Russian Division Signature Event hosted by UJA-Federation of New York honoring Jane Greyf of Latham & Watkins
The UJA-Federation of New York celebrated the 31st Anniversary of its Russian Division on Wednesday night, June 5th, at the Harmonie Club in New York City. Over 300 people came out to participate in this special event. A wonderful buffet dinner was served and the After Party attracted an even larger crowd. The overriding theme of the evening was the impact that the UJA has on changing lives; saving lives. People who attend and support these events and are active in organizations such as UJA truly care about others and their quality of life. More so than any other organization, the UJA provides a protective umbrella to Holocaust survivors, the elderly, New Yorkers in need and to our brethren in Israel. For over 100 years the UJA has been providing food pantries and efficient ways to get food to people’s homes. The UJA was there for victims of terror attacks such as in Parkland and Pittsburgh. Over the last ten years, the UJA has allocated over $81 million dollars for disaster relief. Clearly an organization worthy of our support.
The Master of Ceremonies for this signature event was the novelist Mr. Boris Fishman who also hosted the event in 2016. As a proud grandson of Holocaust survivors, he elaborated on the support the UJA provides for Holocaust survivors in New York. Over 40 percent (16,000) of 40,000 Holocaust survivors in New York are living in poverty. In Israel 50,000 Holocaust survivors are living in poverty. UJA is there to provide help with caregiver services, money management advice and just to provide an ear to listen. UJA supported Blue Card alone supports 2500 survivors. Mr. Fishman provided copies of his book Savage Feast which tells his family history through recipes.
The Keynote Speaker Mr. David Moore has been Campaign Chairman for UJA for 3 years and is now Chairman of the Board. He thanked the Russian community for their support to the organization and for helping Jews in need. Most importantly he pointed out the impact that the UJA has on people’s lives. He spoke of his 4 visits to Israel where he met with Prime Minister Netanyahu and of his trip to Jordan where he met with King Abdullah. But nothing was as impactful as his meeting with Holocaust survivors in Jerusalem. He also saw first hand how UJA supported Achim L’Chaim helps our soldiers in Israel and victims of terror.
The highlight of the evening was the presentation of the Lydia Varelian Leadership Award to Ms. Jane Greyf. Ms. Greyf is truly deserving of the honor as recounted by her friend and presenter, Ms. Rada Sumareva. From her humble beginnings, Ms. Greyf came to the U.S. with her family in 1988 and ascended to partner in the New York law offices of Latham and Watkins. Using her skills honed at the prestigious Wexner Fellowship program, Ms. Greyf developed into an outstanding Jewish leader. Her professionalism, her generosity and her passion for volunteering in the Jewish community ultimately led to her becoming a member of the UJA Russian Division Board. Ms. Greyf, we are proud of you and you deserve this honor.
Let us all do our best to reach out to our brethren this year, no matter where they may live. The Torah teaches us that “we are all responsible one for another.” And the UJA has the apparatus to make this happen with our support. Just remember that without the UJA there is so much more pain and suffering. Let us help alleviate it.
Looking forward to next year’s event.
Austin Rybstein, Editor New York Jewish Guide