Larisa Boas, 47, is the executive director of the Shorefront Jewish Community Council in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn. Recently, the social services organization has seen a dramatic surge in needs within the local community, says Boas, as a result of the pandemic, inflation and other current economic challenges, and the arrival of thousands of new Ukrainian immigrants settling in the area. Herself an immigrant from the former Soviet Union, Boas has been working in the city’s Jewish nonprofit sector for more than 20 years; she is also involved with the Jewish Community Council of Greater Coney Island’s COVID-19 Disparities grant where she oversees teams of community health workers in both Coney Island and the Rockaways focused on eliminating COVID-19 racial and ethnic disparities. She lives in Midwood, Brooklyn.
For the full list of this year’s 36 to Watch — which honors leaders, entrepreneurs and changemakers who are making a difference in New York’s Jewish community — click here.
Tell us a bit about your background.
As a young girl, newly emigrated to New York, my family initially settled in the heart of Borough Park in the hopes of living the American dream with the religious freedoms that enable us to embrace our Jewish identity. I attended a private Orthodox school not far from home. My grandparents were all Holocaust survivors and although I did not fully understand what that meant as a child, I do remember the tattoos on their arms. My parents possess an incredible work ethic and I grew up watching them helping and supporting others in any way that they could.
Who is your New York Jewish hero?
My parents are my New York Jewish heroes. Together with my elderly Holocaust survivor grandparents and two little children, they immigrated from the former Soviet Union in search of a better life and religious freedom. Despite starting a new life with no English language, professional career or financial support, they demonstrated an unwavering commitment to their Jewish roots, family and a strong belief in the power of hard work and determination. Throughout my upbringing, they instilled in me a deep belief that anything is possible if you set your mind to it. Their dedication to creating a brighter future for their family is an inspiration to all who know them, and they are truly deserving of this title.
What’s a fun/surprising fact about you?
I am a mother to four children and grandmother to three incredible grandsons.
How does your Jewish identity or experience influence your work?
My Jewish identity permeates everything that I do; it is who I am.
What is your favorite place to eat Jewish food in New York?
Pescada, a local neighborhood restaurant, has the most amazing desserts.
What are three spots in NYC that all Jewish New Yorkers should visit?
There is no way to only pick three spots!
1) The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island on a beautiful spring day — you start with the ferry ride and the ocean views, pack some snacks and lunch that you can enjoy on the beautiful grounds, and enjoy learning about all of the history packed into this destination.
2) Broadway — many early producers, composers and writers were Jewish and there have been countless Jewish-themed plays and musicals over the years.
3) A stroll down 13th Avenue in Borough Park, Brooklyn — although there have been many changes since my family lived above one of the shops in the early 1980s, it exudes all things Jewish, from the variety of shops to lots of kosher restaurant options to just people watching.
How can people follow you online?
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The post Larisa Boas, 47, Shorefront Jewish Community Council executive director appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
Phyllis Pollock died at home Sunday September 3, 2023 in Winnipeg, after a courageous lifetime battle with cancer.
Phyllis was a mother of four: Gary (Laura), daughter Randi, Steven (deceased in 2010) (Karen), and Robert. Phyllis also had two grandchildren: Lauren and Quinn.
Born in Fort Frances, Ontario on February 7, 1939, Phyllis was an only child to Ruby and Alex Lerman. After graduating high school, Phyllis moved to Winnipeg where she married and later divorced Danny Pollock, the father of her children. She moved to Beverly Hills in 1971, where she raised her children.
Phyllis had a busy social life and lucrative real estate career that spanned over 50 years, including new home sales with CoastCo. Phyllis was the original sales agent for three buildings in Santa Monica, oceanfront: Sea Colony I, Sea Colony II, and Sea Colony. She was known as the Sea Colony Queen. She worked side by side with her daughter Randi for about 25 years – handling over 600 transactions, including sales and leases within the three phases of Sea Colony alone.
Phyllis had more energy than most people half her age. She loved entertaining, working in the real estate field, meeting new and interesting people everyday no matter where she went, and thrived on making new lifelong friends. Phyllis eventually moved to the Sea Colony in Santa Monica where she lived for many years before moving to Palm Desert, then Winnipeg.
After battling breast cancer four times in approximately 20 years, she developed metastatic Stage 4 lung cancer. Her long-time domestic partner of 27 years, Joseph Wilder, K.C., was the love of her life. They were never far apart. They traveled the world and went on many adventures during their relationship. During her treatment, Phyllis would say how much she missed work and seeing her clients. Joey demonstrated amazing strength, love, care, and compassion for Phyllis as her condition progressed. He was her rock and was by her side 24/7, making sure she had the best possible care. Joey’s son David was always there to support Phyllis and to make her smile. Joey’s other children, Sheri, Kenny, Joshua and wife Davina, were also a part of her life. His kids would Facetime Phyllis and include her during any of their important functions. Phyllis loved Joey’s children as if they were her own.
Thank you to all of her friends and family who were there to support her during these difficult times. Phyllis is now, finally, pain free and in a better place. She was loved dearly and will be greatly missed. Interment took place in Los Angeles.
Gwen Centre Creative Living Centre celebrates 35th anniversary
By BERNIE BELLAN Over 100 individuals gathered at the Gwen Secter Centre on Tuesday evening, July 18 – under the big top that serves as the venue for the summer series of outdoor concerts that is now in its third year at the centre.
The occasion was the celebration of the Gwen Secter Centre’s 35th anniversary. It was also an opportunity to honour the memory of Sophie Shinewald, who passed away at the age of 106 in 2019, but who, as recently as 2018, was still a regular attendee at the Gwen Secter Centre.
As Gwen Secter Executive Director Becky Chisick noted in her remarks to the audience, Sophie had been volunteering at the Gwen Secter Centre for years – answering the phone among other duties. Becky remarked that Sophie’s son, Ed Shinewald, had the phone number for the Gwen Secter Centre stored in his phone as “Mum’s work.”
Remarks were also delivered by Raquel Dancho, Member of Parliament for Kildonan-St. Paul, who was the only representative of any level of government in attendance. (How times have changed: I remember well the steadfast support the former Member of the Legislature for St. John’s, Gord Mackintosh, showed the Gwen Secter Centre when it was perilously close to being closed down. And, of course, for years, the area in which the Gwen Secter Centre is situated was represented by the late Saul Cherniack.)
Sophie Shinewald’s granddaughter, Alix (who flew in from Chicago), represented the Shinewald family at the event. (Her brother, Benjamin, who lives in Ottawa, wasn’t able to attend, but he sent a pre-recorded audio message that was played for the audience.)
Musical entertainment for the evening was provided by a group of talented singers, led by Julia Kroft. Following the concert, attendees headed inside to partake of a sumptuous assortment of pastries, all prepared by the Gwen Secter culinary staff. (And, despite my asking whether I could take a doggy bag home, I was turned down.)
Palestinian gunmen kill 4 Israelis in West Bank gas station
This is a developing story.
(JTA) — Palestinian gunmen killed four people and wounded four in a terror attack at a gas station near the West Bank settlement of Eli, the Israeli army reported.
An Israeli civilian returning fire at the scene of the attack on Tuesday killed one of the attackers, who emerged from a vehicle, and two others fled.
Kan, Israel’s public broadcaster, said one of those wounded was in serious condition. The gunmen, while in the vehicle, shot at a guard post at the entry to the settlement, and then continued to the gas station which is also the site of a snack bar. A nearby yeshiva went into lockdown.
Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant announced plans to convene a briefing with top security officials within hours of the attack. Kan reported that there were celebrations of the killing in major West Bank cities and in the Gaza Strip, initiated by terrorist groups Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Hamas said the shooting attack Tuesday was triggered by the Jenin raid.
The shooting comes as tensions intensify in the West Bank. A day earlier, Israeli troops raiding the city of Jenin to arrest accused terrorists killed five people.
The Biden administration spoke out over the weekend against Israel’s plans to build 4,000 new housing units for Jewish settlers in the West Bank. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also finalized plans to transfer West Bank building decisions to Bezalel Smotrich, the extremist who is the finance minister. Smotrich has said he wants to limit Palestinian building and expand settlement building.
Kan reported that the dead terrorist was a resident of a village, Urif, close to Huwara, the Palestinian town where terrorists killed two Israeli brothers driving through in February. Settlers retaliated by raiding the village and burning cars and buildings.
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