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Marylouise Oates

First Jordan Award for Barbara Jordan

January 15, 1988|Marylouise Oates

Nobody will ever accuse the Hollywood Women's Political Committee of going establishment.

The HWPC, which in 1986 raised more money for Democratic congressional and Senate candidates than any other political action committee, is committed to a wide range of issues involving peace, equality, freedom of choice, civil liberties and conservation.

Following the record-breaking September, 1986, Barbra Streisand concert--which raised more than $1.5 million for candidates and issues campaigns--the HWPC has been making its presence known by interviewing candidates and pushing its specific legislative agenda. And that's not tough to do when you've helped fill a lot of those candidates' coffers.

Now, with the '88 elections ahead, on March 11 the HWPC will present its first award--named for former Texas Rep. Barbara Jordan, who will be the recipient. The night at the Beverly Hills Hotel promises to be the surest shot for big-name stars this side of the Academy Awards. In addition to the film, TV and arts execs who make up the HWPC, star members include Jane Fonda, Morgan Fairchild, Streisand and a new member, author Judith Krantz.

The evening will certainly be an interesting flexing of political muscle--the HWPC having decided that the '86 victories in the U.S Senate and the defeat of the Supreme Court nomination of Robert Bork should be seen as a pushing-off point to a year that they called "the most significant in our history."

CHAI LUNCHEON--She had no plans for a political career, Vermont Gov. Madeleine Kunin told top women supporters of the United Jewish Fund at a luncheon on Wednesday. But she had wanted a flashing red light put at a railroad crossing near her home. "You may start out protecting your children on the way to school . . . and your horizons expand."

Kunin, the third Democrat and the first Jewish woman elected governor in her state, was addressing a crowd of doers as well as contributors, an audience that included Barbara Belzberg, Elaine Goldsmith, Adrea Carter, Terry Bell, Beverly Gelfand and Deborah Rheuban.

"These are women who understand the needs--the needs didn't stop when the stock market crashed," said Bell, who this year heads the Women's Division of Jewish Federation Council.

Many of the women were wearing gold "Lion of Judah" pins, a significant piece of jewelry since it means its wearer has contributed at least $5,000 to the United Jewish Fund that year. And, for each additional year, a diamond is added--at the wearer's cost, Bell explained. "Being here," luncheon chair Beverly Gelfand told the group, "shows that you are committed Jews."

The house where the luncheon was held is itself a symbol of commitment. Sherry and Ernest Goldenfeld have lived at the same Brentwood address for decades--but two years ago, they leveled their old house and built a new one, "big enough," he explained, "so it would be available for all Jewish events. We've had events for the Jewish Homes for the Aging, for Federation . . . "

" . . . and about 20 others that I've attended," Bell finished for him.

Kunin, who kidded that she was also in town "to take away your movie industry"--or to at least persuade some film makers to work in Vermont--said that involvement in politics was, for Jews, a difficult thing. There was for a long time, she explained, "a pogrom mentality . . . sometimes for good reason," that convinced Jews it was better to work behind the scenes, to not draw attention to themselves.

Now, she said, choosing to be politically involved becomes the payment of a debt: "I believe I owe it to them, to those who perished because they didn't have these choices."

LEAP YEAR--OK, since there is an extra day, why not have an extra party. The Music Center is doing just that, with the Feb. 29 Benefactors' Ball. It will honor New Grand Patrons (that means you have given $1 million or more) in addition to New Gold Circle Patrons of the Arts ($500,000 and up). And some lesser big givers too. More details as the ball draws nearer.

COMINGS AND GOINGS--The L.A. Chapter of the Israel Cancer Research Fund has a membership party Sunday at the Hancock Park home of Victoria Bolker. Amy Bolker Stabler is the chair . . . The Beverly Hills home of Richard Colburn is the setting for Monday's concert by the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra . . . Dr. Dudley Seth Danoff will be honored Saturday at the Century Plaza by the Anti-Defamation League's Medical Division. Dinner co-chairs are Dr. Stuart Holden, Dr. Robert G. Gerber, Steve Meadow and Lou Lenart.

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