By Julie Loftis, JFS Marketing Specialist
Live Laugh Give co-chairs, Adina Loewensteiner and Blair Goldsmith, are excited to announce the honorees for Live Laugh Give 2024. “This year we are thrilled to recognize Barbara and Jerry Levin for their many contributions to the Jewish community and the greater Charlotte community,” they said.
The couple, long-time residents of Charlotte, have contributed greatly to the building of Charlotte’s Jewish Community Center and the Greater Charlotte community. They have demonstrated a strong belief in philanthropy and community improvement through their actions and financial support.
Jerry’s work at Lebo’s Inc., the family business, was transformative, expanding it from a family shoe store to an expansive retail operation featuring footwear, riding wear, and dancewear. Under his guidance, Lebo’s has become a leading supplier of dance apparel nationwide. Jerry’s civic engagements include roles with Temple Israel, the Jewish Federation of Greater Charlotte, Jewish Heritage Foundation of North Carolina, the National Shoe Retailers Association, Charlotte Ballet, Jewish War Veterans, and serving as local chairman for Israel Bonds for the past 15 years.
Barbara, a Providence, R.I. native with Charlotte roots, married Jerry in 1951. Her community involvement is extensive, with active roles in organizations such as the B’nai B’rith Girls, WSOC Radio, Charlotte Ballet, Children’s Theater, and as a Braille transcriber. She has served as president and is a Life Member of Hadassah and has been involved with Temple Israel, the Jewish Federation of Greater Charlotte, Lion of Judah, Charlotte Jewish Day School, and the Levine JCC. Both Barbara and Jerry were among the original supporters of the acquisition of Shalom Park, with Jerry also contributing to its governing documents.
Live Laugh Give will feature comedian and actor Modi Rosenfeld, who has been featured on HBO, CBS, NBC, ABC, Comedy Central, Howard Stern, and E! Entertainment. Born in Tel Aviv, Israel, Modi emigrated with his family to the United States at the age of seven and was raised on Long Island. Equipped with a sharp wit and a knack for reading an audience, Modi has gone on to become a successful fixture in New York’s vibrant comedy scene, often doing bits that incorporate his heritage, and he is a hit with diverse Jewish audiences as well as fans of all backgrounds and beliefs. Now a regular performer at New York and Los Angeles comedy clubs, Modi also headlines around the country and across the globe.
Live Laugh Give Comedy Night unites supporters, donors, volunteers, and community members for “a night of laughter, a lifetime of healing.” The decision by Jewish Family Services to host a comedy event as a fundraiser is deliberate. Numerous studies confirm the extensive physical and mental health benefits of laughter. As noted by MayoClinic.org, laughter’s short-term advantages include the stimulation of various organs, the activation and subsequent relief of the stress response, and the reduction of tension. Over the long term, laughter can bolster the immune system, alleviate pain, enhance personal satisfaction, and elevate mood. “When we were planning this event, our goal was to create an enjoyable and entertaining experience that would bring people together,” explained Susan Meyer, development manager and co-creator of Live Laugh Give.
All proceeds from the event support the diverse programs and services of Jewish Family Services, aimed at improving the lives of individuals and families. These services encompass therapy, parenting support, financial and food aid, resources for domestic violence, activities for seniors, case management, and support for Holocaust survivors, families, and caregivers. The JFS staff combines expertise and compassion, focusing on the dignity of their clients, to craft personalized assistance plans. Their commitment lies in uplifting, fortifying, and empowering those in need at their most critical times.
Mark your calendars for Live Laugh Give on June 9, 2024, for “a night of laughter, a lifetime of healing.” To explore sponsorship opportunities or to honor the Levins, please reach out to Susan Meyer at (704) 364-6594 or via email at [email protected]. Learn more about JFS of Greater Charlotte at jfscharlotte.org, by emailing [email protected], or by calling (704) 364-6594.
Photo caption: Barbara and Jerry Levin