We are pleased to announce the SMRWF’s new Saturday Salon Series. These small gatherings will take place in various members’ homes on a Saturday afternoon depending on speaker and host availability. We encourage members to invite friends and family who might not necessarily be conservative in an effort to open up a dialogue, without rancor, about concerns related to our city and country, and what to do about it.
Our first salon on June 3, 2023 featured Susanne Reyto, author of “Destination Freedom:
Escape from Tyranny.” Susanne is an award-winning author, speaker, world
traveler and ardent supporter of Israel and the free world. She is an
active member of several organizations, Chairman of the Board of
Governors of City of Hope, president of Hadassah Los Angeles and ZOA
Western Region. She and her husband, Robert, are recipients of the Hand
of Freedom Award from the American Freedom Alliance. As a child survivor
of the Holocaust, Suzanne works tirelessly to educate our future
generations about the history of the Holocaust and Communism. Her
childhood experiences include being in prison as a 5 year old and
spending 29 months in a Communist internment camp. Freedom is precious
to her, and her mission is to make the public aware of the importance of
Our second salon was held on November 18, 2023 and featured Phil Yankowsky, who shared his account of being captured and held by Palestinian guerrillas in 1961. Phil Yankowsky graduated from high school in Brooklyn, New York in 1960 and received a year-long scholarship to study and work in Israel. Near the end of his stay, he and a British friend were kidnapped by Palestinian guerrillas while touring Galilee. They were subsequently handed over to the Syrian army who eventually released them back to Israel under the auspices of the United Nations. In the spring of 1967 when matters in Israel deteriorated, Phil interrupted his college education in New York and volunteered with the Israel Defense Forces, putting his previous experience to good use. Phil moved to LA in 1977, became a real estate broker, and started Metropolitan Trust Deed Company, a loan brokerage operation specializing in the origination of real estate loans and reverse mortgages.