Fun-draiser for a Cause 

The true joy of community could be felt by all at the Annual Todah Fundraiser on Sunday, December 3, where nearly 250 donors, community members, leaders, professionals, and other guests convened to celebrate the J’s accomplishments over the past year.  

The spectacular adult B-Mitzvah style event rounded up the best of entertainment, including a full casino room, arcade, photo booth extravaganza, live caricature drawings, LED hoola hoop performance, and more. 

After CEO Mike Sophir called a moment of silence for those in Israel, our guest speaker Chagit Gibor—an Innovation Leader, TEDx Speaker, and Community Activist who recently relocated from Jerusalem to Denver— spoke of the tight-knit bond shared by Jews around the world. How quickly our community comes together without a second thought to help one another is something we all cherish and nurture.

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To kick off the evening, Board of Directors Chair, Ed Nekritz spurred the crowd into a massive Hava Nagila dance circle, while delectable hors d’oeuvres circulated the space and a wandering magician wowed the crowd. 

In addition to our several open bars and other multi-room offerings, guests could meander outdoors to enjoy our heated tent filled with nostalgic carnival games to test their luck and dexterity, while comfort foods like chicken tenders, French fries, a build-your-own hotdog booth, cotton candy, ice cream, and popcorn decorated the bright and colorful space. 

“The event was so amazing, I ran into someone I hadn’t seen since college in over 20 years and thanks to the Todah, we were able to reconnect,” shared one guest. 

“Even though I’m embedded in the Jewish community, it was great to see both old and new faces,” another attendee gushed. 

A Velcro wall adorned with small cups of Israeli-style foods could be pulled off and enjoyed, in addition to a special vegetarian dim sum station, variety of lamb and vegetable skewers, and a dedicated, certified Kosher table featuring creamy, mushroom chicken and wrapped grape leaves.   

“I thoroughly enjoyed the event. It provided an amazing sense of community that in everyday life is sometimes hard to come by,” explained Evan Winograd, a newcomer to the JCC and fellow young professional. “It was an exciting and fun night in a very welcoming environment. Glad I had a chance to be a part of it and feel welcomed into the Jewish community of Colorado as a new transplant!” 

Guests bid on silent auction items to raise additional funds for the J, and others showed their best moves on the dance floor as the DJ spun music from the ages. Coming together as a community was both healing and rejuvenating, reminding people what being part of the J is all about. 

Todah was truly a party for books— a joyful, jubilant evening full of laughter, dance, deep connection, and hope for the future of our community.