(Edmonton) – Jeff Rubin and Gaylene Soifer are co-chairs of this year’s JNF Edmonton Negev Gala, honouring Robin and David Marcus. The virtual event will be held on August 18 at 7 pm.
The Negev Gala is a wonderful opportunity to pay tribute and honour Robin and David for their outstanding volunteerism, commitment to building a strong Jewish community and love for Israel, said Jeff.
“When Gaylene and I were first approached to co-chair this year’s JNF Gala, we eagerly agreed,” he explained. “Mostly, because we think the world of Robin and David, as they are the nicest and kindest individuals you will ever meet. But also, and more importantly, because we mutually agree that that they are very well deserving JNF honourees due to their love of Israel and for their many involvements within the Jewish community.”
“For myself, it was an additional mitzvah because David’s parents were also very dear friends of my parents,” noted Jeff. “Additionally, David and I have worked very closely together over the many past years, most notably with the Chevra Kadisha, and I have always been very impressed with David’s energy, motivation, and commitment to the Chevra Kadisha, as well as all of the other Jewish organizations in which he has been involved. Very few individuals could match David’s involvement and commitment to all the various organizations with which he has been connected.”
Gaylene said that she and Jeff are honoured to chair the Negev Gala. She spoke further of her relationship with Robin, both as a teacher and as a volunteer.
“After many years of teaching in several schools throughout Edmonton, I had the opportunity to work at the school that I attended as a child,” said Gaylene. “When I first arrived at Talmud Torah School, Robin Marcus was there to greet me. She calmly yet expertly prepared me for the challenges and joys that lay ahead. That began a relationship of teamwork and mutual respect that still remains strong after 15 years.”
“At Talmud Torah, Robin is passionate and committed to fostering within her students an appreciation and love for Judaism, Torah and Israel,” elaborated Gaylene. “In addition to running her own classroom, Robin is the first to volunteer her time and energy to organize school field trips, orchestrate entire school concerts, plan school wide holiday events and coordinate groups of students travelling to and from Israel.”
Robin attends most of the Jewish Community events taking place in our city and often involves herself in their planning, Gaylene added.
“After a full day of teaching, most teachers usually drag themselves home for dinner and an evening on the couch. Robin, on the other hand, grabs a quick bite before cheerfully rushing off for a meeting at the shul, a planning committee get-together, or an evening of volunteering. Robin never hesitates to raise her hand when she sees a need in our community and we all benefit from her tireless efforts,” concluded Gaylene.
Proceeds from this year’s Negev Gala will support the Clore Center for the Performing Arts, the only center of its kind, offering formal training in music and dance in northern Israel, explained JNF Edmonton Executive Director Jay Cairns. It is available to all denominations, providing scholarships and support programs to promising students as well as rehearsal and ensemble spaces for all students and residents in the region. It plays a crucial role in creating harmony in the region, hosting cultural and music events that bring people together from all walks of life.
Invitations for the Negev Gala will be sent by mail soon, added Cairns. “For information about becoming a donor , sponsor or advertiser in the virtual event and the printed Tribute Book, or if you have any questions, please contact the office at (780) 481-7881, email firstname.lastname@example.org and a member of the campaign team will follow up with you.”