The will hold its Hamptons Summer Luncheon on Friday in honor of two congregants who have served the community through their leadership and involvement.
The luncheon, an annual event held for the past eighteen years, will recognize local landscape artist Bobbie Braun and Charlotte Sasso, who along with her husband Bruce owns in Amagansett.
"Both Charlotte and Bobbie are deeply engaged and involved board members who give intensively and extensively of their time and support the entire scope of JCOH and its work," said Rabbi Sheldon Zimmerman.
"Because of the geographical diversity and pluralism of the congregation, their presence here in the Hamptons makes a significant difference in their availability and willingness to lead and participate as 'locals.' They can always be counted upon for support both financial and human for all that we do as well as provide leadership for the growing activities of JCOH in the last few years, in its stability and also in its outreach to so many," Zimmerman said.
"It's a tremendous honor for me," said Braun, a Bridgehampton resident who has served on the Jewish Center board of trustees since 2007 and been a member since 1977. "The truth is that even though I understand the luncheon and being an honoree is a way of the temple saying thank you to me, I believe it is actually an opportunity for me to say thank you to the Jewish Center for everything it's done for me in every part of my life."
Braun, who has helped lead the Jewish Center Yard Sale in past years, is spearheading a new fundraiser called Art in the Yard on July 21. According to Braun, the event will "celebrate the creative spirit that exists here on the East End."
Friday's luncheon will be held at , and Braun said it "is an opportunity to thank everyone who comes and everyone who is there who has helped me create a life of meaning and that's what belonging to the Jewish Center means to me."
Sasso, an Amagansett resident who has been a Jewish Center member since 2004 and served on the executive committee as secretary for the past six years, shared Braun's sentiments.
"The Jewish Center has provide my family and me with a strong sense of community," said Sasso, whose 8-year-old son Dante attends the religious school and . "In today's hectic world it's easy to get wrapped up in your own life in an endless cycles of work, school, etc. It's wonderful to belong somewhere which is all about connecting and giving back to others. It's an incrediable honor to be recognized for doing something which has given me so many gifts and made my life so much richer."
Sasso said she was particularly proud of the Jewish Center's charitable work including donations to community food pantries and participation in Maureen's Haven, a homeless outreach program based in Riverhead. Under the auspices of the Peconic Community Council, Maureen's Haven welcomes homeless men and women at participating places of worship throughout the North and South Fork.
Another source of pride for Sasso is her work chairing the Yom HaShoah Commemoration, a rememberance of all those who perished in the Holocaust and those who survived.
"It's a time of reflection and remembrance and a time to salute the bravery of the survivors and also the rescuers who fought in whatever way they could," said Sasso, whose father, a Holocaust survivor, spoke at this year's event.
This year's speaker at the Summer Luncheon will be Julie Menin, chairperson of Community Board 1 in Lower Manhattan. Community Board members are appointed by the Borough President and make recommendations to government agencies about matters affecting their district.