ABOUT / 70 years in the making

With great pleasure we invite you to join us at
Shalva’s 28th Anniversary Dinner
celebrating 70 years of Israel’s independence
Thursday, March 15th, 2018

6PM Reception
7PM Program & Dinner
Grand Hyatt, New York City


Harry Krakowski and Yan Piskunov


Rebecca and David Zwillinger

L’dor V’dor Honorees:

Jerry Wartski
Allan Wartski
Jay Wartski

Featuring a performance by:

The Shalva Band

Dinner Co-Chairs:

Arlene and Michael Kleinberg
Jamie and Yoni Leifer
Janine and Cal Nathan
Careena and Drew Parker

Journal Co-Chairs:

Jane and Norm Alpert
Carol and Jerry Levin
Leesa and Leon Wagner

HIGHLIGHTS / Shalva proudly welcomes

Guest of Honor Harry Krakowski

Harry Krakowski first became acquainted with Shalva and its life transforming work 15 years ago at a parlor meeting hosted in a friend’s home. Since that evening, Harry has been a dear friend of Shalva’s. After seeing the new Shalva National Center and the hope and dedication that the entire staff of Shalva pours into enriching the lives of these special children and their families, Harry’s passion for and love of Shalva has grown exponentially.

Harry is the son of Israel and Elli Krakowski, both of whom were Holocaust survivors. Harry was raised in Queens attended Yeshiva Dov Revel, Yeshiva of Central Queens and Queens College. Today he is a hotelier who manages and operates several hotels, and an entrepreneur who runs several businesses within the hospitality and food and beverage industries. He is also involved in real estate in New York, Chicago and San Francisco.

Despite his busy schedule, Harry takes great pride in the time and effort that he devotes to the communal and educational institutions to which he is committed. Harry is involved with the Birthright Israel Foundation, the National Jewish Outreach Program and is also a member of the Next Generation Council USC Shoah Foundation. Additionally, he is supportive of Chabad on Campuses and is a Board Member of both the Hamptons Synagogue and the Friends of Auschwitz Birkenau Foundation.

Most importantly, Harry is the proud father of four beautiful daughters, Rachel, Sarah, Sophie, and Leah.

Guest of Honor Yan Piskunov

Since becoming acquainted with Shalva, Yan Piskunov has become a major advocate and supporter of the organization and its special projects. He is currently involved in the development of Shalva's National Crisis Center and is dedicated to helping advance innovative programs for children with autism.

Yan is the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Russian Jewish Congress, a Shalva board member, lawyer, businessman and philanthropist. Born in St. Petersburg, now lives in Jerusalem.

Community Service Honorees Rebecca and David Zwillinger

Becky and David met back in 1998 at college in New Jersey. They now live in NYC with their 4 children - Ayla (11), Benjamin (9) and Livya (7) and Suri (4) who all attend the Ramaz School. They are planning Ayla’s Bat Mitzvah at Shalva in Israel in April of 2019!

Becky started her journey with Shalva in 2005 when she met Kalman and heard his moving story about his family and the founding of Shalva. She took a position as a Fundraising Executive, planned two "Black White Night Out" events and started the Young Leadership division with its first event held at Dylan's Candy Bar. Becky left Shalva professionally in 2007 but stayed very close, especially after visiting Shalva's Children's Center in Jerusalem. Becky and David were among the first co-chairs of the annual Young Leadership Full House Event which started in 2009. Additionally, Becky helped found the Young Leadership Board of American Friends of Shalva.

David is a managing director of D. E. Shaw & Co., L.P. and a member of the D. E. Shaw group's U.S. Private Equity investment unit. He is currently focused on investments related to the development, ownership, and operation of renewable energy assets. Since 2012, his activities in those areas have focused on D. E. Shaw Renewable Investments ("DESRI"). DESRI manages investment vehicles that currently own and operate approximately 20 renewable energy projects across the United States. Prior to joining the D. E. Shaw group in 2005, David was an associate at J.P. Morgan Partners, L.L.C. and previous to that a member of Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc.'s mergers and acquisitions group. David graduated summa cum laude from Rutgers College with a B.A. in economics and earned a B.S. in finance from Rutgers Business School.

Ever since their first visit to Shalva Becky and David, their children and extended families have been moved and touched by Shalva’s warmth and energy. To this day, Zwillinger’s make sure to visit Shalva on their frequent trips to Israel. Becky and Ayla, along with her mother, Carol Cohn, were in attendance for the Grand Opening of the new Shalva National Center in Israel last April.

Becky and David’s deep commitment to family and many Jewish causes, in which they are involved, is what fuels their busy lives.


Jerry Wartski was born Gerszon Wartski, in Ozorkow, Poland, in 1930. He moved from the Ozorkow ghetto to the Lodz ghetto in 1942 and remained there until he was sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp in 1944. He was later transferred from the Auschwitz camp to the Althamer concentration camp. Then, in 1945, he was moved to the Northausen Am Hartz concentration camp. He managed to survive the concentration camps using a variety of skills he acquired working the ghettos as a young boy. In Ozorkow, he worked in a rabbit coat factory, stretching and cutting skins to make coats for the German military. In Lodz, he developed his woodworking skills.

Once the war ended, Jerry made his way to the United States by way of New York City in 1949. After two years in New York, he visited family in Detroit, Michigan and spent a year there. Jerry returned to New York City in 1952 and eventually opened a knitting factory, before making his first real estate venture in 1959. Jerry still resides in New York City to this day, and has built a real estate portfolio that includes hotels, residential rentals and commercial rentals. He is also involved in the hospitality industry as the owner of many restaurants and event spaces.

Jerry is involved with various charitable organizations. He is most devoted to the National Committee for the Furtherance of Jewish Education and Young Israel. Jerry is very happy and proud to give back to his community.

Allan Wartski

Allan Wartski was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1954. He grew up in Mill Basin, Brooklyn, before moving to Howard Beach, Queens in 1966. Allan is also involved in the family business and manages family owned real estate properties in Harlem. Nowadays, however, Allan is most involved in the hospitality aspect of the family business. He has been building up and running restaurants since the early 1990’s. More recently, he has also turned his attention to acquiring and managing event spaces in Manhattan.

Jay Wartski

Jay Wartski was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1956, and moved, with his family, to Howard Beach in 1966. Jay works in the real estate business that his father started in 1959. He manages family owned properties throughout New York City. He also oversees the day-to-day operations of the residential and commercial rental properties in Chelsea, the West Village, Murray Hill, Hells Kitchen and the Upper West Side.

The Wartski family is proud to be honored by Shalva, a cause that has recently become near and dear to their hearts.

Celebrity Chef Meir Adoni

Meet Meir Adoni, a 44-year old Moroccan-Israeli chef and a star in Tel Aviv’s dining scene. He’s known for his Pan-Middle Eastern style that incorporates elements of French technique, his own Moroccan heritage and a global pantry. After studying in Sydney and training in Paris, he returned to Israel to find culinary acclaim with his first restaurant, Catit, in 2002. He opened two more restaurants in Tel Aviv—Blue Sky and Lumina — becoming a celebrity chef and food-television personality in the process.

In April of 2017 Adoni opened Nur, a Middle Eastern restaurant on East 20th Street in Manhattan. The swirl of flavors also reflects Adoni’s expansive definition of Middle-Eastern food. Nur’s menu embraces the flavors of Morocco, Libya, Israel, Yemen and Syria; again, it’s hard to keep count. His vision is broad and inclusive. In Israel, he’s got a full dance card; he has published a cookbook app and has a leading role in a popular Israeli cooking- contest show called Game of Chefs, where he is both a mentor to one of the teams and a judge.

Entertainment The Shalva Band, Music that Changes Lives

The Shalva Band is comprised of eight talented musicians with disabilities who perform to the highest musical standards. Inspiring crowds throughout Israel and around the world with its musical repertoire and charm, the band is one of Shalva’s most celebrated inclusion programs. The Shalva Band is regularly invited to perform at cultural venues, dignitary events, with celebrity artists and is at the forefront of popular music forums. They perform at schools, Shalva dinners and various community events all over Israel as well as in the US, Canada, UK, Mexico and Russia.

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ABOUT SHALVA / Providing quality care for children with disabilities

Shalva, the Israel Association for the Care and Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities is dedicated to providing transformative care for individuals with disabilities, empowering their families and promoting social inclusion. Non-denominational and free of charge, Shalva’s programs provide an all-encompassing range of services for hundreds of individuals from infancy to adulthood. Additionally, Shalva supports and enables families to raise their children with disabilities within the family framework. Through nearly three decades of award-winning programs, Shalva partners with government, academic and philanthropic institutions in advocacy efforts to create a more inclusive society.  

The Shalva National Center, which opened in September 2016, has enabled Shalva to broaden its scope of services to provide care for thousands more children with disabilities and their families. The eleven story, 200,000 square foot building, surrounded by seven acres of inclusion parks, will offer a variety of leading-edge facilities and unprecedented opportunities for individuals with disabilities in Israel. The Shalva National Center is positioned to be Israel’s home base for inclusion and an international leader in program development for individuals with disabilities.

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LEADERSHIP / Thank you for making this happen


Norman Alpert

Chairs of the Board

Nathan Low
Leon Wagner

Vice President:
Adam Chill

Yoni Leifer

Jacques Semmelman

Chairman of the Board Emeritus:
Hillel Weinberger

SHALVA Founder & Director
Kalman Samuels

Executive Director
Leo Klein

Director, West Coast Region
Carri Garelick

Director, Southeast Region
Lauren Masuzzo

Senior Development Executive
Alexis Schwartz

Development Executive
Chana Miller

Executive Committee:
Raanan Agus
Jane Gol
Michael Kleinberg
Mitchell Presser
Daniel Schwartz
Loren Weiss

Tribute Committee
Vivian & Gerald Adler
Marilyn & Greg Adler
Shari & Robert Alter
Diane & Anthony Arnold
Joyce & Eric Austein
Giti & Jack Bendheim
Vivian & Zev Blumenfrucht
Viviane & Arnold Breitbart
Marjorie & Alan Brown
Tamar & Yehudah Buchweitz
Jennifer Gross & Saul Burian
Vanessa & Raymond Chalme
Ilana & Adam Chill
Sherry & Neil Cohen
Amy & Myron Eagle
Shelley & Steven Einhorn
Judy & Yehuda Eliezri
Lisa & Mark Ellis
Carol & John Engelman
Danielle & Allen Finkelstein
Sharon & Todd Fisher
Charlotte Frank
Cheryl & Burt Gelberg
Adina & Joshua Geller

Tracy & Sander Gerber
Ariel & Baruch Glaubach
Jane & Ishaia Gol
Naomi & Gerald Goldstein
Alyson & Rafi Goodman
Alissa & Steven Grill
Nancy & Ronald Gurman
Sarit & Ely Guttman
Stacy & Jason Helfstein
Rivkie & Lance Hirt
Ruth & Aaron Jungreis
Ann & Albert Kahn
Sandy & Nathan Kahn
Eliane & Justin Karr
Vicki & Sam Katz
Laura & Daniel Kaufthal
Linda & Ilan Kaufthal
Chani & Shimie Klein
Seryl & Charles Kushner
Renee Landau
Bryna & Joshua Landes
Susannah & Noah Leibowitz
Leora & Richard Linhart
Yocheved & Donald Liss

Chava & Nisan Lobel
Millie & Lawrence Magid
Yael & Amnon Mandelbaum
Gladys & Matthew Maryles
Andrea & Robert Meislin
Tehilla & Meir Melohn
Suri & Jan Meyer
Ruth & Ted Mirvis
Yocheved & Alexander Mitchell
Debbie & Samuel Moed
Shahina & Ari Moses
Robin Muss
Deena & Gilad Ottensoser
Lauren & Mitchell Presser
Gabrielle R Propp
Gail Propp
Karen & Michael Raskas
Gail & Binyamin Rieder
Judy & Tommy Rosenthal
Tamar & Yitzchok Rosenthal
Golda & Henry Rothman
Vanessa & Michael Rouzenrouch
Elinor & Avi Sandler
Tammi & Bennett Schachter

Chana & Ariel Schachter
Debbie & Daniel Schwartz
Felicia & Mitchell Schwartz
Sandy & Jerry Seligsohn
Rama & Reuben Seltzer
Jacques Semmelman
Debbie & Steven Shapiro
Jessica & Steven Spector
Richard Stone
Rebecca & Edward Sugar
Lola & Lenny Tanzer
Frumee & Raphael Taubenfeld
Merryl & James Tisch
Robyn & Mark Tsesarsky
Amy & Jeffrey Verschleiser
Myra & Harry Wagner
Elaine & Hillel Weinberger
Esther & Baruch Weinstein
Andrea & Loren Weiss
Dayna & Adam Westreich
Leslie Westreich
Judy & Philip Wilner
Wendy Belzberg & Strauss Zelnick

Event Location

Grand Hyatt
109 E 42nd St
New York, NY 10017


Contact Us / Thank you for your interest

Thank you for your interest in Shalva's 28th Anniversary Dinner.
Please fill out the info below and we will be in touch with you soon.
You can also call our office at: 212-725-0900 or email alexis@shalva-usa.org