with a Bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Arizona, Garett continued his studies at Harvard University receiving a Master’s Degree in Education with a focus on social planning, policy and administration. During his graduate studies, Garett was selected as a Morris K. Udall Native American Policy Congressional Fellow and served under the Honorable Richard Gephardt of Missouri.

In addition to his serving as the Special Abilities Coordinator, Garett is currently a first year law student at the James E. Rogers College of Law at the University of Arizona.

Winners of the 2016 Cohon Award are announced

At the end of Nov. 2016, Rabbi Baruch Cohon, vice president of the Cohon Memorial Foundation announced that Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein and Tammi Rossman-Benjamin are the winners of the 2016 Cohon Award.

Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein founded the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, and serves as its president. Aided by ardent supporters from both faiths, he leads the fellowship in the rescue of countless victims of starvation and oppression, including many families of Holocaust survivors.

Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, co-founder of AMCHA Initiative, builds unity with Jewish and non-Jewish organizations and individuals, to counter bigotry on college campuses. Her work led to the University of California’s landmark “Statement of Principles Against Intolerance” which condemned anti-Semitism in all its forms.

An award ceremony will be held in early 2017.

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