GALA CHAIRMAN

  JOSEPH KLAYNBERG   Founder & CEO, Wonder Works Honorary Chairman

JOSEPH KLAYNBERG

Founder & CEO, Wonder Works Honorary Chairman

  DAVID BERLEY   CEO, Walter Samuel Samuels, Founding Patron

DAVID BERLEY

CEO, Walter Samuel Samuels, Founding Patron

  MITCH MODELL   CEO, Modell's Sporting Goods

MITCH MODELL

CEO, Modell's Sporting Goods

  JASON RABIN   President North America Global Brands Group

JASON RABIN

President North America
Global Brands Group

HONORING

Liv, Kevin, Stacey, and Zoe Kotler

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OUR INSPIRATION AND ADMIRATION

“In honor of Jewish women who sustain family traditions from one generation to the next."

Our desire to honor and memorialize important Jewish women in our lives, led us to acknowledge the vital role women play in Judaism.  The matriarchs in our family infused Jewish traditions, values, and education into their homes, raising children who carried those ideals into their own homes.  We therefore recognize and thank all Jewish women, throughout time, for helping to sustain our people, and for playing such an instrumental role in keeping the spirit and word of Hashem alive and flourishing, today and forever. 

Chabad is an important safety net to ensure the passing of Jewish education and tradition onto future generations. We appreciate the opportunity to support a Jewish preschool, and helping this wonderful organization ultimately achieve its goal.  We are honored to play a small part to further Chabad’s mission, to grow Jewish education, and to shine a proud light on the influential Jewish women in our families and throughout time. 

Sincerely,

The Kotler Family

 

THE KOTLER FAMILY

Kevin Kotler was raised in Brooklyn and Stacey Wexler in Montreal – yet even though they grew up in such different geographic locations, their traditional Jewish home lives and respective childhood Jewish Day School educations, solidified each of their commitments to Judaism.  They know that this bedrock of values helped guide them to become better citizens, and to find a soulmate that shared a similar background.  Kevin and Stacey were married in December 2008, less than two years after a fabulous blind date. 

They have been blessed with two amazing little girls – Zoe, 7 and Liv, 5, who both attended Preschool of the Arts for their earliest childhood education.  The girls’ Chabad preschool was a fantastic jump start to their Jewish experience, which they are continuing into upper grades by attending The Abraham Joshua Heschel School.  Nothing makes Kevin and Stacey prouder than when the girls lead the family in Jewish ceremony on Shabbat and during holidays.  The Kotlers attend Chabad Temple services on Saturdays and High Holidays in both New York City and Southampton, adhering to the Jewish traditions passed on to them, and trying to recreate those special moments spent with their mothers and grandmothers.

Kevin and Stacey continue to be highly involved in the Preschool of the Arts community.  Given their core value system anchored in Judaism, it is no surprise that Kevin was honored by the Young Jewish Entrepreneur’s organization in 2011, and in 2014 both Kevin and Stacey were honored at the Chabad Center for Jewish Discovery’s Preschool of the Arts Gala as Parents of the Year.  They were later selected in 2016 as Southampton Chabad’s 15th Annual Dinner Honorees.  Their hope is to further invest in the bright future of their own children, and the greater community, through special projects such as The Kotler Center for Jewish Discovery.

 

DEDICATIONS

Stacey Kotler’s mother, Linda Wexler, was born in Quebec City in 1948, and grew up in a traditional Jewish home.  Her parents fled Germany and Poland before WWII, and they taught her all of the Jewish traditions that she would later pass on to her own family.  Educated in Montreal, Linda ran the Volunteer Department for Jewish Family Services helping to bring love and warmth to those in need.  She married Dr. Charles Wexler of Montreal, had two children, Stacey and Jonathan, and continued to bring her traditions into their home.

Linda had a kind heart, a gentle soul, and a warm spirit – always with a smile on her face. After battling a long illness, she passed away at a young age, never complaining and always putting others before herself.  She was fortunate enough to see Stacey marry Kevin, and to enjoy her granddaughters, Zoe and Liv, embark on their own Jewish path.  

Linda taught all who knew her to walk humbly, and to be thankful for all that we have in the here and now.

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Kevin Kotler’s grandmothers, Mollie Silverberg and Esther Kotler, represent everything one would think of when it comes to special Jewish grandmas.  Each emerging from humble beginnings, these women always put the importance of family first, and this was reflected in their actions throughout their lives.               

Mollie, was born in the United States and raised in Brooklyn.  She went to work at a young age to help support her mother and father, as well as to provide an opportunity for her five brothers to continue their education.  She brought up her children, Jack and Frances, in a warm, loving, Jewish-minded environment.

Mollie was thankful that her lifelong goal of seeing her grandson, Kevin, Bar-Mitzvahed was realized.  Sadly, she passed away shortly thereafter.  


Esther, born in Hungary in 1913, came to New York City at a young age. She married young, and started her own family right away. She raised 4 children in Brooklyn – Martin (Kevin’s father), Jerry, Herman, and Renee.  Esther was an Orthodox woman who had very strong feelings for Judaism, and she always found time to devote to Jewish organizations such as ORT, Mizrachi, Hebrew Free Burial Society, and local synagogues and yeshivas in New York and Israel.  Her home was always open to family, many of whom were Holocaust survivors, and close friends.  She believed strongly in “Tikkun Olam” and regularly invited strangers into her home with open arms – whether it be for a hot meal or a place to sleep.  All the High Holidays where held at her house, and she took the prayers very seriously – there was no playing around at her holiday table.  Her quiet and giving demeanor is reflected in her children today.  Esther was crystal clear about the role Judaism played in her life, and in her dreams for the lives of her children and grandchildren.

Both Mollie and Esther adored their grandchildren, and they in turn adored them.