In a rare Los Angels appearance, TOM WAITS performed four songs last week at the 20th Annual Gala for Bet Tzedek Legal Services. Waits entertained the crowd of 1,325 with songs including "Come On Up To The House" and "On The Nickel," along with trademark tall tales and dubious facts. The evening helped the esteemed poverty law firm to raise nearly $2.3 million.
This prestigious event honored attorney Kevin Marks with the Luis Lainer Founder's Award, O'Melveny & Meyers LLP with the Rose L. Schiff Commitment to Justice Award and Anna Burns with the Jack H. Skirball Community Justice Award. Waits became aware of this organization through his longtime attorney Kevin Marks.
Founded in 1974, Bet Tzedek Legal Services today is one of the nation's most respected poverty law firms, with a stated mission of ensuring "equal justice for all." Each year the organization serves more than 10,000 elderly, indigent and disabled Los Angeles-area residents of all racial and religious backgrounds with critical legal needs, who otherwise would be without access to representation. Clients are represented by a dedicated staff of 62 and more than 600 active volunteers, who last year committed 40,000-plus hours of service.
Bet Tzedek (which means "The House of Justice" in Hebrew) practices principally in the areas of elder law, housing law, employment rights, public benefits and Holocaust reparations. The organization serves clients from its headquarters in the Fairfax district, at its second office in North Hollywood and at more than 30 senior centers throughout Los Angeles County.