Page 1 - The Jewish Voice - March '24
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VOL. 14 NO. 3                                                                               MARCH 2024

      $5 Million Gift Fosters Thriving Jewish Future

         As the Jewish community in the Palm Beaches emerges   services  through Alpert                    among younger families, demand has surged. Her investment
      as one of the largest and fastest growing in North America,   Jewish Family Service.                 not only supports our work today, but also enables strategic
      Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County announced that      Her philanthropy extends                  planning for tomorrow and forever.”
      philanthropist, leader, and former high school biology teacher   to the Stacey & Mark Levy              Sonkin’s remarkable gift also honors the enduring legacy
      Sydelle B. Sonkin of Palm Beach Gardens has made an   Center for Israel & Overseas,                  of her beloved husband, Sheldon, who passed away in 2006,
      inspiring gift of $5 million. Sonkin’s generosity is the latest   providing sustained aid            and symbolizes their shared dedication for Jewish causes.
      landmark announcement of Federation’s Campaign for the   to Israel following the                        Currently, Sonkin  is  one  of  Federation’s  Founding
      Future, the boldest fundraising effort in Jewish Palm Beach’s   October 7 terror attacks,            Community Visionaries and chairs its Commission for Jewish
      history with a $250 million goal by 2026 to support the Jewish   and supporting Budapest,            Education. She is also part of its Campaign for the Future
      community’s growing needs today, tomorrow, and forever.  Palm Beaches’ partner                       Cabinet and the Jewish Palm Beach Leadership Circle, and
         In recognition, Federation will rename its signature   community,  once  nearly                   former chair of Women’s Philanthropy.
      Women’s Philanthropy event to the Sydelle Sonkin Lions’   decimated but now a                           Sonkin’s engagement with Jewish Federations began
      Pride Event, honoring Sonkin’s remarkable dedication   thriving center of Jewish                     in Detroit in the 1970s alongside Sheldon. Together, they
      to  Jewish  life  and  female-driven  philanthropy.  The   life. Furthermore, Sonkin’s gift establishes a Priority Fund   embarked on a mission to Israel for emerging leaders and,
      announcement was made to over 400 philanthropists at the   for Education and bolsters Federation’s Annual Campaign,   soon after, she became a Lion of Judah, representing the
      annual event held last month at the Kravis Center for the   addressing urgent needs locally, in Israel, and in vulnerable   most dynamic philanthropic Jewish women globally. After
      Performing Arts.                                  Jewish communities worldwide.                      relocating to Palm Beach Gardens nearly two decades ago,
         Sonkin’s generous donation, spanning multi-year      A former high school science teacher dedicated to   she immersed herself in the local Jewish community.
      commitments and new endowments, aims to enrich Jewish   lifelong Jewish learning, Sonkin emphasizes Federation’s      “I’m passionate about many causes in the Jewish
      learning experiences across all stages of life. From young   focus on providing powerful Jewish educational   community, especially education. We need to support our
      children at Mandel JCC of the Palm Beaches to pre-K-  experiences for all ages. This is especially critical amid an   youth, provide innovative Jewish experiences for all ages,
      eighth grade students at Arthur I. Meyer Jewish Preparatory   alarming rise of antisemitism, particularly in environments   and expand to meet growing needs,” shared Sonkin. “I’m
      School and college students at Hillel of Broward and Palm   where younger generations can be dissuaded from   proud to call Jewish Palm Beach home and feel responsible
      Beach, to young adults through Birthright Israel, her impact   expressing their Jewish identity.     for its continued impact. Campaign for the Future gives me
      is far-reaching. Additionally, Sonkin supports accessible      “Sydelle’s generosity elevates our capacity to offer   the perfect opportunity to support various organizations I
      genetic screening via Federation’s JScreen, enhances the   powerful Jewish educational opportunities,” shared Michael   believe in with one major gift, which I am proud to make for
      local community through the Palm Beach Center to Combat   Hoffman, president & CEO, Jewish Federation of Palm   our community.”
      Antisemitism & Hatred, and champions mental health   Beach County. “With rapid population growth, particularly

      Holocaust Learning Experience Dedicates Children’s Memorial

         The Holocaust Learning                         Public School District as part of an international memorial   canopy and is home to 5,000 ceramic butterflies painted
      Experience (HLE), a                               making  effort, The  Butterfly  Project,  to  honor  the  1.5   by Palm Beach County Public School District students,
      non-profit developed by                           million children who perished in the Holocaust,” said   survivors, and community members.
      MorseLife Health System                           Keith A. Myers, MorseLife’s president and CEO. “We      “It’s a sculpture, it’s a piece of art, it’s a memorial to honor
      in  West Palm Beach,                              were extremely fortunate that artist Bruce Gendelman   the 1.5 million children gassed in gas chambers,” Gendelman
      recently dedicated the                            lives in Palm Beach and has a passion for Holocaust art.   said. “It is a symbol of what can happen when hate is allowed
      Gendelman Children’s                              His remarkable vision for this work inspired us to expand   to fester.”
      Holocaust Memorial,                               our Holocaust Learning Experience, which teaches the      Designed to withstand South Florida’s climate and
      created by acclaimed artist                       lessons of the Holocaust, beyond Palm Beach to where it   extreme weather events, the memorial is the result of a
      Bruce Gendelman.                                  is now available throughout Florida.”              massive undertaking of modeling, engineering, and casting
         “The genesis for this                             The only Holocaust memorial in Palm Beach County,   that involved more than 200 craftsmen and engineers. Cast
      began as we worked with                           the artwork takes the form of a kapok tree cast from 33,000
      the Palm Beach County                             pounds of bronze that rises 27 feet with a 26-foot-wide   Holocaust Learning Experience on page 2
      Random Acts of Kindness

         Temple Emanu-El of Palm Beach held a Virtual Day of   young mother of two little girls. The mother had been sick and
      Loving-Kindness, asking congregants and others to show   greatly appreciated the gesture as well as the delicious meal.
      compassion by providing acts of kindness and service in the      A congregant currently in New York made arrangements
      community. An astonishing number of participants gave from   to shovel the snow-covered driveway of her neighbor who
      their heart. Heartwarming acts included:          is undergoing chemotherapy.
         One congregant cooked a beautiful Shabbat meal for a   The neighbor was so grateful.

                                                                                                           Random Acts of Kindness on page 2
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