Wednesday, November 14 , 2018, 7:35 am | Fair 45º


Congregation B’nai B’rith Celebrates 90 Years in Santa Barbara at Dreamers Ball

Gala event also honors Cantor Mark Childs for 25 years of wide-ranging service and commitment to organization

Congregation B’nai B’rith board president Judi Koper, left, honorary co-chairwoman Adele Rosen, honoree Cantor Mark Childs and honorary co-chairwoman Ruth Hartzman at CBB’s Dreamers Ball on Jan. 22 at Bacara Resort & Spa. Click to view larger
Congregation B’nai B’rith board president Judi Koper, left, honorary co-chairwoman Adele Rosen, honoree Cantor Mark Childs and honorary co-chairwoman Ruth Hartzman at CBB’s Dreamers Ball on Jan. 22 at Bacara Resort & Spa. (Rochelle Rose / Noozhawk photo)

[Click here for a related Noozhawk photo gallery.]

The crowd in the foyer and reception area of the elegant Bacara Resort & Spa was packed elbow to elbow with 450 elegantly dressed guests celebrating the 90th anniversary of Congregation B’nai B’rith, Santa Barbara’s largest Jewish synagogue.

The Marc Chagall-inspired theme of the Dreamers Ball was reflected in blue decorations and touches throughout the transformed ballroom, where dinner was shared.

The theme of the ball also was meant to honor yesterday, today and tomorrow, and paid homage to the 14 founding families who had a vision to build a home for Jews in Santa Barbara in 1927. What started as a dream thrived to become the temple of today, a beautiful hilltop sanctuary on San Antonio Creek Road that serves as a spiritual home to more than 800 families.

The founders include the Hochman, Sanders and Percal families, all of whom supported the event.

Ruth Hartzman served as an honorary co-chairwoman; her late husband, Robert, was president when the temple’s building on San Antonio Creek Road was secured. Their children, Steve Hartzman and wife Debbie, attended the ball; sons Fred Hartzman and wife Andrea Rifkin and Craig Hartzman and partner Jim John were unable to attend.

The Hochman children are descendants of founder Lester Girsh, and those in attendance included Mandy and Daniel Hochman, Stephen Hochman and Laura Grover, and Karen Hochman Brown, Neil Brown and Heather Brown.

Other founding families who supported the anniversary event were the Sanders and Reece families: Rosemary and Richard Sanders, Katherine and Julian Sanders, Elsinore Carabetta and George Sanders, and Hsingyi Lin and Ethan Reece. The Percal family was represented by Gela and Malka Percal. Kit and Barry Liker (a descendant of Nathan Leeker) and Prudy and Steven Handelman also attended.

Top sponsors also included Anne and Michael Towbes, Lauren and Steve Katz, Nancy and Mike Sheldon, Stephanie and Jim Sokolove, Marsha and Jay Glaser, and Martie Levy and Richard Parisse.

Rabbi Stephen Cohen and wife Marian.
Rabbi Stephen Cohen and wife Marian. (Rochelle Rose / Noozhawk photo)

“This is a moment to pause in a long continuum of time to celebrate our growth, to honor those who kept us going over the decades, to remember those who have passed along the way, to sigh as we recollect the hard times, to laugh as we recall the high moments, to marvel at the vision of those upon whose shoulders we stand, and to embrace each other as we face our road forward,” said Cantor Mark Childs, who was honored at the gala for his 25 years at CBB.

Rabbi Stephen Cohen, who has been the synagogue’s spiritual leader since 2004 and works in partnership with Childs, added, “Congregation B’nai B’rith has been and will always be filled with the spirit of close community and the priority of educating the next moral, ethical and literate Jewish generation.”

Through song, Jewish teaching and humor, Childs has touched thousands of lives in Santa Barbara since his arrival at CBB 25 years ago. From his weekly song sessions with preschoolers at Beit Ha Yeladim to his work with hundreds of b’nai mitzvot students to his interfaith partnerships and connection with seniors and community members throughout Santa Barbara, he has been a role model and an inspiration for many.

The Dreamers Ball was organized by Dream Team co-chairwomen Hallie Avolio, board president Judi Koper, Liat Wasserman, Marcy Wimbish, Bethy Fineberg and executive director Elizabeth Gaynes. Ruth Hartzman and Adele Rosen were the honorary co-chairwomen.

An amazing 76-page tribute book detailed the congregation’s history and leadership and was filled with glowing personal tributes to Childs and congratulations on the 90th anniversary of Congregation B’nai B’rith.

We the Folk provided live music (the talented accordionist was Childs’ son, David), and the Childs’ tribute was presented by CBB past presidents Daniel Hochman and Aaron Ettenberg and Rabbi Stephen Cohen.

Click here for more information about Congregation B’nai B’rith, or call 805.964.7869.

Noozhawk contributing writer Rochelle Rose can be reached at [email protected]. This article includes reportinf Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkSociety, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.

From left, Dream Team co-chairwomen Bethy Fineberg and Hallie Avolio with Congregation B’nai B’rith executive director Elizabeth Gaynes. Click to view larger
From left, Dream Team co-chairwomen Bethy Fineberg and Hallie Avolio with Congregation B’nai B’rith executive director Elizabeth Gaynes. (Rochelle Rose / Noozhawk photo)

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >