The elegant home of Michael and Kathleen Karnoff was the venue for the annual Major Gifts Brunch for the 2013 UJA Campaign.
After the delicious buffet, Campaign Co-Chairs Jeff Rubel and Don Douglass introduced the Campaign and the featured speaker – Stephen Flatow.
Flatow shared the poignant story of the life and death of his daughter Alisa, who died of wounds sustained in a suicide bombing in Israel. He described his daughter’s joie de vivre, her love of Torah Judaism, and her commitment to the State of Israel.
Tearfully, he shared with the guests the heart-rending request by the hospital .would the family consider donating Alisa’s organs so that other Israelis might live? Thinking of their daughter’s generous nature and the family’s personal Zionist and Jewish attitude that we must give back to our People and to the State of Israel that had given so much to them in general and to Alisa in particular, the Flatows made the difficult decision and agreed.
Mark Silverberg, Executive Director of the Jewish Federation of NEPA, closed the morning with a rousing call for unity and continuity among all Jews.
Later that afternoon, Colfax Avenue Enterprises (our caterers for both events) delighted an overflow audience at Temple Israel of the Poconos in Stroudsburg with a flavorful array of hor d’oeuvres, chicken buffet and desserts.
Campaign Co-Chair Don Douglass thanked Temple Israel of the Poconos and its President, Sue Tremper for hosting our annual Pocono UJA Program. He introduced Barbara Nivert – 2013 Women’s Campaign Chair – and thanked the group for its continuing support of the Jewish Federation of Northeastern PA.
Flatow was introduced, this time by Federation President and UJA Campaign Co-Chair Jeff Rubel and, once again, the attendees were spellbound by Flatow’s story. He closed his remarks at both events by speaking of the Yom Kippur season and said that though G-d decides each person’s fate for the coming year during these Holy Days of Awe, it is in each person’s hand to maximize his or her days by reaching out to others and supporting the Jewish People and the Land of Israel.
Members of the Greater Stroudsburg, Honesdale, Hemlock Farms and B’nai Harim Jewish communities all agreed that this was the finest UJA – Pocono program they had ever attended. The sense of community and friendship was evident through the camaraderie that was apparent to all and the audience was clearly mesmerized and energized by the program.