On Sunday, Feb. 26, Congregation Beth Sholom (CBS) celebrated its “Annual Gala” in its East Side of Providence building. By all measures, it was a tremendous success, starting with the fact that the event sold out, with well over 100 people attending.
“It was wonderful to look around our festive social hall and see people from all sectors of the Jewish community,” CBS President William Krieger said. “That reflects both the great diversity and the great unity of our community, as well as people’s support for our really impressive honorees this year.”
This year’s honorees were synagogue members Donny and Rena Jurkowitz, and Michael and Ruth Forstadt, all of whom, Krieger noted, devote themselves tirelessly to the shul. Also honored was Eric Taylor, director of operations at Bottles Fine Wine in the Eastside Marketplace complex on the East Side, a generous supporter of CBS. All gave memorable remarks; the Forstadts had the additional distinction of being introduced by a video sent from Israel by Alan and Laura Krinsky.
The evening began with cocktails in the upstairs lobby, outside the main sanctuary. Moving downstairs to the social hall, there were welcoming remarks by Krieger and CBS Rabbi Barry Dolinger, followed by a delicious dinner prepared by Catering to Tradition. Music was provided by The Non-Pareil Excelsior Ensemble, led by local Fishel Michael Bresler. Over dessert the band was joined by shul member Dr. Steven Stein on guitar, and Dolinger on the drums.
“I knew Rabbi Dolinger had a great way with words,” said one shul member who preferred not to be identified, “but I didn’t know he had a great way with drums too.”
“You really could feel the energy,” Krieger added. “The shul has been growing quickly the past couple of years, with a lot of younger families thanks to our children’s programming, and we were really pleased to see that reflected in this successful event.”
Dolinger echoed the sentiment. "Seeing the room filled to capacity was a reminder of how much modern orthodoxy has to offer the community."
CBS, a Modern Orthodox congregation, is located at 275 Camp St., Providence.