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2014-10-10 digital edition

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The Jewish Press of Tampa and the Jewish Press of Pinellas County are Independently- owned biweekly Jewish community newspapers published in cooperation with and supported by the Tampa JCC & Federation and the Jewish Federation of Pinellas & Pasco Counties, respectively. Copyright © 2009-2019 The Jewish Press Group of Tampa Bay, Inc., All Rights Reserved.


October 10, 2014  RSS feed
Front Page

Text: T T T

Gulf Coast spotlights those it helps, two who pitch in

The “Many Faces of Gulf Coast Jewish Family & Community Services,” an annual program that celebrates the stories of those aided by the agency, will be held Thursday evening, Oct. 23.

The event will feature the stories of a young Iraqi refugee who won a prestigious education award after less than two years here; a family that has been successfully brought back together with the help of Gulf Coast’s reunification program; and a family of Holocaust survivors helped by the agency to create a life in the United States and who continue to use many of Gulf Coast’s services.

The agency will also honor two of its longtime volunteers, Gladys Schutz and William “Bill” Israel.

The celebration will take place from 6 - 8 p.m. in the Margarete Heye Great Room at Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N. McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater. Individual tickets start at $125, and sponsorships are available.

Bill Israel Bill Israel Those who will be highlighted during the program are:

Noora Kaleel

Iraqi refugee Noora Kaleel, along with her mother, father and three siblings, began a new life in the United States in 2012. With help from Gulf Coast’s Refugee Resettlement program, the family found an apartment and Noora’s father found work. Noora and her siblings are enrolled in the Refugee Youth program, which provides English language tutoring, and Noora participated in the violence prevention program offered at Morgan Fitzgerald Middle School. Today, Noora is the proud winner of a Pinellas County School Board PRIDE award in science – the only refugee student to achieve this distinction.

Danielle Engram

Single mom Danielle Engram resides in Tampa along with her three children, Dequan, Clinesha and Aiden. When her children were taken from her and placed in foster care, she felt like the world had ended. With help from Gulf Coast’s Family Reunification program and her determination, she gained new skills through parenting and anger management classes. Engram and her children engaged in family therapy, all while Engman continued working 10-hour days. On Aug. 19, 2013 the family was successfully re-united and continues to live under one roof.

Gladys Schutz Gladys Schutz Riva Litvin

Riva Litvin, 101 years old, along with her daughter Ninel Stetsenko and son-in-law Peter Korf, survived the worst of the Nazi onslaught when Ukraine was invaded during World War II. The family, along with Ninel’s son Sergei, arrived in the United States in 1993. Ninel is the primary caregiver of both her husband and mother, who are in ill health. Gulf Coast’s Homemaker Services for Frail Elderly provides services that help them stay together in their St. Petersburg home, as well as some needed relief for Ninel. Since 1999, Riva, Ninel and Peter have been active members of the Gulf Coast’s Jewish Family Services Holocaust Survivor program.

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The volunteers to be honored, William “Bill” Israel and Gladys Schutz, have been helping out at Gulf Coast for many years.

William “Bill” Israel

Israel is the longest serving board member of Gulf Coast. In his 36 years on the board, he has served as vice president and treasurer, and is currently co-chair of the agency’s advisory council. He has widely varied interests, including computers, computerized investing, reading, writing, publishing, travel, politics and civic activity in local government affairs.

Israel is a founding member of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Tampa Bay and he, along with his wife Sally and daughter Sharon, traveled to Eastern Europe in 1993 to discover their roots.

A native of North Carolina, Israel graduated from Georgia Tech and is a retired Honeywell executive. A 46-year resident of St. Petersburg, he is a member of Temple Beth-El and has served on that temple’s board and as president of its Brotherhood. He has been active with the Jewish Federation of Pinellas & Pasco Counties, serving as chair of the Jewish Community Relations Council, and was a founding vice president of the Florida West Coast Technion Chapter.

Gladys Schutz

Schutz moved to Florida in 1994 soon after the death of her husband. She became affiliated with Gulf Coast in 1996. Her passion for volunteerism and philanthropy throughout the Tampa Bay community are well known, and she has been supporting the Holocaust Museum, Temple Beth-El and Gulf Coast since that time. She has travelled to both Tallahassee and Washington DC, to advocate on behalf of Gulf Coast’s refugee and children’s programs. She is a founder and Keeper of the Gate for Hadassah, as well as a supporter of the Florida Orchestra. At age 93, she continues to manage her own investment portfolio and is proud of the fact that she outperforms many professionals. She has two children, Jim and Sally.

In 2012, Gulf Coast Jewish Family & Community Services established the Gladys Schutz Award for Exceptional Leadership to honor her continued support and unwavering dedication to the agency.

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For more information on the Many Faces event, visit celebration or call Stuart Berger at (727) 210-8514.

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