|Commemorating 84 Years of Community Evelyn Rubenstein JCC Annual Meeting|
|Monday, April 27, 2020|
The Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center of Houston (the J) commemorates 84 years of bringing meaningful programming, leadership and service to the Houston community at its annual meeting on Tuesday, May 12 at 7:00 PM. Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s annual meeting will be held online via Zoom.
In addition to the election of officers and new members to the Board of Trustees, the meeting will feature 2019-2020 program highlights. Members and the public are invited to get an update on the state of the agency.
The annual meeting also serves as the official transition between outgoing board president Lauren Kaufman Blachman, who began her term in May 2018, and incoming president, Jeremy Samuels.
“I am honored and excited to follow in the footsteps of both of my parents who are past presidents of the J and take on this new role. We are at an exciting time as we are working to raise funds and design a brand-new facility to physically transform the J for future generations,” said Samuels, referring to the “Our New J” building renovations which are being developed.
Samuels has been an active supporter of the J for many years, having served in a variety of roles on the executive committee, new building project committee, finance committee and the Maccabi committee. However, the J is not the only beneficiary of Samuels’ volunteer efforts. He is the chair-elect of The Woods Project, an organization which provides wilderness opportunities for inner city high school students. He also serves on the boards of Houston A+, The Leeland Kibbutz program and Houston Achievement Place.
Samuels is a director of his family’s charitable foundation and currently serves on the board of Elemental Recycling. He was Vice President of Operations for Victory Packaging, an architect of packaging solutions and one of the largest distributors of packaging supplies in North America, where he worked for 15 years. Samuels lives in Bellaire with his wife, Suzan, son, Nathaniel, and daughter, Gabby.
“My tenure as president will be one of rebuilding and resilience. As an organization, we’ll need to work to reconnect the community after this COVID-19 quarantine and maintain meaningful and quality programs through the noise and distractions of construction. I very much look forward to this challenge,” said Samuels.
Outgoing president Lauren Kaufman Blachman is confident in Samuels abilities. “Jeremy is uniquely qualified to serve as our next Board President as he has served in volunteer leadership for many years, leading our finance committee, and as a member of our Executive Committee. He is one of the few leaders who has served both as a lay leader and a former staff member of the J. His passion for board engagement, community building and strategic thinking will position him well to guide us through the current adversity to a bright future as we complete plans and begin to build ‘Our New J.’ The future is bright with Jeremy at the helm” she said.
Blachman completes a successful two-year term as president this May. During her tenure, she led the J post Hurricane Harvey to establish a vision for “Our New J” campus that will serve the community for generations to come. She also led many initiatives, including revising the J's Shabbat and Jewish holiday guidelines and a rejuvenation of the JCC West Houston early childhood education program.
“Our community is very fortunate to have an excellent track record of families that have a long and wonderful history of volunteer leadership, and Lauren Kaufman Blachman and Jeremy Samuels, as individuals and as members of two long time Houston families, are committed to making a difference and to the values of Tikkun Olam, repairing the world. The J is so fortunate to count them among our family of leaders,” said Joel Dinkin, Evelyn Rubenstein JCC CEO.
The J’s annual meeting is open to members and the public. Zoom meeting information is available at erjcchouston.org/annualmeeting.
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