Man, 69, Feels His Bar Mitzvah Was Worth Wait

As a young man, Jimmy Getzoff of Marina del Rey never got to celebrate his passage from boyhood to manhood with the traditional Jewish bar mitzvah. But yesterday, the 69-year-old musician was scheduled to make the symbolic rite of passage at a ceremony held at Temple Emanuel in Beverly Hills.

Getzoff, a classical violinist and former concertmaster of the Glendale Symphony Orchestra, decided that he wanted to be bar mitzvahed in celebration of his 70th birthday this month.

“It just came to me that I wanted to do something exceptional for my next birthday,” he said. “I was a Jew but not really a Jew.”

With the assistance of a private tutor and a rabbi, Getzoff began preparing for the ceremony nearly five months ago. He learned Hebrew, memorized prayers and studied materials three to four hours daily. He also wrote a speech to read at the ceremony describing what the Jewish religion means to him.


“I needed this now more than any other time in my life, and this experience has given me a sense of who I am and what it really means to be a Jew,” Getzoff said. “It’s the beginning and not the end, and I will continue to go on learning.”

Fred Zufryden has been named the Ernest Hahn Term Professor of Marketing in the School of Business Administration at USC.

Former chairman of the school’s marketing department, Zufryden was appointed for his achievements in research and teaching. He is best known for his contributions to the mathematical modeling area of marketing.

He lives in Pacific Palisades.


West Los Angeles College dental hygiene student Tracey Spalenka was recently awarded a $1,000 scholarship by the Procter & Gamble Oral Health and American Dental Hygienists Assn. Institute.

The scholarship will pay for tuition, books and student fees during the academic year.

The Santa Monica Mountains District of the state Department of Parks and Recreation has appointed Susan Ross as superintendent for the Topanga sector.

Ross, formerly superintendent of the Delta District in Northern California, is an 11-year veteran of the parks department. She will be responsible for the overall operation of Will Rogers State Historic Park, Topanga State Park and Los Encinos State Historic Park.


The Wellness Community-Westside has named Tracy Albert and Stacey Fields to its board of directors.

Albert is executive director of Chelsea Capital in Santa Monica, and Fields is an associate at Freeman, Freeman & Smiley, a tax law firm in Los Angeles.

Barbara Goldenberg received the Buerge Community Service Award from the Rotary Club of West Los Angeles/Brentwood at a luncheon held at the Brentwood Community Center last month. Goldenberg is a member of the San Vicente Design Review Board and is vice president of Brentwood Beautiful. She is also chairwoman of the board of the Tree Commission of the Brentwood Park Property Owner’s Assn.