Message from the President and CEO

Published Wednesday, October 2, 2019

A Message From the President/CEO Saul F. Levenshus

The Main Event 2019: Saturday, November 23 | 7pm

By Saul F. Levenshus, President/CEO

In the coming days and weeks ahead, you will begin to hear about our exciting plans for this year’s JCC Annual Fundraiser, The Main Event, scheduled for Saturday, November 23, here at the Campus. Always a community favorite, the Main Event provides an evening full of entertainment, fabulous food, and the company of 500 of your closest friends and family members.

The theme for this year’s Main Event is Guardians of Our Galaxy, because it truly describes the relationship that our three honorees Rick Byrd, Marsha Penner, and Allan Smith each has with this community, their community, OUR community.

What better way to enjoy yourself than a celebration featuring an evening of fun and festivities that also positively impacts our community. As always, proceeds from the event benefit Early Childhood, Children & Youth, and Senior services and Special Projects through the Walter and Reba Viner Charitable Fund. And this year, your support is even more acute than at any time in recent history. With United Ways’ recent decision to cut 100% of the funding that supported many of the same JCC services listed above, your support of The Main Event is even more vital than usual.

We truly appreciate those of you who have asked about this recent funding challenge, and how you can help. We know how much the JCC means to you, and we’re only here because you mean so much to us.

We hope you’ll rise to the occasion and come out to help us recognize these three outstanding leaders; and in the process, lend your support to ensure that we exceed our fundraising goals to sustain the programs and services that are primarily impacted by this substantial loss in funding.

Visit to purchase your tickets or even better, choose to be a sponsor. Shop our Online Auction, get the bidding started, or purchase something now via the “Buy it Now” option. Items are currently on sale and more are being added on a regular basis. Featured items include restaurants, personal services, Spurs tickets, exciting experiences, and vacations. And, whether you own a business or a vacation home (or know someone who does), remember that every donation in support of the event; cash and silent auction items, moves us closer to our goal, and all contributors are included in a listing that is posted in the event program and website for added exposure.

Regardless of how you choose to support the event, please help expand our Main Event Galaxy, and spread the word. Tell your friends, Like us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram, tag your friends, and share our posts. Remember, your support helps sustain the great work the JCC does each and every day providing essential programs and services to our community… and this year, in particular, we could use a few extra Guardians. So, come join the party!

I believe this is particularly accurate for a small Jewish Community like San Antonio. Despite our differences in make-up and mission, our organizations and agencies share a common goal of service to our community.

And 2020 will certainly test our mutual efforts. Over the past few months, I have alluded to the decision by the United Way Trustees and its Partners for Community Change Coordinating Committee, to alter the way the United Way invests in its Partner Agencies. For the JCC and JFS this decision eliminated nearly $500,000 in support funding that will threaten our ability to maintain the same high quality services that support individuals and families in need through mental health and social services, as well as some of the Early Childhood, Children and Youth, and Senior Adult programs and services mentioned above.

This massive loss of funding in this fiscal year creates a challenge for both the JCC and Jewish Family Service.  And as a result, the urgency to secure adequate gap funding to support the many individuals and families in need is extraordinary.

More than any time in recent years, our community must stand united. Our communal support of the Jewish Federation’s Annual Campaign One Community, One Goal, 100 days, kicking off on Sunday, September 15, will go a long way to ensure that these essential services can be sustained.

In addition, our wonderful team of professional staff and volunteer leadership are already hard at work identifying the resources and strategies necessary to continue providing the same high quality programs and services that our community has come to expect from us.

As I started out, this is a perfect time to make a difference in the world, and to positively impact the lives of others. On behalf of our board and staff, I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a safe, healthy, and happy New Year. L’Shana Tova!

And let’s remember that together, we go far.

Live up!  


President & CEO