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

Gary Becker and Sandi Trainor to be honored at JP Connections 2021


November 5, 2021

Gary Becker

What do you get when you combine a healthy dose of appreciation, a gourmet luncheon with friends, and a one-of-a-kind holiday shopping bazaar? The answer is the Jewish Pavilion's "JP Connections," honoring its dedicated volunteers Gary Becker and Sandi Trainor. "Our annual luncheon on Dec. 2nd at 11 a.m. at the Hilton in Altamonte Springs is a yearly opportunity for us to show our appreciation and to connect with our wonderful volunteers and members who support the Jewish Pavilion in so many ways," noted Nancy Ludin, Jewish Pavilion, CEO. "This year, we celebrate two special people who have touched the hearts and given their time to the seniors we serve in more than 50 elder-care communities throughout greater Orlando."

Becker, who is kind, humble, compassionate and a natural born doer, lives near Village on the Green, a senior residence facility in Longwood. He knows many of the residents and has a brother-in-law who lives there. Becker volunteered to lead Shabbat services monthly for the Jewish Pavilion at Village on the Green and has been doing so since 2017. His role as a voluntary clergy aide at the Congregation of Reform Judaism is one in which he assists clergy in life-cycle functions, periodically leads services and conducts Shiva services when needed, is beneficial to his Pavilion activity. Becker very much enjoys engaging the residents in discussion on the Torah portion of the week and the implications for our current time.

Volunteering for the Pavilion is a good match for Becker. Having been the last of five children, he grew up in an older family and was more aware of the needs, feelings and sensitivities of people as they continue to "mature."

Volunteering has been an important part of Becker's life before and after retirement. He has been involved in community/charitable causes for most of his adult life. Becker's experience lends itself well to his current activities.

Becker grew up in an established Jewish community in Syracuse, New York. His Jewish faith has always been deep-rooted. He is the Congregation of Reform Judaism's representative serving on the Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation. Previously, he also served on the Board of the Federation.

Serving in academia has also been one of Becker's passions. He was a career educator, beginning with teaching middle/high school social sciences. He later became a district administrator in the area of instructional technology while an adjunct faculty member at Syracuse University. Becker continued similar activities in Jacksonville and in Orlando. He retired from Seminole County Public Schools as director of Instructional Media and Technology Services. He continues to enjoy teaching in the Adult Education program at Congregation of Reform Judaism. Each semester, he also teaches an overview of Judaism class as part of the course titled "World Religions" at Seminole State College.

Sandi Trainor decided to write her own bio. She writes: My husband and I moved to Orlando Lutheran Towers in 2016. I was introduced to [Program Director] Walter Goldstein from the Jewish Pavilion in 2017. I began to participate in the once a month lunches where Walter would do Shabbat services and entertain the Jewish residents with his beautiful singing voice. I helped with the lunches and when Walter could no longer continue his visits, a Human Resource director took over the program, and I continued to help with the lunches. I also volunteered with another Jewish Pavilion staff member going to several facilities by assisting her with the programs, and meeting and greeting the residents.

Most recently, I have been going with Cantor Nina Fine to Westminster Orlando and Kinneret facilities helping her by greeting and interacting with the residents and assisting with serving food and drinks. I love going with Cantor Nina and watch her bring joy through her music.

I also help the Jewish Pavilion by handing out the special goodie bags provided by them to our Jewish residents at Orlando Lutheran Towers. I work with our activities director, Odalia Santiago, to continue the once a month lunches for the Jewish residents at OLT and any other resident who shows an interest in learning about Jewish traditions. I coordinate and order the food for the lunch and another OLT Jewish resident, Ingrid Goldshmid, helps by finding interesting information about Jewish life to share with the residents at the lunch.

Sandi Trainor

What I love most about volunteering with the Jewish Pavilion is that I can continue learning about my Jewish roots and share what I learn with other Orlando Lutheran Tower residents. Even though we are a small group of Jewish residents, I think it is very important to continue sharing our Jewish traditions and values. The Jewish Pavilion has given me the opportunity to do that. I have been volunteering for the Jewish Pavilion for over four years and I really love that the Pavilion has given me the chance to participate in Jewish holiday celebrations and has helped me share my passion for helping others."

Join with other supporters of the Jewish Pavilion on Dec. 2, 11 a.m. at the Hilton in Altamonte Springs, 350 North Lake Blvd. The Couvert is $30 per person. Enjoy a holiday bazaar, fashions and raffles during a fabulous luncheon.

To receive an invitation, please call 407-678-9363.To register, visit https://jpav.ticketspice.com/lunch-and-bazaar.


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