A Magnificent Evening


The 16th Annual Benefit to support the Program for Holocaust Survivors and Families, a service of Jewish Senior Life, was a night to remember at Congregation Beth Ahm in West Bloomfield on March 10, 2019. Dr. Charles Silow, Program Director, presented awards to honor the Holocaust survivors of Detroit through their survivor organizations. Sima Weberman, accepted the award on behalf of her late husband, Abraham Weberman, the long-standing president of the Shaarit Haplaytah; Michael Weiss on behalf of the United Jewish Organization, and Rene Lichtman and Erna Gorman, on behalf of the Hidden Children and Child Survivors of Michigan. 


A special farewell presentation honored Program Coordinator, Renee Fein, thanking her for her excellent service for the past eight years. Attendees were treated to an evening of spectacular hand-clapping, soul-rendering entertainment for the evening featuring Armenian Maestro, Harry Hovakimian on violin, vocalist Elaine Serling, pianist and singer, Stefan Kukurugya, singer, Avy Schreiber, and the nationally acclaimed jazz pianist ensemble, the Cliff Monear Trio. All musicians have been entertaining our holocaust survivors monthly at Café Europa at Prentis Apartments in Oak Park.

“This was a magnificent evening” declared event chair, Sylvia Nelson, accompanied by her husband, David, who was enthralled by the music. Bernie Kent, chair of the Program Advisory Committee was moved by the music of Harry Hovakimian, who played “Kroonk”, a tune calling up the Armenian genocide from the past. Stefan Kukurugya accompanied Elaine Serling in a lively duet “Almost Like Being In Love” and “Bei Mir Bistu Shein”, Elaine’s special signature musical number for the night.  Avy Schreiber soulfully sang “Adon Olam”. At the concert’s conclusion, the musicians and audience sang together, Matisyahu’s “One Day”. The evening ended sweetly with a dessert after glow, providing the survivors and all attendees an opportunity to mingle with the honorees, musicians and with one another.