The Simon Family JCC held its signature fundraising event, One Night, on Tuesday, April 24. Hosted by Baker’s Crust Artisan Kitchen, 132 guests gathered for a night of outstanding Israeli cuisine, community, and philanthropy. This year’s guest chef, sponsored by the Culinary Institute of Virginia, College of Culinary Arts of ECPI University, was James Beard 2017 Outstanding Chef, Michael Solomonov. Throughout the evening, Solomonov mingled and entertained guests while delighting palates with a culinary journey of Israeli cuisines with four main courses and wine pairings.
Along with the amazing food and entertainment, the star of the evening was the Simon Family JCC and its unique program, Yachad. A program of the JCC summer camp (JCamp), Yachad integrates children with special needs into the full JCamp experience, providing specially trained counselors to support the children at camp.
Robin Bailey, a JCamp parent, shared her experience with the program: “Simon Family JCC offers the only camp in the area with a program that allows all children the opportunity, regardless of their similarities or differences, to go to camp together while forging friendships. I love that JCamp is a place for (my son) Evan, but what I love more is that JCamp is a place for all kids.”
John Strelitz, president of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater and Simon Family JCC, announced that this year’s One Night event raised $30,000–$35,000 to support the Yachad program and other children’s programming at the Simon Family JCC.
One Night was a remarkable experience for all involved, and it raised important funds that will impact hundreds of families and thousands of children during the summer and coming year at the Simon Family JCC.