Henry Winkler Wows Guests at MEGA

More than 500 guests attended the Jewish Federation of Phoenix’s MEGA 2019 at the Hilton Scottsdale Resort on March 7. Emmy Award-winning actor, director, producer and best-selling author Henry Winkler shared his parents’ escape from Berlin in 1939, the loss of his uncle to the Holocaust and how his struggles growing up with learning disabilities led him to Hollywood and a can-do attitude toward life.

The highlight of the evening was spirited bidding for a leather jacket signed by Winkler, who jumped up to help auction the item and then added a second jacket and lunch with him in L.A. His efforts brought in $40,000 for the work of the Federation.

Roman Polonsky, head of The Jewish Agency For Israel’s Unit for Russian-speaking Jewry, spoke about the work the Federation helps make possible in Israel and the former Soviet Union.

During the evening, the Federation presented the Medal of Honor, its highest award, to Julee Landau Shahon for her decade-long commitment to the Federation and the community. In addition, the Federation presented Morrie Aaron with the Harold & Jean Grossman Award, Benjamin Ellis with the Sy Clark Young Leadership Award, Danielle Breslow Gross with the Lee Amada Young Leadership Award and Gesher Disability Resources’ Special Needs Community Model Seder with the Belle Latchman Community Service Award.

Danielle Breslow Gross and Benjamin Gross and Sonia and John Breslow co-chaired the evening.


Sandy and Harvey Belfer with Henry Winkler and the jacket they won for a $20,000 bid

Marty Haberer, Federation president and CEO, with Bud Selig, former Major League Baseball commissioner

Henry Winkler signs a jacket for Cindy Lubin, who also bid $20,000

Irwin and Shari Kanefsky, Sybil and Shelby Yastrow and Jill and Lee Weiss

Mort Naiman, Jewish Agency For Israel’s Associate vice president of Global Philanthropy; David Wiener, Federation Board co-chair; David Wiener; Roman Polonsky, Jewish Agency For Israel’s Head of the Unit Russian-speaking Jewry; and Marty Haberer, Federation president and CEO Marty

MEGA co-chairs John and Sonia Breslow, Henry Winkler, and Danielle Breslow Gross and Benjamin Gross 

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