Press Release

Celebrating Community for 81 years at the Evelyn Rubenstein JCC of Houston
Community is Welcome to 81st Annual Meeting
Monday, May 1, 2017
by mgroogan


A highlight of the Annual Meeting is the recognition of the winner of the prestigious David H. White award. The Selection Committee, chaired by Gerald Merfish, announced the 2017 recipient of the David H. White Award is Dr. Barbara “Bobbi” of bobbi samuels

Bobbi is a community leader and past president of the Evelyn Rubenstein JCC who has dedicated her life’s work and service to improving the quality of life of others. She has chaired the Annual Jewish Book & Arts Fair, the Arts & Culture Steering Committee and the Jewish Education Committee of the Center for Jewish Living & Learning. She also co-chaired the Outreach Committee in the J’s strategic planning process. Bobbi graduated from the Florence Melton Adult Mini-School Jewish education program and is currently a graduate student. Samuels was an honoree at the 21st Annual Children’s Scholarship Ball. Bobbi and her husband, Vic, a past-president of the J from 1985-1987 and 1994 Ball Honoree, served as Honorary Co-Chairs for the 20th Annual Children’s Scholarship Ball in 2010.  

“I am honored and thrilled to be included among the esteemed group of people who have previously won the David H. White Award,” said Bobbi Samuels. “This very prestigious award is particularly significant because it recognizes the importance of meaningful community work and the values of tikkun olam.”

A former high school English teacher, Bobbi enjoyed 25 years on the faculty at the University Of Houston Clear Lake School Of Education. Samuels has always been passionate about children’s literacy. She was Vice President for Education at the Children’s Museum; past chair of the Education Committee at the Houston Zoo and Program Committee at Collaborative for Children.

“Bobbi Samuels is an outstanding volunteer leader in our community and I am thrilled she has been chosen as this year’s David H. White Award recipient,” said Debbie Kaplan, Evelyn Rubenstein JCC Board President.  “In her unassuming way, Bobbi has made such an impact in our Houston community  - especially in the areas of arts and education - in addition to her time, expertise and leadership to numerous organizations she continues to serve as a mentor and advisor to the next generation.  We are so excited to honor Bobbi for her passion for giving back to our community. She is truly a treasure to us all.”

Several other members of the community will be honored for their tireless work and dedication to the mission of the J. The Stanley Rosenblatt Volunteer Excellence Award will be awarded to Mel Kleiman for his volunteer service. And Evelyn Rubenstein JCC Fitness Center employee, Blair Bushong will be given the Jerry Wische Staff Excellence Award.

Members of the J, the community and the public are invited to the 81st Annual Meeting, on Tuesday, May 16 at 7:00 p.m. in the Kaplan Theatre, followed by a reception in the Deutser Art Gallery.  Please RSVP by May 12, 2017 to Melanie Beltram at Visit for more information about our programs and services. Find us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Send this page to a friend