April is here, and with it, JQ’s annual opportunity to celebrate some of the inspiring people in the LGBTQ+ and ally Jewish community who devote their time, energy, creativity, and resources to ensuring that the world is a safer, more nurturing, and more inclusive place. It’s a chance to gather for good, to mark our movement forward in the past year, and to recommit to the work that’s still ahead. So if you haven’t already marked Sunday, April 14 from 11 am-2:30 pm on your calendar for the JQ Awards Brunch at the beautiful Beverly Hills home of Neil and Kevin Goetz, now is the time. 

We asked Todd Shotz, JQ Awards Brunch chair, why this year’s brunch needs you:

Todd Shotz at the 2017 JQ Awards Brunch
Todd Shotz at the 2017 JQ Awards Brunch

“I am so excited for this year’s Awards Brunch. I personally know each of our honorees and have seen them shine as community leaders and role models for our youth and young adults. Now is the time when we need to be setting examples and standing up for our community and all its members–our annual awards brunch is that chance to strengthen our community, build a better future, and transform even more lives. Join us to celebrate JQ’s profound successes and honor those who are courageously stepping up and acting for a better tomorrow.”

Need more convincing? Here are some things you’ll experience at this year’s Awards Brunch:

  • Cocktails and brunch, featuring delectable food, refreshing beverages and coffee, of course
  • An emotional, appreciative, and moving awards ceremony hosted by comedian Shawn Pelofsky and featuring the stories of our honorees, including:
    • Linda Schein Fife and Lorin Fife, being honored with the JQ Community Leadership Award for their lifetime of work transforming the Jewish community and the world into a more welcoming, tolerant and supportive space.
    • Yoni Kollin, JQ Inspiration Award Honoree, a teen LGBTQ+ activist who has been involved in JQ’s Teen JQSA from its founding in 2014 and wants everyone to feel that they’re safe to be themselves and that they’re perfect just the way they are
    • Rabbi Zach Shapiro, JQ Visibility Award Honoree and spiritual leader of Temple Akiba in Culver City since 2006; Rabbi Shapiro’s mission in life is to bring goodness into the world.
    • The presentation of the first-ever Rabbi RBO (Rachel) Bat-Or Lifetime Achievement Award–to, of course, Rabbi RBO Bat-Or, a spiritual leader, therapist, and teacher for over 35 years, and Director of the JQ Helpline & Inclusion Services, which offers support for LGBTQ+ Jews and their allies.
    • Remarks by LA City Controller Ron Galperin, a past honoree and husband of this year’s honoree Rabbi Zach Shapiro! Plus, meet and greet a representative from District 3 Supervisor Sheila Kuehl’s office.
  • Entertainment by The Swing Tones of Aaron Jacobs Productions
  • Surprise celebrity guests!
  • A silent auction, with the opportunity to bid on special items and experiences while helping to fund JQ initiatives
  • Connecting with old friends and meeting new ones

So take a break from the Passover prep and brunch with us on Sunday, April 14. We can’t wait to see you there.