Monday, May 23, 2022

Voorhees, Marlton residents cited for service in Jewish community

Tacos and Tequila event returns after a two-year hiatus

After a two-year COVID hiatus, the Friends of Jewish Senior Housing will bring back the Tacos and Tequila event on May 12 at Congregation Beth El in Voorhees.

Friends’ Chair Aimee Levin and Lions Gate Development Director Lisa Goldwasser say they look forward to helping valued Voorhees residents. Attendees can participate in a silent auction and also buy raffle tickets for a destination trip deemed The Big Tamale..

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“We’re following all CDC guidelines; in order to attend, you must be vaccinated,” Levin said. “We are putting up a tent out back and doing everything we can do to make people feel comfortable.’

“There are so many cool items available [in the auction],” said Goldwasser. “The Big Tamale  raffle is for six people to take a trip, Ech raffle ticket is $200 and all of the money donated at the event goes to The Friends.”

Among the honorees for the event are Michael Frankel, a Voorhees resident, who will receive   the Ethel J. David award for his service on the Friends’ executive board and finance committee,   as well as his commitment to the Lions Gate community in Voorhees. 

“I got [first] involved because of my friend Larry Gottileb, who was also involved with Lions Gate and Jewish Senior housing … and I said to him as a joke, ‘You’re always going to all of these meetings, why don’t you let me come?’ Frankel recalled.

“Next thing you know, [Gottileb] nominated me, and I would say it was one of the better things a friend has done for me.” added Frankel, who has been a board member for the last four years.

Frankel said service was something he learned growing up, but getting involved and donating  time can be much more valuable than just opening your wallet. Building relationships with fellow board members is something Frankel cherishes, as he commends their hard work in what can be a thankless job. 

“I saw this as another way to show my kids that it’s more than just writing an annual check to [pay] dues, or to the synagogue,” he noted. “It’s going to meetings and having a voice where you might have an idea, even if it’s just one idea that can help seniors in the community.

“Every person on this board does not do it for glamour,” Frankel added. “There’s no money.  Every person here truly cares about [this] community, about Lions Gate, the federation, the JCC, everything. There is not one person [without that] mentality.”

The Sis Levy award at the event will go to Marlton’s Ann and Paul Simon for their involvement in the Friends of Senior Housing and the Jewish Federation. 

“I was involved before Paul,” said Ann. “Both of our parents moved here from Florida. I was very blessed to move them into [senior homes] and I got involved immediately. “It was important to us.”

“We always volunteered for stuff but wanted to specifically get involved with seniors so we started serving dinner at least once a month and helping out with shabbat services,” said Paul.  “We are very involved with the Jewish senior housing now; we are kind of volunteering there all the time.”

 “If it wasn’t for all of the seniors, we wouldn’t have what we have,” Ann noted. “Our seniors are the trailblazers for us, who made this country what it is [today]. I think we have a responsibility In Jewish culture; it’s a part of us to give back to those who have less … ” The Simons have been part of Tacos and Tequila since it began.

“Tacos and Tequila is incredible … “ said Paul. “We know a lot of these people in the community. This is such a caring group; it’s a group of people that just get it.”

Tacos and Tequila will offer attendees the opportunity to sample a variety of artisanal and time-honored tequilas, along with specialty drinks and cuisine with a Latin flair. A margarita bar with sparkling wine and beer will also be offered, along with non-alcoholic beverages. 

To donate or buy tickets at $118 a person, visit the Lions Gate website.

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