With the theme, Building Community Together, the Shames Jewish Community Center on the Hudson will hold its 19th annual celebration at Life The Place To Be on Wednesday, May 23, from 6:30-10PM. As in past years, the celebration will honor representatives selected by the Shames and several synagogues that are part of the Rivertowns Jewish Consortium.
Changing the focus from “fund-raiser to friend-raiser,” in addition to the honorees, the cocktail party will feature comedian Joel Chasnoff, food stations, dessert reception and auction in a lively atmosphere that brings people together for a fun evening.
A Chicago native, Joel Chasnoff has performed on stage and screen in nine countries, including two off-Broadway shows, a USO comedy tour of Japan and Korea, at more than 1,000 Jewish events in North America and Europe, and Israeli late-night TV. He has been the opening act for Jon Stewart.
The auction will include such items as two round trip plane tickets to anywhere in the lower 48, Canada or Mexico; hotel rooms in Saratoga Springs and Las Vegas, original art and a pre-painted half-court basketball court for your backyard. As a special treat for parents of our preschoolers, ceramic platters and bowls that have been hand made by each of the J’s early childhood classes will be raffled off.
Honored by the Shames JCC this year are Renee and Michael Shamosh, residents of Irvington and 30 year residents of the Rivertowns. Maintaining an active interest in the Jewish Community in everyday life, the couple are staunch members and supporters of the JCC and can be found regularly at the fitness center. Renee is a retired teacher and devotes her time developing art programs for the Shames. Michael, recently retired from the financial profession, lectures on the history of American music at J and at local colleges. They have two sons and one grandson.
Another Irvington resident, Laurie Davidowitz is the honoree selected by the Greenburgh Hebrew Center in Dobbs Ferry. Her passion for Jewish communal volunteerism was sparked at an early age as she observed both her grandparents’ and parents’ active roles in their Jewish communities. She is a trustee of the synagogue, board member of Westchester Jewish Council, executive committee member of DOROT and an active UJA lay leader. She co-founded and co-directs Tzahal Shalom of the Rivertowns, an annual program that hosts former IDF officers and active duty reservists in the community. Laurie lives with her husband Jim and three children.
Jennifer Povman, a Sleepy Hollow resident, is the honoree from Temple Beth Abraham in Tarrytown. Her passion has been connecting people to ideas and to each other and has been active in the Public Schools of the Tarrytowns, local parent organizations as well as the Temple, where she was vice president and chair of member services. Last Spring, Jennifer working with ENGAGE leaders, helped plan and produce TBA’s first interfaith community Seder with a Haggadah specially written for the occasion. This spring, she is working on Jewish LGBTQ inclusion in synagogue life and is planning TBA’s first PRIDE Shabbat celebration. Jennifer is married to Michael and they have two sons.
Selected by Woodlands Community Temple in Greenburgh, Dobbs Ferry resident Roberta Roos has more than 40 years in synagogue involvement, first at Temple Beth Abraham and currently at Woodlands. She is a retired attorney and professional Jewish educator, and has long been an advocate for social action, serving as chair of that committee at Woodlands. She was an organizer of the Rivertowns’ Rally Against Hate this past fall; organized Breakfast Runs ( part of Midnight Run Organization) to fight hunger; and visited a community in Uganda where she raised money to bring water and electricity to the Jewish community there. Roberta and her husband Lloyd have been married for 56 years. They have two daughters and one granddaughter who is the apple of her eye.
Victoria and Richard Greif are the honorees of Rosh Pinah Chavurah of the Rivertowns and one of their founding members. Victoria is a past vice president and is currently a member of the board of trustees as well as a frequent Torah reader. Residents of Dobbs Ferry, Victoria is a clinical nurse specialist in the cardiology department at Montefiore Medical Center and Richard is a cardiologist, currently serving as co-director of cardiology at St. Joseph’s Medical Center. Richard sings with the acapella group The Westchester Chordsmen and is an avid tennis player. They have three children and enjoy taking yoga classes at the Shames JCC.
Life The Place To Be is located at 2 Lawrence Street, Ardsley. Tickets $180 per person and proceeds will strengthen the Rivertowns Jewish Consortium and support JCC School and camp scholarships.
RSVP To shamesjcc.org/annualcelebration.