On June 14, the JCC will be hosting the 15th Annual Don Kaufmann Hold ‘Em Poker Tournament.

This event has been attracting both novice and veteran players who put their skills and luck to the test in order to claim ultimate victory (and, of course, bragging rights). The best part? All proceeds will go towards children’s programs here at the J.

Sounds like a great time, right? Totally.

This year, we want to honor the legacy of Don Kaufmann, a one-time JCC Board President and longtime board member who passed away in 2015. Don was one of the original forces behind this legendary poker tournament.

Don’s family, Henny, Leslie, Mark, Alexis, Steven, Jennifer, and Rob kindly agreed to tell us about the lasting impact their father had on our building, especially in regards to the Hold ‘Em Poker Tournament.

What did the J mean to your father?

Family: It was a place for him to go (especially the shvitz), a place for him to see his friends, a place for him to kibbutz. When he was younger, he loved to play handball at the J and had regular games and partners. When he was on the board, it was a place for him to share his leadership skills.

How do you think he’d feel about having our Poker Tournament named after him?

Family: He would be pleased if it raised money or brought people to the J. For our family, it is a great way for our family to keep his memory alive and share his passion for the JCC.