J’la 2022 (SJL file)
Birmingham’s Levite Jewish Community Center will hold its second annual J’la Gala on Aug. 6 at 5 p.m., with silent and live auctions, a “fund a need” table, signature cocktails, a three-course kosher dinner prepared by Chef Maureen Holt, and live music.
This year’s theme is “Only at the J,” celebrating the unique role the LJCC plays in the community and in individual lives.
“I hear only-at-The-J stories all the time,” said Executive Director Brooke Bowles. “People have such great memories about learning to swim with Coach John and growing up in our youth lounge and starring in a theater production in Pizitz Auditorium. Fundraising efforts like this gala will help us extend these experiences to everyone regardless of their financial situation.”
Many memories begin at the Cohn Early Childhood Learning Center, where Shabbat is observed each Friday, but with a diverse student body, a multicultural atmosphere prevails, with Juneteenth and Diwali experiences, among others.
Many teens participate in sports offerings, from soccer to the aquatics teams, while there is a wide range of interest groups for adults. There are also community-wide events, such as the Jewish Food and Culture Festival, which this year drew about 2,000 to the “neighborhood picnic.”
Bowles said that over the past year she’s had a chance to visit a number of JCCs across the region. “They each have their signature offerings like a water park or author series or overnight camps,” she says. “But our signature offering is that we look at what we have to offer only at The J and then seek out community members who don’t have access to these programs.”
Funds raised at the J’la help open the doors wider to the community, she added.
Tickets for the event, which sold out last year, are $125, and sponsorships are available.