Spirit of the J
Children's Scholarship Ball
Friday, February 3, 2017
by M Groogan

Sharing our Spirit with Children & Families

 Houston, TX – There is nothing more important to the Evelyn Rubenstein JCC of Houston than making a lasting impact on the lives of children in our community.  And there is no better way to support this mission than the 27th Annual Children’s Scholarship Ball benefiting the Irvin Kaplan Children’s Scholarship Fund on Saturday, March 4, 2017 at the Royal Sonesta Hotel.

“We have had a great experience working on the 27th Annual Children’s Scholarship Ball,  it means so much to us to be a part of this event that significantly impacts so many young lives in our very own community. With a goal of helping over 300 families send their children to school, extracurricular activities and camp, it has been amazing to witness the love and support our community has for each other,” said Ball Chairs Abby Ackerman and Erika Kaufman.

Every day through the halls of the J, children are seen playing together on the playground, singing HaMotzi (prayer before the meal) in their classrooms and walking throughout the building to attend enrichment classes like art, gymnastics, tennis or theatre. Their infectious energy and zest for life is the Spirt of the J and it is contagious to all those that come through our doors. For some families, giving their children these enriching experiences can create financial hardship. This is why the Children’s Scholarship Ball benefitting the Irvin Kaplan Children’s Scholarship Fund was created. Elana Hoffman knows she wouldn’t be where she is today without her Bertha Alyce School family at the J and the help of the Irvin Kaplan Scholarship Fund. She is mom to 7-year-old Molly and 4-year-old Hannah. Her children thrive at J Camps, Kid Zone and in the preschool, but their journey to the J didn’t start out that way.

 “I am just so thankful, I am not sure what I would have done,” said Elana. “I don’t know how I could have made it without the J. My children love and cherish Shabbat, they practice Tikkun Olam, they recite prayers at home and incorporate what they are learning at the J into their daily lives.”

The Ball in its inception was created to ensure that all children from six-week-old infants to teenagers, of all religious and ethnic backgrounds, and with different abilities, can participate in early childhood care, educational activities, special needs programs and J Camps. Each year more than 300 children receive scholarship assistance, children who otherwise may not be able to participate in activities like learning to swim, celebrating a holiday, or making new friends at the J.  photo of Ball Honorees

We rely on the community to lead our fundraising effort. The 2017 Honorees Lauren and Jeremy Blachman and H-E-B and Scott McClelland were selected for their service to both the Jewish and secular community and for their efforts to improve the quality of life for children and youth. 

Jeremy Blachman is the Executive Vice President at the Allied Group Companies. Jeremy, a native New Yorker, moved to Houston with his wife, Lauren, a native Houstonian twenty years ago. Jeremy channels his passion for children and giving back, through careful stewardship of financial resources and strategic planning that can benefit their growth and development. Lauren Kaufman Blachman has a consulting business. Lauren’s passion for children and giving back is satisfied in various leadership roles across the community. Lauren and Jeremy happily served as Ball Chairs of CSB in 2005, and are thrilled to be involved in this role for the 25th anniversary.

“The chance to highlight the impact on the children is the most meaningful part for us,” said Lauren and Jeremy Blachman. “By raising funds through the CSB, we allow families in need to put their minds at ease, that their kids can be well-cared for and safe in the J's childcare, camp, after-school and teen programs. At the same time, we are enriching children's lives, building their self-esteem and investing in our future leaders of tomorrow. What could matter more?"

We’re excited to also be honoring H-E-B and Scott McClelland for his work in the community. Scott has been President of the Houston division of H-E-B 2003. His commercial role with H-E-B has made him a local celebrity, but it’s his love and dedication to community that really makes him stand out. He serves many organizations including the Houston Food Bank, Memorial Herman Hospital Systems, Children's Defense Fund, The Edelman Financial Group Inc., Memorial Hermann Healthcare System, Inc., Red McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin, San Antonio Spurs Foundation, Texas Special Olympics, Greater Houston Partnership and the University of Texas Business Advisory Council.

The black tie gala will include dinner, dancing and an extensive silent auction chaired by Marci Gilbert and Ashley Roseman. Tables and individual tickets are on sale now. Visit for more information about how to get involved in this event that benefits so many families and makes a lasting impact on the lives of children in our community. Find us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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