Life and Arts

On the Town: Temple Emanu El goes ‘Bond, James Bond’ for recent fundraiser

Among those who made the 2020 “Casino Royale” fundraiser a success were, from left, Eric Conner, Theresa Wollenstein, Tobi Lippman, Johanna Moyal, Rebecca Chernack and Michael Canaan.
(David Laurell)

In the 2006 film “Casino Royale,” the 21st of the James Bond series, Daniel Craig stars as Ian Fleming’s fictional MI6 Agent 007.

The film takes place at the beginning of Bond’s career. His mission: To work with femme fatale Vesper Lynd to bankrupt a terrorist financier in a high-stakes poker game at the Casino Royale in Montenegro.

In their staging of an homage to that film as a part of their annual casino night fundraisers, Burbank’s Temple Emanu El made sure the music was hot, the martinis were cold and the blackjack, craps and roulette tables were ready for action on Feb. 8.

The event, held in the temple’s community room, which was transformed into a glamorous casino by Johanna Moyal, raised funds to benefit the temple’s early-childhood center and award-winning preschool, which offers year-round, full- and part-time sessions for children 2 to 5 years old.


Conceptualized and chaired by Michael Canaan, this year’s evening of festive gaming and dining, was made possible by the event’s committee made up of Eric Conner, Rebecca Chernack, Tobi Lippman, Theresa Wollenstein and Lori Alexander.

Ready for a James Bond-themed evening of fun and fundraising are Alon Afuta, one of the event’s major sponsors, and Leeron Tal Dvir, who serves as the director of Temple Emanu El’s early childhood center.
(David Laurell)

Along with the temple’s staff members and parents, notables who enjoyed the evening included Burbank Mayor Sharon Springer, Vice Mayor Bob Frutos, Leeron Tal Dvir, who is the director of Temple Emanu El’s early childhood center, and Alon Afuta, owner of Major League Builders Inc., who served as one of the evening’s major sponsors.

Others who tangled with “Lady Luck” for the cause were Dave and Pat Augustine, Ira Lippman, Jack O’Neill, and Nat and Alma Rubinfeld.


Established in 1947, Temple Emanu El serves Burbank and the eastern San Fernando Valley as a progressive-minded, egalitarian full-service synagogue, rooted in the tenets and traditions of American conservative Judaism.

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