Literacy Foundation to Honor The Jewish Theological Seminary

Press Contact: Nina Jacobson
Office: (212) 678-8950

October 16, 2006, New York, NY

The Jewish Theological Seminary will be honored for its support of Everybody Wins New York! at its fifth annual gala on Monday, November 13 at the Rainbow Room in New York City. Rabbi Carol Davidson, Vice Chancellor of Institutional Advancement, will accept the award on behalf of JTS. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York is also being honored.

The evening will begin at 6:30 with a cocktail reception and silent auction followed by dinner. John Cozzi, Managing Director of AEA Investors LLC, is Dinner Chairman and Liz Claman of CNBC will serve as gala host.

Since its founding in 1991, the Everybody Wins! Foundation has been a leading nonprofit literacy and mentoring organization, pairing caring adult volunteers with children in elementary schools for weekly reading aloud and conversation. Its mission is to reach children while they are young, stimulate their interest in reading, and encourage them to believe they can succeed in school and ultimately, in life. By combining mentoring with reading for pleasure, its volunteers are able to foster within young children a love for reading, a necessary first step towards literacy.

JTS's involvement with PS 125, under the auspices of its Va'ad Gemilut Hasidim Center for Community Outreach, dates back to 1999 when Rabbi Davidson was instrumental in founding the program. A generous three–year grant from the AXA Foundation in 2001 enabled JTS to increase its involvement by enhancing its recruitment efforts, introduce volunteer training, initiate a targeted book drive that has donated more than 500 hundred new books to the school Power Lunch library, and develop annual special events at JTS with children's authors, storytellers, and library staff.

Beginning with just eight people, this past academic year saw forty volunteers, ranging from undergraduates to rabbinical school students to JTS staff, participate in the program. These volunteers completed the unique training developed by JTS that provides basic literacy, multi–cultural education, and child development theory to help the volunteers foster engagement with their elementary school reading partners. Individual tickets and sponsorships to the gala event are available. For further information, contact Hope Geller at (212) 965–2289.

Editors/Reporters: For further information please contact Sherry Kirschenbaum in the Department of Communications at (212) 678–8953 or email.

Founded in 1886 as a rabbinical school, The Jewish Theological Seminary today is the academic and spiritual center of Conservative Judaism worldwide, encompassing a world–class library and five schools. JTS trains tomorrow's religious, educational, academic and lay leaders for the Jewish community and beyond.

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