Every sports league names Most Valuable Players, and three MVPs will be honored at the Jewish Roots of Sports gala held by Jewish Children’s Regional Service.
At the March 27 gala, Gayle Baer, Alan Krilov and Mark Sands will be honored for their roles with the regional agency. The event will be at the Sheraton New Orleans at 6 p.m., and will also be available for streaming online.
For well over two decades, Baer and Sands have co-chaired the JCRS Special Needs Committee. During this time, the committee evolved from funding children in residential placement, boarding schools, and psychiatric facilities to funding outpatient treatment and specialized educational settings for Jewish families and children dealing with developmental disabilities including autism, complex learning disorders, psychiatric and neurobehavioral problems, and medical issues requiring specialized care.
Also since the mid-1990s, Krilov has been instrumental in conceiving and establishing outreach programs and services for JCRS clients that keep them in touch with the agency and their Jewish identities.
Once Krilov conceptualized the needs of the children and youth served by JCRS, he initiated and began funding the JCRS Hanukkah Gift Program and additional holiday outreach programs for students and clients across the seven-state service region. He joined the JCRS Board in 1998 and since 2019, he has served as a JCRS vice president.
A businessman by training, and for four decades a sales director with Mary Kay cosmetics, Krilov has been involved in many initiatives to make the Crescent City community a better place to live for everyone, along with serving the Jewish community on a local and national basis.
For decades, Krilov has been an active member and supporter of Chabad, across Greater New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, as well as Congregation Beth Israel in Metairie. He has served on the board of Slater Torah Academy for 20 years, as a community Bikur Cholim volunteer for 10 years, and previously, 10 years on the Willowwood/Woldenberg Village board.
A Memphis native, Baer did her undergraduate work at Stephen’s College in Columbia, Mo., and her master’s degree and Ph.D. at Auburn.
In 1984, Baer began her professional career at Children’s Hospital in New Orleans as assistant director of inpatient services, answering consultations and working with children and families on a multidisciplinary rehabilitation unit for brain trauma and chronic illnesses. She moved into private practice in 1988. Currently, Baer is practicing in Metairie, specializing in treatment for anxiety, depression, ADHD, learning disorders and autism.
Sands has been involved with JCRS since 1990. His training in pediatrics has been very relevant to his role on the Case Committee, now known as the Special Needs Committee.
A native of Detroit, Sands attended the University of Michigan as an undergraduate and received his medical training at Wayne State University School of Medicine. He trained in pediatrics at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Ontario, and completed his child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship at Baylor College of Medicine followed by his adult psychiatry residency.
Since moving to New Orleans in 1988, he has served as director of consultation-liaison services and director of psychiatry at Children’s Hospital.
For the past 25 years, Sands has been medical director of Mercy Family Center, retiring last year. For many years, he has consulted to Jewish Family Service of Greater New Orleans, the counselors and staff at Jewish Community Day School, St. George’s Episcopal School and Holy Rosary Academy. He is a past president of the Louisiana Council of Child Psychiatry and a former member of the Governor’s Advisory Committee on Children.
Ned Goldberg, JCRS executive director emeritus, will also be inducted into the JCRS Hall of Fame.
In addition to honoring the MVPs, the evening will celebrate the great achievements of Jewish athletes and professionals from across the U.S.
Sports celebrities such as Mississippi State University Athletic Director John Cohen, WNBA player and former president Donna Orender and Ed Hersh are participating in person, along with a special video message from MLB Hall of Fame inductee Ken Griffey, Jr., and video presentations by U.S. Olympian Kerri Strug, and pro basketball player and author Dan Grunfeld.
The Gala, co-chaired by Barbara Kaplinsky, Carole Cukell Neff and Sue Singer, will also feature a seated three-course dinner, music, and a silent auction focused on sports memorabilia, once-in-a-lifetime vacations, and sporting experiences. All proceeds from the event will support the needs-based scholarship programs and services of JCRS for Jewish children throughout the Mid-South. Major sponsors include The Gayle Benson Automotive Family of Dealerships, the Oscar J. Tolmas Charitable Trust and Mrs. Betty Kohn.
Tickets are available here or by calling (800) 729-5277. The event is open to all.