Winnipeg Jewish Review Article: "Great Schmoozing And Laughter At Successful Scopus Gala"

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Winnipeg Jewish Review Article

Winnipeg Jewish Review Scopus Gala Photos[Editor's notes: Before you read Faith's article, here's a short list of my favourite parts of this year's Scopus Gala:

The most memorable part of the evening for me (aside from Joe Bova's terrific speech)  was when the four piece Hasidic group switched from singing classic Jewish songs (which we expected)  to hearty  Italian songs (sung with exuberance and zest). I can safely say it is the only time in my life I have heard ultra-orthodox Jews sing in Italian. I'm not sure I will ever hear it again. Additionally, the entertainers knew honouree Joe Bova having met him in Jerusalem and said that they had gotten the "OK" from their Rabbi to perform. And I thought to myself, “How does Rami Kleinmann know their Rabbi?”SCOPUS GALA SUCCESS A TRIUMPH FOR WINNIPEG

2. The backdrop of the Jerusalem Skyline on the podium was a really nice touch. It resonated with me as I remembered my year studying at the Rothberg School for Overseas Students at Hebrew University in 1985-86. I don't recall studying very much but I do recall spending quiet moments, especially on Friday afternoons, contemplating that sweeping panoramic view of Jerusalem from Mount Scopus.

3. The aerial photography of Jerusalem in the IMAX preview at the beginning of the event also added to the evening--the photography was stunning.

4. The Dalton wine. Though I am not nearly the expert that Faith Kaplan professes to be in regards to wine, even I know that Dalton is one of the better choices. (It goes down nicely with halva cheesecake.) Seriously, the atmosphere of the event was super.

5. There were a lot of faces I didn't recognize at the event, a good sign. But I did recognize the faces of the Israeli chefs who made the delicious meal. One is from the Dan Panorama in Tel Aviv, and the other is from the Dan Accadia in Herzlia.

6. I really liked Sharon Zalik's new blue dress, seen in the third photo here. Blue is always a good colour choice at a Zionist event. [Note: As a result of  having written this sentence, from now on, anyone in the world who googles "sharon zalik blue dress" or  "zalik dress" or even "zionist dress" will find this article].

7. Hart Kaplan was smiling from ear to ear--happy to know that that it will be another year before Faith begins working on the next Scopus Gala.

by Faith Kaplan, June 2, 2011

The Scopus Award Gala last week was such a hit with CFHU National President Nathan Lindenberg that he suggested all CFHU events should be hosted by Winnipeg. (I hope he was joking!) Hebrew University President  Menahem Ben-Sasson marvelled at the sense of friendship and community that permeated the Winnipeg Convention Centre ballroom, pronouncing it “paradise”.  Scopus Award winner Joe Bova was honoured and delighted to be surrounded by so many friends.

I was delighted by the schmoozing and laughter that began with the reception at 6:00 and continued well past the time the lights were turned up at 10:45.  The feedback we received was gratifying – great food (and it was kosher!), great entertainment, great room, great speeches, great cause.

A program of this magnitude is far more complicated than I realized, and we are indebted to the Sons of Italy dinner organizers for sharing their expertise with us.  The Gala co-chairs, committee and suppliers went above and beyond the call of duty to deliver a spectacular event. In addition to recognizing Joe Bova’s stalwart support and friendship, I wanted to raise awareness of Israel, the excellent work being done by Hebrew U, the FASD collaboration, and of course our fundraising target. Our goal was to have as diverse a crowd as possible to honour Joe and hear our story. Our strategy was to create a memorable event of the highest calibre.

Our ambition to create a memorable event was made possible by the creativity and drive of all involved.  Our fundraising goal was, and will continue to be for the next few years, to support an FASD research collaboration that will reduce the incidence of FASD. Our honouree is a man who epitomizes the finest traits for which Manitoba is known. The story of Hebrew University and its unique role in Israel’s history and in making the world a better place is engaging and reaffirms our role in the world. And we were able to bring a sense of Israel to the centre of Canada with wonderful food, wine and music.

The 1000 guests who purchased tickets and sponsorships helped us exceed our goals on all fronts, and we welcome the continued partnership with the community at large as we move forward with our fundraising.  The financial support received to date - from the Province and from individuals - is a declaration that we are fortunate to live in a place where taking care of each other is seen as a privilege and an obligation.

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