NCJW Gala Raises over $120,000 for Houston Women and Children

Date December 2, 2017 | Tags:

The National Council for Jewish Women, Greater Houston Section held its 29th-annual gala, Reconnect & Reboot, on Nov. 11 at HSR Event Center. More than 160 people attended, raising over $120,000 to support NCJW’s community service projects. NCJW projects serve women and children at risk in Houston including foster kids, economically challenged families who participate in HISD’s Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngers, and victims of human trafficking.

Guests dined on food prepared by Chef Vladimir Smirnov, danced to tunes played by the El Obits band, enjoyed dance lessons from ballroom dance teacher Johnny Tanon, and played at the gaming tables. Qtego made the silent auction and wine pull easy and fun for guests to place bids on their mobile phones and watch the donations grow on the big screen. Plants and Petals provided floral decorations.  Surrounding the theatre room were giant projections of the Houston skyline, reminding everyone that we are Houston Strong, as well as photos of NCJW community work.


Mark Henderson Leary emceed the event.  Elyse and Lewis Kalmans and their family were awarded the Faith and Humanity Award, recognizing a family’s commitment to improving the human condition.  Diane Lee Kraitman was awarded the Robin Perlo Berry Next Gen Leadership Award, named in memory of Robin Perlo Berry, recognizing an outstanding young leader for her community work and philanthropy. Rachel Leva, Aliza Plotkin and Rebecca Price co-chaired the event.


“We were thrilled that our community came together to support each other as we recover from Harvey, to celebrate with our honorees and to reach beyond ourselves to help those in Houston who are truly in dire need,” said Plotkin. “It was so much fun to see people kicking off their shoes to dance and showing off their ‘snuggle socks,’ sold at the event.”


“We are so grateful to Karen Freedman who mentored and guided our co-chairs to insure this event was a great success,” said Jody Sweed, co-president of NCJW GHS. “We also appreciate the extraordinary work of Kristina Boshernitzan, our interim section director, who moved to Austin with her family after their home was flooded and has continued to work for our section remotely as we search for a new director.”

To read the remarks made by the Kalmans and Kraitman at the event and to learn about future NCJW events, visit


Find this and more NCJW Houston news in the December 1 issue of the Jewish Herald Voice.



  • Co-Chairs Rebecca Price, Aliza Plotkin and Rachel Leva (left to right).
  • Elyse and Lewis Kalmans with their daughters Aerin, Tali and Kendall (left to right).
  • Diane Lee Kraitman (middle) with her mom Karen Lee and her husband Javier Kraitman.