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

'Celebrate the Spirit of the Woman' at Choices 2016


Barbara Chasnov

The stage is set, the Woman of Choice has been selected and the invitations are in the mail!

Choices, the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando's largest women's philanthropy event of the year, will kick off at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 9, at Congregation Ohev Shalom in Maitland. The theme for Choices 2016 is "Celebrating the Spirit of the Woman," and JFGO has assembled a multifaceted program that is both a celebration of women and a tribute to Jewish heritage.

Of course, the star attraction for Choices is the Harriet Ginsburg Woman of Choice, and this year's honor goes to an extraordinary leader in the Greater Orlando Jewish community, Barbara Chasnov.

Chasnov has been a role model in our community since arriving here in 1982. Her passion for education, youth outreach and volunteerism is well known. She is the winner of the Walt Disney Teacherrific Award for her work helping at-risk kids at Lockhart Middle School. She created a monthly special-needs group for Jewish youth in the community, was a finalist for Orange County Public Schools Teacher of the Year and Media Specialist of the Year, and has been a strong supporter of A Gift for Teaching. Chasnov is actively involved with JFGO, serving as a RAISE job coach and previously as a JFGO board member, Women's Division chair, and chairwoman for Choices. She and her husband, Burt, have worked in leadership roles with the Friends of Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) and Israel Bonds.

In addition to the Woman of Choice tribute, Choices 2016 promises a full complement of speakers and entertainment. Highlights include:

• A presentation by renowned magician and entertainer Kostya Kimlat, who delights crowds with a unique, sophisticated blend of magic and mentalism. Kimlat will share the story of his extraordinary journey from the Ukraine to the United States with the help of the Jewish Federation.

• Special guest speaker Linda Hurwitz, the immediate past national campaign chair of the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA). Hurwitz also is a former president and past chair of National Women's Philanthropy, and recently served as JFNA's national training chair. Hurwitz will discuss the power of women's giving and the significance of supporting Federation.

• A presentation by Leigh Norber, who will discuss her recent life-changing trip to Israel and share the incredibly moving story of Susan's House Jerusalem, a unique workshop that empowers at-risk teens through creative expression.

• "A Taste of Your Heritage," a very special themed celebration featuring a lavish buffet with hors d'oeuvres, tapas, dessert and an open bar by Arthur's Creative Events & Catering.

Kostya Kimlat

• The always-popular Choices Raffle, with prizes to suit every taste. This year brings a new twist to the raffle: Everyone who registers for Choices before 5 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 18, will receive one complimentary raffle ticket. Additional raffle tickets can be purchased during the registration process and at the event.

Every woman who attends Choices 2016 is being encouraged to "Share a Piece of Your Heritage" by wearing a special piece of clothing or an accessory from her mother or grandmother to the event.

Registration for Choices has begun and will remain open through late January. You can register on the Federation's website, http://www.jfgo.org, via email at choices@jfgo.org, or by calling the Federation office at 407-645-5933, ext. 236. Remember that everyone who registers by 5 p.m. on Jan. 18 will receive one complimentary raffle ticket, a $25 value.

Read more about Choices 2016 at http://www.jfgo.org/choices.


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