Hollywood stars, red carpets and Israel: More than 500 people were present at an event dedicated to Israel
held in Hollywood on Monday, including reel stars, movie industry veterans and local business figures.
All came to express their support for Israel. The exclusive event, entitled "From Vision to Reality," opened in traditional Hollywood style with a glittering red carpet walk. Guests arrived one after the other, drawing up in limousines and stepping out onto the expanse of red where photographers waited, then going on to give interviews to TV networks and speaking warmly of Israel.
Among those attending were Jon Voight, father of Angelina Jolie; Shaun Toub, known for his role in Crash; actor and scriptwriter Howard Rosenman, Beverly Hills Mayor Jimmy Delshad; Israeli-American producer Avi Arad; Israel's Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon; and actor-models Moran Atias and Noa Tishby, who also MC'ed the event. Representatives from Hollywood's major studios were also present.
Big names and stars including Arnold Schwarzenegger,
Toby McGuire ("Spiderman") and Michael Welch ("Twilight" series) confirmed their participation but failed to show up. Nathalie Portman asked to attend, but was unable to come because of filming in Canada.
The event was held at the Kodak Theater, which hosts the annual Oscar awards. Guests paid $1,000 for tickets, and the money was donated to educational projects for Israel's youth. After a grand cocktail reception, guests watched a show which included films about Israel. Then Ayalon, Arad and Voight gave speeches.
Voight, who granted Arad with a lifetime achievement award, said that anything connected with Israel was important to him, and that anyone who understood anything must stand by Israel. The world is playing a dangerous game by going against Israel, he added.
Gilad Segev and Carmel Ackman sang during the ceremony, and fine food was served to the sound of Israeli songs. Five pupils and their teacher who had taken part in the "Tomorrow's Leaders" project of the Citizens' Empowerment Center in Israel were invited onto the stage. This project was founded by Israeli-American billionaire Yitzhak Nazarian for education towards democracy among Israel's youth.