Mazel Tov

by | Oct 22, 2018 | Uncategorized

Dear Readers,

Fortunately for those who like to celebrate, scores of opportunities exist to say “Mazel Tov!”

While our first thought for those two incredibly expressive words might be for a wedding or B’nai Mitzvah—countless other occasions qualify, too.

Take for instance, the pieces on Stephanie Adler Calliott and Amy Wagner Weinstein. These two women, who both happen to be active in the Jewish community, were recently honored in the Tidewater community at large. Their contributions to making Tidewater a better place to live are noted and cheered. Mazel Tov to them and their families!

Earlier this month, Ohef Sholom Temple rededicated its sanctuary on the occasion of its 100th anniversary and the congregation’s 175th anniversary, which takes place in 2019. Now, that’s another sure reason to loudly proclaim, Mazel Tov!

Connie Jacobson and her daughter, Susan Coburn, were seated in the front row at the highly anticipated announcement of the Virginia Arts Festival’s new Connie & Marc Jacobson Director of Chamber Music. Mazel Tov to them on their continued commitment to the arts in our community!

Who knew there was a Miss Holocaust Survivor contest? A 93-year-old great-grandmother won the beauty pageant this month in Haifa. Mazel Tov to her!

Whatever the reason, or excuse, for that matter—to eat, drink, dance, get dressed up, and applaud—embrace the moments and say Mazel Tov, and L’chaim, too!

Terri Denison

Stephanie Adler Calliott honored as a Legendary Pearl

This year’s Journey For Success’ annual gala on Saturday, October 6 honored Stephanie Adler Calliott, Senator L. Louise Lucas, and Barbara Hamm Lee of WHRO. They were honored as “distinguished women who have built successful careers despite the challenges of being single mothers during their professional lives. Their demonstrated tenacity, perseverance, courage, and innovation…earned them the 2018 Legendary Pearl award.”

More than 250 attended the event at the Sheraton Waterside in Norfolk.

Journey For Success supports single mothers by providing essential tools and resources for developing productive and transformative lifestyles via mentoring and education during a year-long program.


Amy Weinstein named an Inside Business Top Under 40 honoree

The 19th annual group of Top Forty Under 40 honorees includes Amy Weinstein, MSW, CFRE, director of development for Eggleston, a non-profit organization centered on providing opportunities to people with disabilities.

Inside Business and Pilot Media’s annual list recognizes outstanding young businesspeople in Tidewater. Honorees are chosen by an independent judging panel from a group of publicly-submitted nominees. While they exemplify success in their profession, emphasis is placed on their community involvement and how they give back or use their talents to advance the region. Prior to joining Eggleston, Weinstein served as director of development at Tidewater Jewish Foundation and as director of United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s Young Adult Division. She serves on the board of Ohef Sholom Temple. The event takes place Tuesday, October 23 at the Norfolk Waterside Marriott.


Olga Kern is Virginia Arts Festival’s new Connie & Marc Jacobson Chamber Music director

The Virginia Arts Festival announced earlier this month that Russian-American Olga Kern is the Festival’s new Connie & Marc Jacobson Director of Chamber Music, beginning with the 2019 season. The event took place at the Clay and Jay Barr Education Center and was broadcast live on WHRO. Connie Jacobson was among those attending the announcement.

First Prize Winner of the Rachmaninoff International Piano Competition at age 17 and Gold Medalist of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, Kern has also served as Jury chairman of both the Seventh Cliburn International Amateur Piano Competition and the first Olga Kern International Piano Competition, where she also holds the title of artistic director. Since September 2017 she has served on the piano faculty of the prestigious Manhattan School of Music.

Kern has performed with the world’s leading symphony orchestras in Asia, Europe, and America and in recital in the world’s great halls, including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, Salzburg Festival House, La Scala in Milan, Tonhalle in Zurich, and the Châtelet in Paris.

Kern steps into the shoes of the Virginia Arts Festival’s founding director of chamber music programming, André-Michel Schub, who curated unforgettable musical experiences for artists and audiences at the Festival for 22 years.

A favorite of Virginia Arts Festival audiences, Kern was featured in the 2017 Festival season in a solo recital and a Coffee Concert, and in 2015 she accompanied vocalist Renée Fleming at the Harrison Opera House.

“I am so thrilled to welcome Olga Kern as our new director of Chamber Music,” says Virginia Arts Festival Perry Artistic Director Robert W. Cross. “Working with this award-winning artist, we look forward to continuing to burnish the Festival’s sterling reputation as a presenter of chamber music of the highest quality.”

Kern echoes Cross’s sentiments: “I have been impressed by the high artistic standards of the Virginia Arts Festival and I can’t wait to get started creating rewarding chamber music programs and inviting a new generation of wonderful artists for the Festival’s knowledgeable and fun-loving music lovers.” At the announcement, Kern promised the audience and those listening on the radio, lots of surprises—of artists already booked and the compositions to be performed.


US economist with Jewish roots shares Nobel Prize

William Nordhaus, a Yale University professor with Jewish roots, will share the 2018 Nobel Prize for Economics. Paul Romer, a former World Bank chief economist who is now at New York University’s Stern School of Business, also won the prize. The winners, who will split the $1.1 million award equally, were recognized for integrating innovation and climate with economic growth.

Nordhaus and Romer have “significantly broadened the scope of economic analysis by constructing models that explain how the market economy interacts with nature and knowledge,” the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said in announcing the prize.

“The contributions of Paul Ror and William Nordhaus are methodological, providing us with fundamental insights into the causes and consequences of technological innovation and climate change. This year’s Laureates do not deliver conclusive answers, but their findings have brought us considerably closer to answering the question of how we can achieve sustained and sustainable global economic growth,” the statement said.

Nordhaus was born in 1941 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and earned his doctorate in 1967 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His family “had deep roots in the Southwest, with beginnings in the German-Jewish immigrant wave after the Santa Fe Trail opened in 1821,” according to a profile of Nordhaus on the website of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Romer was born in 1955 in Denver, Colorado, and earned his doctorate in 1983 from the University of Chicago. (JTA)


Great-grandmother, 93, who had survived Auschwitz crowned Miss Holocaust Survivor

JERUSALEM (JTA)—A 93-year-old great-grandmother who had survived the Auschwitz death camp was crowned Miss Holocaust Survivor.

Tova Ringer, who lost her parents, four sisters and a grandmother at Auschwitz, won the beauty pageant in Haifa on Sunday, Oct. 14.

“I’m very happy. It’s something special. I wouldn’t believe that at my age I would be a beauty,” she told Reuters.

Ringer was crowned with a silver tiara and a blue-and-white sash proclaiming her the queen of the contest, which has been organized each year since 2012 by Yad Ezer L’Haver, or Helping Hand, a group that helps needy Holocaust survivors in Israel.

A crowd of thousands attended the event, including Knesset members and government ministers, as well as hundreds of Holocaust survivors, The Times of Israel reported.

Fewer than 200,000 Holocaust survivors live in Israel today, according to the news website.


Celebrate with a wine tasting in Israel

Wine on the Vine, the flagship program of The Israel Innovation Fund, which allows people to plant grapevines in top Israeli wineries, now offers private wine tastings in Israel.

Wine on the Vine arranges and facilitates tastings wherever preferred—at a home, a hotel, a restaurant, etc. Not only do participants enjoy a unique wine tasting experience, they also are helping grow Israel’s wine industry through the organization’s grapevine planting initiative. Supporting a charity of the donor’s choice, is another benefit of participation.

A variety of tasting formats are offered, and Wine on the Vine can customize to any need or request. Tasting themes include region, varietal/color, and women winemakers, among others. Prices vary by group size and the number of bottles required (or desired!).

Planning a trip to Israel for a b’nai mitzvah or a wedding? The wine tasting offers a fun activity for guests—and a relaxing break from sightseeing. The program also makes a tasty and meaningful gift for anyone spending Hanukkah (or visiting anytime) in Israel. For Hanukkah, by the way, Wine on the Vine is offering the addition of donuts to the wine tastings.

Tastings take hardly any time to plan, as Wine on the Vine does all of the work.

For more information and to inquire about a tasting, visit or email Tatiana Hasson, Wine on the Vine’s director, at