JDC Field Blog

From the Hamptons to the Berkshires, JDC’s Getting Out the Word

Asher Ostrin, veteran JDC executive and expert on post-Soviet Jewish life, gave a moving presentation with photographs and documents from JDC's Global Archives collection.

Asher Ostrin, veteran JDC executive and expert on post-Soviet Jewish life, gave a moving presentation with photographs and documents from JDC's Global Archives collection. photo: Lisa Vollmer Photography

 

Pictures from the Berkshires Event

 

Pictures from the Hamptons Event

 

Besides being major summer hotspots and beautiful locations, the Hamptons and the Berkshires were recently the destinations for two not-to-miss JDC events. The Amagansett-based Next Wave event hosted in the home of the Rosen Family, including JDC Board Members Leslie and Michele Rosen, and husband Stan, and the West Stockbridge-based special event held in the home of JDC Emeritus Board Member Helene Berger informed new audiences about JDC’s present and past relief work.

For the August 2 Berkshires gathering, nearly 90 people heard Asher Ostrin, veteran JDC executive and expert on post-Soviet Jewish life, give a moving presentation with photographs and documents from JDC’s Global Archives collection underlining the key role played by JDC in aiding the world’ neediest Jews from its founding in 1914.

“When I was asked to host a JDC event in my home in the Berkshires, I never could have envisioned the profound effect it would have on all the people in attendance. Not only was much of the leadership of both the Miami and Berkshire Federations present, but equally important were the many caring Jewish friends who had no idea of JDC’s role for over 100 years in rescuing Jews lives and revitalizing Jewish communities. Asher Ostrin flew in from Israel for one day to be the speaker, and he was magnificent,” said Helene Berger, JDC Emeritus Board Member.

Additionally, Benjamin Levy, a memory expert, magician, and author of “Remember Every Name Every Time,” was on hand to teach guests an unforgettable memory trick. Members of the Host Committee also present at the gathering included Carol and Dan Burack, Susan and Steve Caller, Hannah and Yehuda Hanani, Shirley and William Lehman, Rhoda and Morris Levitt, Nancy and Norman Lipoff, Annette and Michael Miller, Debby and Dr. Gideon Panter, Raquel & Michael Scheck, and Maxine Schwartz. Other Members of the Host Committee include Judge Amy Dean and Alan Kluger, Dr. and Mrs. Mel Drucker (Terry), Cheryl Fishbein and Phil Schatten, Elizabeth and Alan Jaffe, Wendy and Steve Kravitz, Kenneth Miller, and Penny and Claudio Pincus.

“Since the event, I have been flooded with emails and letters of appreciation from guests, with all of them sharing the notion that Asher told their very own family’s story during his presentation. What we all hope to do is to touch or change lives. If being on JDC’s Board for exactly 30 years (now Emeritus), has enabled me to do that, I consider it one of the great blessings of an extremely blessed life,” Helene said.

On Sunday, July 30, more than 70 guests traveled to the Hamptons, where they mingled with members of the event’s host committee including Daniel Blaser; Tricia Kallett; Barbara and Paul Kushner; Cathi and David Luski; Maria and David Molton; Richard Nespola; Susie and Jeffrey Stern; and Perry Teicher.

Other members of host committee included Heather and Matt Borstein; Danielle Flug Capalino and Reid Capalino; Andrea Udoff and Zach Fasman; Laura Gurwin Flug; Billy Goldberg; Craig Klosk; Faye Nespola; Hollis Rafkin-Sax and Ben Sax; and Orna and Geoffrey Stern.

Complete with brunch and set in a lush landscape, JDC expert Will Recant discussed the organization’s extensive global reach today, as well as its rich history of saving and caring for vulnerable Jews in need for more than a century. In addition, JDC Europe’s Zoya Shvartzman, a native Moldovan, shared her family’s journey of post-Soviet Jewish discovery and highlighted JDC’s work in fostering identity, leadership, and a spirit of giving back among young Jews at summer camps across Central and Eastern Europe.

“As Jews, we are taught to be responsible for one another, and this ideology extends beyond just our Jewish community. It doesn’t matter where any of us are located, yet it’s important to remain united through our collective responsibility to aid the most vulnerable Jews globally,” said JDC Board Member Michele Rosen.

Other guests of note were Sandy and Steve Lenger; Gary Zimmerman; Genia Blaser; Rabbi Daniel Geffen; Jane and Rabbi Barton Shalett; Neil Ross and Liz Davis; Bettina, Spencer and Alec Waxman; Gail and Myles Horn; Heidi and Mona Rieger; Alyssa Weiss and Guy Billauer; Sherry Jacobson and Eugene Zuriff; Meryl and Stephen Jacobs; Robbie Jacobs and Anya Shikhman; Alan Ceppos; Marcia Ceppos; Henry, Talia, Tessa, and Ellah Siegel; Sinora and Ilan Hochman; Dorron Lemesh; Esther Malamud and Eric Landau; Kevin Waldman; and Hamptons cultural figures Karl Grossman, Amy Levin, Tina Silverman, Ruth Vered, and Janet Lehr.

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