Gala Spring Luncheon
This year's Gala Spring Luncheon was a lovely success. The luncheon is hosted each year by the Keren Or Women's Division. The Mistress of Ceremonies, Marilyn Lauer, together with the Women's Division Board of Directors and the New York office came together and worked tirelessly to create this very special event. The Spring Luncheon raises funds to enrich the lives of the children at Keren Or by providing funding for new hydrotherapy programming, summer camp and early intervention classes, this enables our children to lead happier and more productive lives. This year there were three awards given at the Spring Gala Luncheon. The luncheon took place at the Park Avenue Synagogue on June 7th.
The Keren Or Shining Light Award was presented to Sara Portnoy who has been an integral part of the Keren Or Women’s Division and its Board of Directors for many years. Involved in many philanthropic projects in Mexico, the United States, and Israel, Sara has been particularly focused on supporting Jewish education. Born and raised in Mexico (her parents left Europe after WWII), Sara and her husband, Tanchum Portnoy, became concerned with the availability and quality of the Orthodox Jewish education in Mexico after the birth of their first two children. In the early 80’s, she was one of the founding members of Yeshiva Emuna, where she remained active until she moved to New York. She also represented Yeshiva Emuna as a member of the Women’s Federation of Mexico and in the Mexican Board of Jewish Education. When Sara and her family moved to New York, she and Tanchum became founding members of Yeshiva HarTorah in Queens, where she served as a board member and as part of the Petite Committee of the School. She joined the Keren Or Women’s Division Board and has been generously working, ever since, to improve the lives of our blind children with multiple disabilities. Sara and Tanchum are the proud parents of Eli and Judy, Gali and Tzvi, Amichai and Tamar, and Ilan, and have six grandchildren.
The 2015 Keren Or Community Service Award was presented to Jeannette Nadel. The Los Angeles Group for the Blind of Israel was founded in 1957. Once a year, as she has for the past 57 years, Jeannette Nadel (the Founder, President, & CEO) organizes a fundraiser to benefit blind children in Israel and the United States. The annual brunch is a delightful affair that brings together Jeannette’s relatives and friends, going back three generations. The Group has dedicated itself to carrying on the traditions and philanthropic goals of its members’ parents and grandparents. Marcia Fink (Treasurer) and Janice Berger (Secretary) assist with ensuring the tradition continues. In addition to Keren Or, the Group also supports other organizations for the blind in the U.S. and Israel. This exemplary group represents the paradigm of commitment to the betterment of all people. The award was presented to her sons Herbert Tobin and Steven Tobin. (click here to see photos of Jeannette receiving the award from her sons)
The guest speaker for the Spring Gala Luncheon was Ambassador John Bolton. Ambassador Bolton is currently a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), a Fox News Channel commentator, and of counsel to the Washington, D.C. law firm Kirkland & Ellis.
Thank you so much to the Keren Or Women's Division for hosting this event and to all the generous donors that continue to be a part of the Keren Or Community.
Women's Division Board of Directors
Marilyn Lauer Bina Blumenfrucht
Rachel Cooper Maureen Eisenberg
Edda Elias Bobbee Feiner
Ruda Fiedler Maria Finkle
Harriette Garber Edith M. Gelfand
Debbie Gibber Diane Goldsmith
Sherry Latt Grabie Nadja Graff
Aviva Gross Beth Heller
Myra Honig Joan Jakubovitz
Linda Karasick Heddy Klein
Bernice Hornblass Kohn Kari Levine
Miriam Lifschutz Betsy Lopata
Brucha Lowinger Cindy Miller
Harriet Muss Debra Parkoff
Dvora Perlow Sara Portnoy
Pamela Rechtschaffen Judy Rosman
Andrea San Marco