Rockland residents Simona and Jerry Chazen and Lisa Green received the Jewish Federation of Rockland County’s first-annual Philanthropy Award at a “Celebration of Community” event on September 21. The event, which kicked off Rockland Federation’s annual campaign, was held at Comfort Inn & Suites in Nanuet and included dinner, live music and inspirational words from a number of speakers.
The evening’s keynote speaker, Alina Spaulding, was introduced by Rockland County Legislator and event committee member Barry Kantrowitz. Spaulding recounted her “miracle story” of escaping an oppressive life in Russia with her family when she was a child. The family’s move to America was made possible by the Jewish Federations of North America and today, Spaulding travels the U.S. and abroad to tell her personal tale of the power of Federation.
Following Spaulding’s remarks, honorary event chair Barry Lewis presented the Federation Philanthropy Award to Simona and Jerry Chazen. The Chazens have been generous supporters of the Jewish Federation of Rockland County for many years. In addition, Simona Chazen serves on the board of a number of nonprofits including Volunteer Counseling Service (VCS), the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City, the Rockland Family Shelter and the Rockland Community Foundation. Jerry Chazen also serves on the board of many worthwhile charities including the 92nd Street Y, the Lupus Foundation, the New York City Partnership, Rockland Center for the Arts and the Louie Armstrong House.
Lisa Green received her Philanthropy Award at the event from Federation’s Executive Director, Diane Sloyer. Lisa partnered with Rockland Federation in 2012 to create the Rockland Jewish Initiative (RJI). The Rockland Jewish Initiative runs a number of programs designed to energize synagogue life in Rockland, including new member grants as well as grants and workshops that support synagogue transformation and renewal projects. Lisa Green is Rockland Federation’s First Vice President, a life member of Hadassah, a Girl Scout troop leader, Focus Autism board member and a generous supporter of JCC Rockland and other charities.
The “Celebration of Community” event was chaired by Steve and Helene Gold; Barry and Helene Lewis served as honorary chairs. The event marked the beginning of Rockland Federation’s 2015 Fundraising Campaign, donations to which can be made here.