The 14th Street Y 2019 Annual PURIM Gala Raised More Than $375,000

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The 14th Street Y 2019 Annual PURIM Gala Raised More Than $375,000

On Thursday, March 14, 2019, the 14th Street Y hosted its 2019 PURIM Gala at Cipriani 25 Broadway, NYC, raising more than ever before-over $375,000 and counting. The 14th Street Y honored the Union Square Partnership and its Executive Director, Jennifer Falk, as the recipient of the 14th Street Y Community Builder Award.

The 14th Street Y's Community Builder Award recognizes champions who go above and beyond to cultivate and strengthen their communities, and in turn inspire others-individuals, organizations, and local businesses-to do the same. The 14th Street Y could not think of a better recipient for its first Community Builder Award than the Union Square Partnership and its Executive Director Jennifer Falk.

Proceeds from the Gala help to advance the 14th Street Y's mission as a hub of creativity, community programming, and Jewish culture in downtown Manhattan, providing scholarships, developing enrichment programs, and enhancing the lives of more than 26,000 people who walk through the doors each year.

An incredible show of support from the community, nearly 350 attendees gathered for cocktails, dinner, and entertainment as the 14th Street Y honored the Union Square Partnership and its Executive Director Jennifer Falk. The Gala was held at Cipriani 25 Broadway, NYC. In keeping with the time-honored Purim tradition of masquerade, guests were invited to indulge in wearing Purim-inspired masks and accessories.

"We were thrilled to recognize the Union Square Partnership and Executive Director Jennifer Falk as leaders and partners in serving this diverse community," said Rabbi Shira Koch Epstein, Executive Director of the 14th Street Y. "We celebrate Purim with gifts, and the many gifts shared last night will ensure that the 14th Street Y can grow it's highly sought after programs and support real and meaningful relationships within our community."

"On behalf of the entire Union Square Partnership network of neighborhood partners, we are honored to receive the inaugural Community Builder Award from the 14th Street Y, an organization that sets the standard for true community building, " said Jennifer E. Falk, Executive Director of the Union Square Partnership. "While much has been accomplished, there is more to be done. We are excited to partner with the 14th Street Y as they chart a course to the development of a new and improved facility. We also look forward to our continued work to bring the community together in a collaborative effort to revitalize the 14th Street-Union Square area."

The community was invited for a decadent evening in celebration of all things Purim. Masks and revelry abounded from the moment guests entered the Gala and were greeted with a champagne toast served from above by a cirque-style aerial artist. A cocktail hour with scintillating music and a photo booth where guests can don many disguises was followed by a sumptuous dinner and a proper Purim spiel hosted by Artist Fellows from the 14th Street Y's flagship artistic program, LABA: A Laboratory for Jewish Culture. Groggers spun and wine was poured as attendees were reminded this holiday celebrates community, giving back to our neighbors and of course...feasting.

The 14th Street Y isa vibrant community center grounded in the belief that contemporary Jewish sensibilities can be a source of inspiration, connection, and learning for the individuals and families it serves throughout New York City's East Village and beyond.

Purim is one of the most joyous and fun holidays on the Jewish calendar. Celebrated with feasts, drink and revelry, it celebrates standing up for what you believe in and calls us to honor others through giving gifts and charity.

In keeping with the time-honored Purim tradition of masquerade, guests were invited to indulge in wearing Purim-inspired masks and accessories.
The 14th Street Y 2019 Purim Gala featured one-of-a kind live art and performances, including:

Ari Brand, an actor, musician, writer, teacher and lifelong New Yorker. His current projects include developing a play based on the life of his father, an Israeli-American pianist who died of AIDS in 1990. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and two-year-old son.

Yochai Greenfeld, dancer, actor and singer, was born and raised in Israel, where his artistic passion evolved among the books and the scrolls at YeshViat Maale Gilboa. He believes in art as a form of multi-layered communication, and aspires to create meaningful, amusing and inspiring conversations in his work.

Marques Hollie, jewsician, is an operatic tenor and facilitator of creative Jewish ritual whose work focuses on creating Jew-of-color-centered ritual experiences. Marques was named one of New York Jewish Week's 36 Under 36 (2018) and a Fellow in the Union for Reform Judaism's JewV'Nation Fellowship, a visionary leadership development program.

Returning this year, the Gala also featured Rachel Pegram, comedian, actor, and writer living in New York City. Onscreen, Rachel can be seen in the Adam Sandler Netflix movie The Week Of, as well as Don't Think Twice, The Chris Gethard Show on TruTv, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, The Late Show, Comedy Central, MTV, College Humor, Amazon, BET and more. In 2018 she was chosen by Comedy Central as an "Up Next" comedian and performed at Clusterfest in San Francisco. Rachel performs regularly at Union Hall, both as a writer/performer with the sketch group Lo-Fi NYC and as co-host of That Shit Ray, a monthly late night-esque variety show. She also regularly performs improv with Too Damn Much and Asssscat at UCB Hells Kitchen.

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