ABOUT / Good Vibrations

With great pleasure we invite you to join us at
Shalva’s 29th Anniversary Dinner
Wednesday, March 6th, 2019

Guastavino's, New York City


The Shalva Band

Spirit of Hope Awardee:

Steven Kess


Tehilla and Meir Melohn

Volunteer Excellence Awardee:

Esther Kaplan

Dinner Co-Chairs:

Harry Krakowski
Elissa and Great Neck Richman
Leesa and Leon Wagner

HIGHLIGHTS / Shalva proudly welcomes

Guests of Honor The Shalva Band, Music that Changes Lives

The Shalva Band is comprised of eight talented musicians with disabilities who travel the world to perform at cultural venues and dignitary events. What began as a unique outlet for talented Shalva program participants in 2005, has developed into a model for cultural inclusion and continues to impact audiences and musicians throughout Israel and beyond.

Inspiring crowds with its musical repertoire and charm, the band is one of Shalva's most celebrated inclusion programs. Most recently the band made their television debut on Israel's Channel 12 top-rated TV singing competition "Rising Star/Kochav Haba." "Rising Star' is the first program to integrate real-time voting by viewers through a mobile app. The format, which is being adopted worldwide, has contestants on a stage behind a screen that rises if 70 percent of viewers vote for them on the app. The studio audience of about 1,000 people wildly cheered as the screen rose during the Shalva's Band first performance. For their second appearance on the show, the band received a resounding 100% vote.

The winner of the Rising Star competition is Israel's representative to the Eurovision Song Contest which will be held in Tel Aviv in May.

It's hard to predict just how far the band will go but one insider said: "These kids have won the hearts of the audience who have the power to take them all the way."

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Spirit of Hope Awardee Steven Kess

Steven William Kess, M.B.A., is widely recognized for his critical insight and ability to synthesize public and private coalitions, as well as business and public policy issues. He is both an entrepreneur and an executive. Mr. Kess joined Henry Schein, Inc. in 1991 and is currently Vice President of Global Professional Relations, Office of the Chairman & CEO, a Fortune 250 global health care distribution company, where he was instrumental in developing Henry Schein Cares, its corporate social responsibility program. Mr. Kess is the founding President of the Henry Schein Cares Foundation.

An advocate for underrepresented minorities, Mr. Kess has been particularly active in the area of diversity and access to health care for at risk populations. He has served in a variety of leadership roles in many health care associations, organizations, and trade associations. He currently is the Chairman of the Dean’s Advisory Board of Harvard University School of Dental Medicine and is President of the Dr. Edward B. Shils Entrepreneurial Fund, Inc. He serves on the Boards of The Forsyth Institute, Columbia University School of Dental Medicine, Tel Aviv University School of Dental Medicine, Temple University Kornberg School of Dentistry, The Alliance for Oral Health Across Borders, The University of Illinois at Chicago, and the Executive Committee of Project Accessible Oral Health.

In addition, Mr. Kess has served on the strategic planning group for the American Veterinary Medical Association Vision 2020 and FDI’s Vision 2020 Program Task Force for developing its strategic plan and the definition of oral health.

Mr. Kess has been involved with Shalva for over 7 years. Under his guidance and leadership, Shalva developed OHEV, Oral Health for Everyone, a unique ground breaking program to address the vital needs of children with disabilities. Subsequently, Mr. Kess Co-Founded Project Accessible Oral Health (PAOH), the first global public-private partnership to raise awareness of and address the significant need to increase oral health care for people with disabilities, thus improving their overall health and quality of life.

Mr. Kess has been married for over 51 years and lives in New York City with his wife, Sharon. They have one daughter, Meredith Millen and two grandchildren, Benjamin and Alexandra.

Community Service Honorees Tehilla and Meir Melohn

Meir and Tehilla have been married for 3 years. They have two wonderful children Beli Ayin Harah Benjamin Alexander, 2, and Charlotte Olivia, 5 months. They live on the Upper West Side of Manhattan where their son, Benny, attends Manhattan Day School.

Meir and Tehilla began their involvement with Shalva in 2017 after being introduced to the organization by their dear friends, Adam and Dayna Westreich. Subsequently, Meir and Tehilla hosted Shalva’s first annual Young Leadership Celebrity Chef Dinner which was an immensely successful, sold out event.

Tehilla also co-hosted Shalva’s second annual Alice + Olivia Shopping Evening this past November. Even though the event occurred on the evening of an unforgiving snowstorm, it turned out to be a great success and fun and rewarding night to be remembered!

Tehilla is a health coach who feels truly connected to Kalman and Malki’s extremely moving story as a result of her studies and firsthand experiences within her field. She knows the importance of proper care for children, who cannot care for themselves, and adults, who need peer and professional support. She urges all of her clients to do their due diligence when it comes to health care and health care related decisions.

Meir is Vice President of "The Melohn Group," a 4th generation family real estate company. He is involved in many organizations worldwide and is honored to be a part of the Shalva family. He is touched by the great work that Shalva continually does and together, he and Tehilla, look forward to supporting all of their efforts to helping children with disabilities and their families.

Meir and Tehilla are planning a trip to Israel later this year. They are eagerly anticipating bringing their two kids to visit Shalva so that they can show them the incredible work that everyone at Shalva does on a daily basis!

Volunteer Excellence Awardee ESTHER KAPLAN

Esther was born in Moscow, Russia. When she was 14 years old, she moved from Russia to the United States to begin her high school career. After successfully graduating high school, she began her studies at American University in Washington, D.C. where she is currently pursuing a major in journalism. Years ago, Esther was first introduced to Shalva and it left a huge mark on her soul. Not long afterwards, she began volunteering at Shalva and truly fell in love with the children. She was also introduced to other incredible volunteers and staff members who do such difficult jobs with such kindness. For her, volunteering at Shalva was really a life changing experience. Whenever she is able to, Esther returns to visit the children of Shalva.

ABOUT SHALVA / Providing quality care for children with disabilities

Shalva, the Israel Association for the Care and Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities is dedicated to providing transformative care for individuals with disabilities, empowering their families and promoting social inclusion.  

Shalva provides an all-encompassing range of services for thousands of people with disabilities from infancy to adulthood and their families. Shalva’s comprehensive life-cycle programming provide leading-edge therapies, inclusive educational frameworks, social and recreational activities, employment training, and independent living, as well as respite and family support.

The Shalva National Center’s advanced programs and facilities create new frontiers in disability rehabilitation, research, and inclusion; defining new standards in the field and impacting the world beyond those in Shalva’s direct care.

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LEADERSHIP / Thank you for making this happen


Norman Alpert

Chairs of the Board

Nathan Low
Leon Wagner

Vice President:
Adam Chill

Yoni Leifer

Jacques Semmelman

Chairman of the Board Emeritus:
Hillel Weinberger

Shalva Founder & President
Kalman Samuels

Executive Director
Leo Klein

Director, Southeast Region
Lauren Masuzzo

Senior Development Executive
Alexis Schwartz

Development Executive
Chaim Sinensky

Executive Committee:
Jane Gol
Michael Kleinberg
Mitchell Presser
Daniel Schwartz
Loren Weiss
David Zwillinger

Tribute Committee
Marilyn and Greg Adler
Leah Albek
JoAnn and Michael Alfano
Jane and Norman Alpert
Dawn Arnall
Joyce and Eric Austein
Natalie and David Batalion
Helene and Robert Beda
Jayne and Harvey Beker
Giti and Jack Bendheim
Vivian and Zev Blumenfrucht
Lynda and Benjamin Brafman
Lou Bravmann
Viviane and Arnold Breitbart
Marjorie and Alan Brown
Tamar and Yehudah Buchweitz
Vanessa and Raymond Chalme
Ilana and Adam Chill
Sherry and Neil Cohen
Harriet and Steven Croman
Peggy and Morris Dahan
Mady and Bruce Donoff
Amy and Myron Eagle
Judi and Yehuda Eliezri
Danielle and Allen Finkelstein
Janie and Robert Fisher
Sharon and Todd Fisher
Linda and Milton Frank
Freeda and Moshe Frankel
Susan and Richard Friedman
Ralph Fuccillo

Cheryl and Burt Gelberg
Adina and Joshua Geller
Caron and Steven Gelles
Tracy and Sander Gerber
Ariel and Baruch Glaubach
Jane and Ishaia Gol
Laurie and Michael Goldberg
Naomi and Gerald Goldstein
Josh Goldstein
Esther and Nelson Goodman
Alyson and Rafi Goodman
Jean and Lewis Greenblatt
Alissa and Steven Grill
Charles Gros
Nancy and Ronald Gurman
Jimmy Haber
Lois and Mordechai Hager
Stacy and Jason Helfstein
Henry Schein, Inc
Rivkie and Lance Hirt
Marjorie and Phil Jacobs
Ruth and Aaron Jungreis
Ann and Albert Kahn
Sandy and Nathan Kahn
Eliane and Justin Karr
Linda and Ilan Kaufthal
John Kemp
Sharon and Steven Kess
Chani and Shimie Klein
Yaffa and Chezky Klein

Peter Klein
Arlene and Michael Kleinberg
Seryl and Charles Kushner
Renee Landau
Bryna and Joshua Landes
Susannah and Noah Leibowitz
Jamie and Yoni Leifer
Sara and Murray Leifer
Leora and Richard Linhart
Deborah Weisfuse and Robert Lipner
Yocheved and Donald Liss
Lisa and Nathan Low
Yael and Amnon Mandelbaum
Gladys and Matthew Maryles
Andrea and Robert Meislin
Ruchie and Avrumi Melohn
Eve and Stephen Milstein
Ruth and Theodore Mirvis
Debbie and Samuel Moed
Shahina and Ari Moses
Janine and Cal Nathan
Deena and Gilad Ottensoser
Careena and Drew Parker
Sasha and Yan Piskunov
Lauren and Mitchell Presser
Gail Propp
Gabrielle Propp
Karen and Michael Raskas
Gail and Binyamin Rieder
Malki and Philip Rosen
Judy and Tommy Rosenthal

Tamar and Yitzchok Rosenthal
Golda and Henry Rothman
Vanessa and Michael Rouzenrouch
Meredith and Eliot Rubenzahl
Elinor and Avraham Sandler
Santa Fe Group
Chana and Ariel Schachter
Dasi and Jeremy Schwalbe
Sandy and Jerry Seligsohn
Jacques Semmelman
Debbie and Steven Shapiro
Ramy and Robert Sharp
Lisa and Rabbi Chaim Steinmetz
Richard Stone
Lisa and Steven Tananbaum
Frumee and Raphael Taubenfeld
Merryl and James Tisch
Robyn and Mark Tsesarsky
Mindy and Marc Utay
Myra and Harry Wagner
Leesa and Leon Wagner
Elaine and Hillel Weinberger
Penina and Thomas Weinberger
Esther and Baruch Weinstein
Dina and Yisroel Weinstein
Andrea and Loren Weiss
Dayna and Adam Westreich
Judy and Philip Wilner
George Wolfe
Wendy Belzberg and Strauss Zelnick
Rebecca and David Zwillinger

Event Location

409 E 59Th Street
New York, NY 10022


Contact Us / Thank you for your interest

Thank you for your interest in Shalva's 29th Anniversary Dinner.
Please fill out the info below and we will be in touch with you soon.
You can also call our office at: 212-725-0900 or email alexis@shalva-usa.org