Agency Spotlight: Beth Sholom Home of Eastern Virginia

Thu, 08/30/2018 - 4:33pm

Since 1980, Beth Sholom Home of Eastern Virginia has served as the only nursing facility in Tidewater that embodies traditional Jewish values, customs, and traditions. A full time religious leader, kosher food, holidays, and special observances enable residents to continue to live with dignity, and as Jews.

The Berger-Goldrich Health Care and Rehabilitation Center is a skilled nursing & Rehabilitation center that accepts payer types. The Berger-Goldrich Health Care and Rehabilitation Center is a Five-Star facility as deemed by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services and was recently named in U.S. News & World Report as a “Best Nursing Home” in 2017-2018. 

The Berger-Goldrich Health Care & Rehabilitation Center is currently undergoing a major renovation. All rooms will have a walk-in shower and an upgraded bathroom. As rehabilitation becomes a major focus of the facility, the rehabilitation gyms will be expanded and upgraded.  All common areas and multipurpose areas will have new and modern décor. Anticipated completion of the renovation will be June 2019.

Seniors who are no longer able to live on their own find a new lease on life at The Terrace at Beth Sholom Village. The Terrace, a Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Assisted Living Center, can accommodate 84 residents in 69 units. The Terrace provides gracious assisted living where residents can live comfortably in their own studio, one-bedroom or two-bedroom apartment.

Kosher meals are served daily by the wait staff in the dining room, and snacks and drinks are always available in the Club Room. The activity calendar is filled with entertainment, outings, art programs and a wide variety of in-house activities, including daily exercise. A caring staff provides scheduled transportation for shopping and doctor appointments. Licensed nurses attend to residents’ regular medical needs and are available for more urgent situations. The Memory Enhancement Center allows residents with Alzheimer’s or dementia-related illness to be as independent as possible within a safe and secure environment.

Professional affiliations exist with The Freda H. Gordon Hospice and Palliative Care Center, Generations Home Health, Jewish Family Service of Tidewater, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Glennan Center, and Services as well as ECPI University. These affiliations allow us to offer a full array of services to our residents within our facility and in the Hampton Roads community.

To help ensure the future of BSHEV so that we can serve our community for generations to come, we are partners in the TJF Life and LIFE & LEGACYTM program. To date, we have more than 35 members of our legacy society who have made plans for after-lifetime gifts to BSHEV.  If you are interested in a legacy gift to BSHEV, please contact David Abraham, CEO at 757-420-2512 or e-mail him at

Scott Kaplan Reflects on his Recent “Journey Home to Israel”

Tue, 07/10/2018 - 4:14pm

Posted in: Tidewater Jewish Foundation

Last week I returned from my 7th trip to Israel, but this time was different. It was my first time traveling on a Tidewater Community Mission and it was special to travel with 37 people of varying ages and backgrounds.

I was fortunate to first visit Israel at the young age of 16 on a five-week trip with my Jewish summer camp, which first instilled the love of the land, the people and our Jewish homeland. I knew I wanted to go back to Israel to study for a year abroad while in college. So, I returned for a 2nd journey to spend my Junior year of college at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and met my future wife Erica, which solidified my foundation and love for this special place. After making a career change nearly 15 years ago to work as a Jewish communal professional, I have had the opportunity to participate in several different types of Israel trips through the Jewish Federation system both at the local and national level through my work in Western Massachusetts and the past 4 years here in Tidewater.

This time, I enjoyed experiencing the magic of Israel through the eyes of others, especially first-timers. It has been nearly 30 years since my first trip to Israel and the country has changed and grown in so many different ways from high-tech to new roads and transportation to new foods and a flourishing arts and culture scene. At the same time, the country continues to struggle with taking care of its most vulnerable populations (the sick, the elderly, children and families, those with disabilities, etc.). That is where we, the American Jewish community, living in the diaspora, are able to help our brothers and sisters in need. We, as Jews, who live comfortably in America, have the opportunity to make an impact for those who are part of our family.

Through our Federation overseas partners (American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI), and World ORT), our Tidewater Jewish community funds various programs in Israel and around the world. A few of the sites we visited on this Mission included the following:

  • “Friends for Healthy Living (JDC Program)” which gives people with disabilities the opportunity to lead a healthier lifestyle and strengthen their other abilities through sports. These students learned to express themselves through the Israeli martial art of Krav Maga and they led our group in a live demonstration. It was incredible to see their faces light up when they were teaching us what they learned. 
  • “Photography with Joy (JDC Program)” brought us to meet with a 94-year-old holocaust survivor who learned to tell his story through the art of photography. He shared his amazing story of survival, which he had held inside for more than 60 years until he could express his memories through the lens of a camera. He shared part of his story of traveling by train to the concentration camps and what entailed as part of that journey. 
  • “Israel Tech Challenge (a JAFI Program)” allowed us to meet with a group of young people who are part of a program providing talented Jewish students and college grads from all over the world the opportunity to learn from Israel’s high-tech leaders and helping to maintain Israel’s standing a global leader in technology and innovation. These were just a few of the experiences we had to connect with the people, places and programs in Israel.

We also visited 3 of the 4 Israeli boarders, from the boarder with Egypt in the South by Gaza to the North with Lebanon and in the Golan Heights with Syria. We experienced both how strong and yet how fragile this diverse country with a rich history, people and landscape has to offer.

Each time I travel to Israel I see new things, have new experiences and appreciate different aspects of a complicated country that I feel connected to in so many different ways. I was moved by the generosity of this group of mission participants to make an impact today through the Federation Annual Campaign while also planning for tomorrow through investing in our collective Jewish community through the Tidewater Jewish Foundation. We may not live in Israel, but it is the Jewish homeland and we must continue to care for it and its people and never take it for granted.

This time, I saw how we as individuals and as a collective community have the ability to make an impact in our Jewish homeland. I look forward to future opportunities to travel to Israel with others to see their reactions and find their passion to connect and make an impact.

Photos from our trip can be found here.

Finally, the trip came full circle when, upon landing in Newark at 4:00 a.m. on July 5th, our 20th wedding anniversary, I ran to Rockefeller Center in time to wish my bride Happy Anniversary with Hoda Kotb from the Today Show!


Photos from our trip can be found here.

Scott Kaplan
President & CEO
Tidewater Jewish Foundation

Three Jewish teens will travel to Israel with grants from the TJF Simon Family Passport to Israel program

Tue, 06/26/2018 - 2:47pm

Posted in: Tidewater Jewish Foundation

Three Jewish teens will travel to Israel with grants from the TJF Simon Family Passport to Israel program Shelby Brown, Mattisyahu Loiterman and Audrey Peck, three teens from the Tidewater area, will head to Israel with the support of a grant from Tidewater Jewish Foundation’s Simon Family Passport to Israel program. Brown, a rising senior at Norfolk Academy, will spend three weeks in Israel at BBYO’s International Leadership Seminar. She has been itching to go to Israel since learning about it as an elementary school student at Hebrew Academy, and looks forward to immersing herself into the experience and learning as much as possible.

Loiterman, a Senior at Yeshivas Aish Kodesh, will be spending a year studying at Yeshivas Toras Moshe, an elite learning institution in Israel. His brother attended the same instution, and Mattisyahu looks forward to receiving an excellent Jewish education there as well.

Audrey Peck, a rising Junior at Norfolk Academy, will be travelling to Israel with Camp Pinemere, where she has spent the past six summers. Peck hopes to gain a deeper connection with Israel through this trip and “leave wanting only to return to the Holy Land”.

The Simon Family Passport to Israel program was created to encourage and enable Jewish youth to go to Israel. Another opportunity for Passport to Israel grants will take place in the Fall. Please visit or contact Barb Gelb at for more information.

TJF participates in national legacy giving conference June 3- 5

Tue, 06/12/2018 - 9:13am

Posted in: Tidewater Jewish Foundation

Last week, TJF Incoming Board Chair Lawrence Steingold, along with President and CEO Scott Kaplan, Director of Philanthropy Barb Gelb, and UJFT Marketing Director Sallie Williams, joined colleagues from across the country who are actively implementing the LIFE & LEGACY program in Springfield, Massachusetts, for this year’s LIFE & LEGACY/Create a Jewish Legacy Leadership Gathering. The conference was aimed at building skills, sharing best practices and providing opportunities for networking amongst the participants in order to continue creating sustainable, legacy giving programs in their local communities.

“Providing Jewish communities with proven tools and training to help them secure their long-term financial goals is absolutely vital. Through the LIFE & LEGACY program, I’m hopeful that we will be able to help sustain vibrant communities that allow future generations to enjoy our rich Jewish culture and heritage,” said Harold Grinspoon, the founder of HGF. 

Lawrence, who attended for his second year in a row, came back with a glowing report. “It is with a great deal of pride that I was able to accompany such a dedicated group of professionals. One of the takeaways for me was the fact that we were intertwined with such a diverse group of people from all around North America, all with one common goal. From the leader of a small synagogue in the Northeast to larger groups representing larger areas, we stood side-by-side with them all. The conference confirmed that we are on the right track – “WAY above average” – and always seeking new ways to grow and engage. With renewed momentum, we can continue to do our part to have our community thrive for generations to come.”

LIFE & LEGACY is a 4-year partnership program of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation (HGF) that assists communities across North America, through partnerships with Jewish Federations and Foundations, to promote after-lifetime giving to benefit Jewish day schools, synagogues, social service organizations and other Jewish entities.  For more information contact Barb Gelb at

Tidewater Jewish Foundation's team: positioned to "grow" the community's future

Mon, 06/11/2018 - 12:08pm

Posted in: Tidewater Jewish Foundation

Though small and mighty, the professional staff of the Tidewater Jewish Foundation is well equipped to help strengthen Tidewater’s Jewish community.

The team is led by Scott Kaplan, president and CEO, who moved to the area with his family in 2014. In less than four years, Kaplan has made a number of positive changes to the Foundation by increasing its asset base and by expanding the breadth and reach of the programs and services it offers. Last year, Kaplan earned his CFRE (certified fundraising executive) designation, a globally recognized credential for fundraising executives. He also received his 21/64 certified advisor credentials denoting expertise in facilitating multigenerational philanthropy and is a member of the LEAD Hampton Roads Class of 2016 and CIVIC Leadership Institute Class of 2018.

Barb Gelb, director of philanthropy, moved to Virginia Beach one year ago and has made an immediate impact on the team and community. In addition to a career in Jewish communal work, education, and nonprofit management, in May, Gelb received an honorary doctorate from Hebrew Union College—Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) in Los Angeles. This was in recognition of her 25 years of service to the Jewish community since receiving her master’s degree in Jewish nonprofit management from HUC. In addition, as a 21/64 certified philanthropic advisor and certified facilitator, Gelb says she is excited to help TJF donors and agencies have the greatest possible impact through their philanthropy.

Randy Parrish, vice-president and CFO of the Foundation for the past nine years, has a diverse financial management background. In 2018, Parrish received the AEP® (Accredited Estate Planner) designation from the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils to recognize estate-planning professionals who meet stringent requirements of experience, knowledge, education, professional reputation, and character. Parrish is a Certified Public Accountant and has been recognized in his role as a “Super CPA” among financial managers, CFOs, and controllers by Virginia Business magazine. As his recent AEP® designation indicates, Parrish is able to help facilitate complex charitable gift plans and understands the importance of working with professional advisors. Parrish serves on the board of the Hampton Roads Estate Planning Council and is currently board president of Primeplus, the Norfolk Senior Center.

For more than 10 years, Craig Bailey has diligently served as controller of the Tidewater Jewish Foundation and is the longest serving member of the staff. Bailey has a background in financial management and multi-unit accounting in both for profit and non-profit environments. His dedication and thoughtful commitment to the organization serve as an example to the team.

Ann Swindell, the “glue” that holds the team together, joined the Foundation team two years ago as the administrative assistant and has since moved into the donor services coordinator role working more closely with TJF’s Donor Advised Fund holders while supporting the scholarship and grants processes.

The TJF team is well equipped to work in partnership with individual donors at all levels and in collaboration with each local affiliate organization and synagogue to help make the greatest impact on the community… now and in the future.

One Happy Camper Grants

Tue, 05/22/2018 - 11:32am

Posted in: Tidewater Jewish Foundation

TJF is pleased to report that we have awarded 17 One Happy Camper Grants, in partnership with the Foundation for Jewish Camp, for first time campers to attend Jewish overnight camps this summer. Grants were made for campers attending eight different camps across all Jewish denominations. Encouraging and enabling Jewish children to attend Jewish camps is a powerful investment in ensuring Jewish continuity and future support of Israel. A recent study found that adults who attended Jewish camps were:

• 21% more likely to feel that being Jewish is very important
• 26% more likely to belong to a synagogue
• 37% more likely to light Shabbat candles
• 25% more likely to give to Jewish charities, and
• 55% more likely to feel emotionally attached to Israel

We are looking for partners to help fund One Happy Camper grants for the Summer of 2019 and beyond. If you’re a believer in the power of camp and would like to be part of this important initiative, please contact Barb Gelb (965.6105) or Scott Kaplan (965.6109) to have a conversation.

In other news, the TJF Grants process is now open and we encourage our local affiliates to apply for funding for new and innovative programming. Applications are available and will be due on July 13, 2018. Please contact Ann Swindell at if you have questions.

Lucie Waldman Awarded the Stein Family College Scholarship from the Tidewater Jewish Foundation

Tue, 05/22/2018 - 11:16am

Posted in: Tidewater Jewish Foundation

The annual Stein Family College Scholarship of the Tidewater Jewish Foundation was awarded this month to Lucie Waldman, a soon-to-be graduate of Princess Anne High School in Virginia Beach. Lucie is the 10th recipient of the four-year scholarship provided to a Jewish student in Tidewater, and will receive up to $10,000 per year. She is headed to Franklin and Marshall University in Pennsylvania this Fall to major in Neuroscience.

Lucie attended URJ Camp Harlem in Pennsylvania for 5 years, and a couple of years ago on the drive back from camp, she toured Franklin and Marshall since it was close by and she was not sure when she would be in the area again. She liked the vibe of the school and felt that its strong pre-med program seemed “doable and not intimidating.” Being a small school allows for classes of 24 students, and Lucie feels she will thrive there. “I’m excited to be with people that are more similar to me and get involved in more activities and take classes I’m passionate about. They have an active Hillel and I’m looking forward to being involved there.”

In addition to camp, Lucie has participated in Jewish life through working as a teaching assistant at Ohef Sholom Temple for several years. Much of her experience was with one student who had some challenges. Lucie developed a nice one on one relationship with her, moved up with her through four years of Hebrew School, and then was given the honor of making a special presentation at her bat-mitzvah ceremony. Lucie will spend this summer as a counselor at the URJ 6 Points Sci-Tech Academy. She was drawn to it because it integrates Judaism, science and technology. Lucie was also involved in her Temple Youth Group, wrote for her school newspaper and was on the Board of her school’s Psychology Club.

Lucie says she was very surprised to be awarded the Stein Family Scholarship because she knows there were many exceptional applicants. She said that she was careful to research Mrs. Stein so that she would understand what the scholarship was about. When she learned about Mrs. Stein’s commitment to tikkun olam, repairing the world, Lucie felt that her own desire to help people through the field of medicine would be a good expression of that value. “Last summer, I attended Brandeis University’s Global Youth Summit on the Future of Medicine, and it was the most beneficial experience I ever had in high school. It was very taxing but inspiring to see what the medical research field can do for the future. We learned about gene editing and CRISPR, which can cure disorders and save millions of lives.” Lucie wants to help others through research and medicine and is grateful to have been selected to receive this prestigious honor from the Stein Family and TJF.

The Stein Family College Scholarship was established in 2009 in memory of Arlene Stein who did not complete college because of financial hardship. Jerry Stein, her beloved husband, passed away in 2014. The Tidewater Jewish Foundation works closely with the Stein Family in administering this generous scholarship to a deserving Hampton Roads teen.

Prior recipients of the scholarship include Morgan Conley (Brandeis University ’13), Eric Smith (University of Virginia ’14), Marissa Arager (George Mason University ’15), Avi Malkin (College of William and Mary ’16), Dinar Yusufov (James Madison University ’17), Amanda Gladstone (Virginia Tech ’18), Dana Cohen (Virginia Tech ’19), Brett Pomerantz (Virginia Tech ’20), and Sydney Levine, (University of Virginia ‘21).

Summer is Almost Here, but It’s Not too Late for One Happy Camper

Mon, 04/30/2018 - 11:50am

Posted in: Tidewater Jewish Foundation

In our first year as a partner with Jewish Foundation for Camp’s One Happy Camper program, Tidewater Jewish Foundation has approved 12 new overnight campers with grants of up to $1000 per camper. The goal is to fund up to 17 campers our first year, so there is still funding available from the partnership. Jewish overnight camps are a great way for kids to make new friends, gain independence and experience the fun in Judaism! Camping leads to lifelong friendships and deep ties to the community. Spread the word to the potential campers in your life. You’ll be doing them a favor! For more information about the One Happy Camper program, or to apply visit or contact Barb Gelb at

LIFE & LEGACY Moves Into Its Second Year with High Hopes

Tue, 04/24/2018 - 9:45am

Posted in: Tidewater Jewish Foundation

Nearly thirty professionals and volunteers gathered last week to learn about Best Practices in implementing LIFE & LEGACY. Arlene Schiff, National Director of LIFE & LEGACY, led a workshop that focused on several aspects of legacy giving, including having the conversation, marketing the program and stewarding donors. She introduced the concept of the integrated ask, where organizations that are looking for an annual or capital campaign gift can also bring up the legacy gift with potential donors. She related, “Sometimes a donor might not be able to give a current gift, but has the capacity to make a very meaningful and significant legacy gift. The donor generally feels very good to be able to do something for an organization he or she cares about.” Schiff added that planting the seed about legacy giving in the conversation about an annual gift allows the donor to consider the many options in leaving a legacy. This is especially true of younger donors who are really stretched in terms of financial obligations, but are consistently added to their IRA who could begin to “consider leaving a small portion of their IRA to an organization that they care deeply about.”

The Tidewater community is in its second year of the national program, in partnership with the Harold Grinspoon Foundation. Nationally, in just over 5 years, the program has secured $672 million for the future of the Jewish community. The Tidewater has approximately $9 million in legacy gifts. If you are interested in creating your legacy with a gift to one or more Jewish agencies or synagogues, contact Barb Gelb, TJF Director of Philanthropy at

Friendship and Jewish Fun at Camp

Tue, 02/27/2018 - 4:16pm

Posted in: Tidewater Jewish Foundation

Elijah Arnowitz is a seventh grader who is already dreaming about this summer, which will be his fifth, at Camp Ramah New England. “It’s torturous to think about it because I miss it so much!” he claims. In response to what he likes about camp, he listed bunk activities, Shabbat and canteen as some of his favorites, as well as “chugs” or elective activities, such as flag football, basketball, cooking and videography. Elijah also raved about the camp food, especially Shabbos brownies and Color War cupcakes. Elijah’s mother Tami added that “Elijah is the best version of himself when he is at camp. Jewish overnight camps are wonderful in that they encourage independence and allow children to explore who they are. I love sending my children somewhere that being Jewish is infused into everything that they do, where being Jewish is joyous and fun.” She adds that in five years of camp Elijah has made friends in Massachusetts, Maryland, Northern Virginia, and Connecticut and those friendships are so meaningful that they have made the effort to take long drives to attend b’nai mitzvah.

Leila Abrams, a sixth grader who will be attending Capital Camps for her fifth summer loves camp because it gives her a chance to spend more time with her friends and get closer to them. She stays in touch with camp friends all year. Leila says she would encourage kids to go to camp because “It’s really fun and you make a lot of friends there.” One of her favorite things about camp is the lake, which has a trampoline, a cliff and lots of other very impressive “lake toys”. According to Rachel, Leila’s mother, “The biggest gift my parents gave me was sending me to Jewish camp. Just going to Hebrew School doesn’t cut it. At camp we learn the fun side of being Jewish, integrating Jewish values into activities. It also made me proud of being Jewish.” Rachel added that she is impressed with Capital Camps because of their communication with parents and the way they weave Jewish values into all their activities.

TJF has partnered with The Foundation for Jewish Camp to provide grants for first time campers at Jewish overnight camps through the One Happy Camper program. According to TJF President and CEO Scott Kaplan, “Our hope is to encourage and enable more parents to send their children to Jewish camps where they can experience all of the wonderful things that an immersive Jewish camp experience provides. Camp strengthens Jewish identity and commitment to Jewish life and community. This is essential for our future.”

As one parent put it, “Going to Jewish overnight camp literally changed the course of my life, in a positive way. I want the same for my children, and for as many children as possible. It can make the world better.” For more information about Jewish camps or how to receive a grant, visit or contact Barb Gelb at

Powered by Drupal, an open source content management system