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

A Jewish Pavilion Gala by the numbers


Carol Linsenmayer

Shown here (l-r): Marty and Emily Glickstein; Marty's daughter, Rachel Bossola of Jacksonville; Marty's brother, Paul Glickstein of Atlanta; Marty's son-in-law, Tobin Bossola; and son, David Glickstein of Washington, DC.

On Sunday, Feb. 22, ESP entertainer and mentalist, Mark Stone, wowed the crowd at the Jewish Pavilion Gala with a jaw-dropping demonstration of mental gymnastics. Stone entertained the packed ballroom with a mind-boggling numeric demonstration, dividing the number "46" six ways from Sunday on a Sudoku-like grid in less than a minute's time. Then, the event co-honoree shared some additional numbers of note with the 264 Gala attendees gathered at Lake Mary's Westin Hotel.

"Here are some numbers from the Jewish Pavilion," Stone said as he revealed that the Pavilion puts on over 40 Passover celebrations each year, in addition to 40+ High Holiday services, 40+ Chanukah parties, 40+ Purim celebrations, and 40+ Tu Bishvat seders. Plus, the four part-time program directors oversee scores of weekly and monthly Shabbat services each year.

"Our seniors consume 300 gallons of grape juice and 400 challahs during the course of our celebrations," Stone continued. "More than 400 volunteer over 3500 hours each year, allowing the Pavilion to serve seniors in more than 50 elder facilities throughout Greater Orlando...All this programming costs money, which tonight's Gala helps support." 

The festive evening featured a silent auction, a gourmet meal and musical numbers performed by Paul Steindler and his band.

"Last night's gala was our largest and most successful to date. We were thrilled by the large show of support from our community, and were pleased that several of our Pavilion seniors residing in assisted living homes were able to join us, as well," noted Pavilion Board President Elise Schilowitz.  

Schilowitz credited the evening's success to the hard work and dedication of Gala chairwomen, Marci Gaeser and Melissa Masin, along with support of the Pavilion sponsors and the 20-plus members of the gala committee. Schilowitz added, "All the numbers add up to an organization that touches the hearts and makes an impact on the lives of frail seniors, helping ensure that no member of our community grows old all alone."

The evening was marked by moving speeches by this year's gala honorees, Emily and Marty Glickstein and Mark and Susie Stone, both of whom found cover under the Pavilion when a parent entered a skilled-nursing facility. Susie Stone shared that her involvement in the Pavilion began when Mark's parents entered assisted living. Several years later, Mark's 88-year-old mother, Sylvia, still comes to every program. She is not one to miss a Pavilion event, and had traveled from Winter Park's Westchester Assisted Living Community to be seated next to her son and daughter-in-law at the evening's gala. Susie raised a glass in honor of her mother-in-law, toasting, 'We love you, mom.'" During a touching moment, the elder Mrs. Stone swayed on the dance floor from her wheelchair alongside daughter-in-law, Susie, and grandson, Ryan.

"As stated in the Gala book, both of our mothers lived their final years in long-term care facilities. So we know first-hand the significance that the attention shown to our seniors plays in contributing to their well-being." noted co-honoree, Marty Glickstein. He added, "We believe that we fulfill a commandment by honoring our parents as we sustain their memory by serving our seniors, who, in many ways, are everyone's parents. The mission statement of the Pavilion includes the words 'enhance the quality of life of our elders.' We believe that the Pavilion has been successful in fulfilling these words with meaningful commitment. So many of the elders that we visit live only in the moment, and when we visit with them, we bring them that moment. We provide a path for conversation, traditional celebrations, songs, and all of the other means of Jewish connection that our elders may have left behind."

Mark Stone's mother, Sylvia Stone, dancing with his son, Ryan.

Carol Linsenmayer

The Glicksteins shared that they became regular volunteers after Emily's mother passed away. Emily thanked the crowd for missing out on a night with "The Academy Awards" which took place on the same evening as the gala. She added, "In line with the Oscar presentations later this evening, we propose two additional awards: The first award, for outstanding performance by a central Florida service organization for life enrichment, goes to ... the Jewish Pavilion. And, for best director, who guides this agency with an unmatched passion for service, creates the environment in which we perform our work, and is committed to the success of the Jewish Pavilion - the award goes to... Nancy Ludin."

Elise Schilowitz concluded, "This year's honorees received our own version of the 'Oscars.' These specially made awards by artist and Pavilion Friend, Sandy Silbert, features four carefully selected words: cherish, love, adore, and share. These four words highlighted this evening's gala where our honorees and community came together to share their hearts and generosity with Pavilion seniors. Thank you to our event chairs, sponsors, committee members, and attendees for making the night a great success by any measure."


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