Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

The Jewish Chamber of Commerce's flagship event opens with Jewish Pavilion spokeswoman and singer Jesse Cutler

 

Board Members of Jewish Chamber of Commerce, (l-r), Patty Fisher, Jennifer Steinlauf, with Jesse Cutler (Grammy winning entertainer, and keynote speaker), along with Board members Andres Beregovich, and Steven Fisher.

On Thursday, March 23, the Orlando Jewish Chamber of Commerce (OJC) kicked off its flagship event at the DoveCote Brasserie in the Bank of America building in downtown Orlando. Despite gusty winds, the presence of Grammy Award winning entertainer, Jesse Cutler (of both Winter Park and Los Angeles), and the OJC Board members, helped provide guests with a warm welcome. The crowd of about 40 chatted and networked with another, undaunted by the winds of Mother Nature.

OJC Board member and planner of the evening's event, Andres Beregovich, commented, "We were thrilled by the strong showing of support for the OJC's inaugural event. As a non-denominational organization that stands behind its motto as "Business Minded, Culturally Connected," we were thrilled to welcome guests and members of all backgrounds, who came to connect with and to get to know professionals within the Jewish community. Entertainer Jesse Cutler is a personal friend, and we were honored that he chose the OJC as a venue to share his music and tips for success."

In addition to Cutler, several local dignitaries were present including Jo Ann Lucarelli, cty commissioner of Lake Mary, and Luis Martinez, director of Cultural Affairs, Office the Mayor of the City of Orlando. After being introduced by Board member Bobby Davidowitz, Martinez remarked, "The Office of Multicultural Affairs was created by Mayor Dyer in 2012 to create strong cohesive bonds with the multi-cultural community including, of course, the Jewish-American community."

Martinez enthusiastically addressed the crowd on behalf of the Mayor's Office, congratulating the OJC's Board on the success of their opening event, and congratulating Bobby Davidowitz on his new role as president of the organization.

Pam Ruben, marketing director of the Jewish Pavilion, was the evening's nonprofit representative, and encouraged the crowd to reach out to older adults residing in senior care, with plenty of volunteer opportunities with the coming of Passover. After sharing individual stories about seniors engaged and visited from the "greatest generation," many volunteer offers appeared, including the entire OJC board, who offered their time at one of the more than 70 Passover programs the Pavilion will offer at assistive living and skilled nursing homes throughout Orlando.

Jesse Cutler rounded out the evening with music and inspirational notes. Cutler mused, "when Andres asked me to me speak here today, I was honored to be part of the Jewish Chamber of Commerce. I thought about what I would say to all of you, and I thought of the word "bashert"... It's Yiddish for 'I'm supposed to be here,' and we are all supposed to be together, and that's what life is about."

Cutler went on to share after countless albums, concerts, downloads, "I have been very blessed."

The Grammy Award winner shared an anecdote of a time as a young adolescent when he rescued an even smaller boy from a group of bullies. A year later, 12-year-old Jesse invited his new friend, Rick Shutter, to be a drummer in his boy band, "The Young Executives." The band took off in the mid-1960s, traveling with major acts and appearing on talk shows of the day like Mike Douglas and Merv Griffin. Years later, when Cutler was in college, Shutter introduced him to Stephen Schwartz, lyricist and composer of Godspell, where Jesse signed on as an original band member and arranger of the original production (once again, bashert).

Members and guests developed a second wind following the evening's entertainment, and were treated to additional sounds of Cutler's recent works, "The Music of Winter Park: Heart."

To join the Orlando Jewish Chamber of Commerce or find out about their next meeting, visit http://jewish-chamber.com.

To volunteer for a Passover Program, or to spend time with seniors, contact the Jewish Pavilion at http://www.jewishpavilion.org.

 

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