At NewGround, we recognize and emphasize the importance of community, relationships, and the social being in building a stronger and more united Los Angeles. As such, we open our doors to the city's community members three times a year in the form of three main public events: our Trailblazer Awards Dinner, our Community Iftar Dinner, and our Spotlight Storytelling event.

All of NewGround's upcoming public events can be found below. For updates and more information on how to get involved, you may visit our main homepage.

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NewGround TrailBlazer Awards

Sunday, February 10, 2019 at 11:00 AM · $150.00 USD
Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, CA


Scroll to the bottom of the page to purchase your tickets today!

At NewGround, we believe that conflict is natural and inevitable. Yet it is not intractable -- no matter the history. Being stuck is a choice. Therefore, we build relationships between Muslims and Jews in order to transform communities through lasting partnerships. This unique event and program offer attendees the opportunity to interact with change-makers and learn how their inspirational work is transforming communities through the power of relationships. The evening will leave you with a renewed sense that change is possible and that Muslims and Jews working together can make an extraordinary impact!

About the Award:

NewGround named the award after Suzy and her late husband Wally Marks Jr. z”l. They have long been one step ahead of the trends to usher us all toward a more just society. Back in 2006 when Muslim-Jewish relations were at their most toxic levels, Suzy and Wally had the foresight to seed fund NewGround to equip change-makers with the skills, resources, and relationships needed to strengthen Muslim-Jewish relations.

Host Committee: Paula Litt (event chair), Melissa Balaban, Paul Beck, Alan Bloch & Nancy Berman, Judith Glass, Nasreen Haroon, Farah Khan, Suzanne Marks, Julia Meltzer & Zeno Family, Dr. David Myers, Dr. Sadegh Namazikhah, Sandy Savett and Nurya Shabir

Our 2019 Honorees:

Rabbi Reuven Firestone, PH.D.

Regenstein Professor in Medieval Judaism and Islam at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion

Shiza Shahid

Co-Founder of The Malala Fund & NOW Ventures

Two Faiths One Prayer

“Change-Maker Award” Recipient

Thank You to Our 2019 Trailblazer Sponsors!

Diamond Sponsor

Fakhri Family

Alya Haq

Paula & Barry Litt

Nurya Shabir & Muhammad Adaya

Sanford Weiner

Platinum Sponsor

Paul Beck

Suzy Marks

Wally Marks

Sandy Savett

Abby Sher

David Weiner & Marieke Oudejans

Gold Sponsor

Dr. Farah Khan

Silver Sponsor

Rabbi Sarah Bassin

Dr. David Myers

Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills

Tzivia Schwartz-Getzug

Bronze Sponsor

Jean & Jay Abarbanel

Halim and Saranya Dhanidina

Judith Glass

Amir Hussain and Joan Becker

Patsy & Joe Ostroy

Adam Wergeles & Melissa Balaban


The Digital Tribute Journal is an eco-friendly way to share your tribute with the honoree(s) at the Trailblazer Awards. There will be an on-screen presentation of the tributes during the event. 

If you cannot attend, this is your opportunity to congratulate the honorees and support NewGround. 

Digital Journal Full Screen: $400

Your message to the honoree(s) and/or photographs will appear on a full screen.

Digital Journal Half Screen: $250

Your message to the honoree(s) and/or photographs will appear on a half screen.

Digital Journal Name Listing: $100

Your name(s) will be listed (among others) as a tribute to the honorees.

When sending your ad, we prefer art as a PDF and all photographs at 300dpi.  Please email ads to Maryam Saleemi at by January 31st, 2019. 

click here to purchase your digital tribute ad! 

*Please Note: Lunch will be served at the event, Kosher style. Glatt Kosher meals are also available. Please select your menu option when purchasing a ticket. Please email Maryam Saleemi at if you have any questions.