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About 140 members of the North Shore Towers community recently gathered to support the 32nd annual fundraiser held by the cooperative to benefit UJA.


The UJA Federation helps more than 4.5 million individuals all over the world each year. Its mission is to “care for those in need, strengthen the Jewish people and inspire a passion for Jewish life and learning.” This is done in part through “raising funds that sustain the activities of more than 100 health, human-service, educational, and community-building agencies.”

The annual North Shore Towers fundraising luncheon was held on Sunday, September 18 at Towers on the Green. The event was chaired by Simi (Selma) Zwecker, who put in a “tireless effort in putting this together,” according to UJA development executive Irwin Gershon.

“She took the reins and made it into the success that it was,” he said.

Gershon also acknowledged the efforts of the other individuals involved in planning the event and making it a success, including Lenore and Jerry Helfman, Dr. Eva Ebin, Bernie Tobin and Marvin Weisman.

“With such a small committee, we were able to raise a significant amount of funds and have 140 people at the event,” Gershon said.

This year’s honoree was long-time Towers resident Mel Fox, who has been very dedicated to Jewish causes. Special tribute was also paid to Lester Riess, who had chaired the annual fundraising event for about 25 years and recently passed away. Gershon said that, through his efforts, Reiss helped raise “quite a bit” throughout the years to benefit the organization.

“It feels very good,” Fox said of being honored, adding that it also felt good to have his family present as he accepted the award.

Fox has been active with UJA for more than 60 years. He is also active with his Yeshiva, among other organizations.

The support of the North Shore Towers community means a lot to UJA, Gershon said, noting that it helps the organization to reach its mission. He also explained that it will help people all over the world, including in Israel.

“It [the event] was very good. Despite the bad economic times, the North Shore Towers community came together,” Gershon said. “This will of course help people in need locally and to help us maintain the programs and services we do through our beneficiary agencies.”

For more information on UJA, visit


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