Given by Irl Solomon
Nusach Hari B’nai Zion Acceptance Speech 12/12/21
Shaving Israel President Laura Goldmeier’s mother, Gertrude Hulbert, died last night after a long illness.
May her memory be for a blessing.
It is my sad duty at Laura’s request to present her thank-you speech for the honor you have bestowed on us. Laura can’t be here, but she is in our thoughts and prayers as is her dear mother, whose smiling face was often seen at our events.
A request from Laura: “In my Mom's memory, one nonprofit she encouraged donations to is Shaving Israel."
Following is her speech:
It is a triple honor to be here this evening. First, it is an honor for me to represent Shaving Israel as its president. Second, it is an honor for Shaving Israel to be recognized alongside guests of honor Fran and Lenny Alper and HaKaras HaTov winner Alan Haber. Third, it is an honor for Shaving Israel to be the first organization to receive the Israel Advocacy Award from Nusach Hari B’nai Zion, the most pro-Israel congregation in St. Louis. I am proud to be an associate member here.
I first heard about Shaving Israel from my mother, Gertrude Hulbert, through her friendship with our founder Rachel Miller. When I began attending board meetings, I was impressed with the dedication and passion that the board had for our mission to aid Israel Defense Force members lacking family support. Our board represents a broad spectrum of religious observance and political beliefs, yet we are able to come together to support the IDF in a unique, personal, hands-on fashion.
If I were to thank every member of Shaving Israel for their efforts, I could speak for hours. Instead, I would like to recognize three volunteers for their extraordinary work. First, our Founder Rachel Miller. As a Holocaust survivor, she recognized the need to support the brave members of the IDF. She brought together an amazing team of volunteers and has generously donated funds for advertising and programs. This allows Shaving Israel to use all our contributions to directly help the IDF. Next, I would like to thank the Israelis in our organization. Without the hard work of Meira Ganel and her sister Orit, Shaving Israel would not be the same. Meira does our bookkeeping, shops for products from Israeli vendors, and during her trips to Israel, visits vendors and recipients instead of relaxing with her family. In her spare time, she has offered valuable suggestions for wording in our website and advertisements. Orit assemble packages, stores them, and she delivers our gifts to IDF soldiers. Check our website for photos of their happy faces.
The reward that all of us get for our efforts is also expressed in thank- you letters. One soldier wrote “it gives a good feeling to know that you are thinking of us from far away.” Members of Shaving Israel’s Board, please stand!
Nusach Hari B’nai Zion’s recognition of our work means so much to us.
Thank you again.
And now please welcome our Founder, Rachel Miller, who would like to say a few words…