Network at the Nats, part of The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington’s Grand Slam Sunday event on August 27, gave Federation supporters the opportunity to unwind and connect while enjoying America’s favorite pastime.
The Network is a division of Federation dedicated to uniting professionals, entrepreneurs, and business leaders with a mutual commitment to Jewish philanthropy.
“The Network provides an opportunity for people to mingle with like-minded professionals while showing support for the Jewish community through meaningful philanthropic opportunities,” said The Network co-chair Neil Gurvitch.
Donors (both first-time and long-term) who gave at least $1,000 to Federation were invited to enjoy the Grand Slam Sunday game from a private suite where they could mingle in a relaxed setting.
First-time attendee Betsy Luxenberg of Washington, D.C., described the event as a “wonderful opportunity to meet new folks and connect with the Jewish community in a new way.”
The event gave young adults like Luxenberg the chance to network with established philanthropists like Les Ulanow, a resident of Potomac, Maryland. Ulanow’s ties to Federation and to Nationals Park go back generations. His mother took him along when she volunteered for Federation-funded organizations like the Jewish Social Services Agency. His family business, ABC Recycling Services, was located in the neighborhood before Nationals Park was built.
“Having this event and many others is a great way to continue building community,” said Ulanow. “It’s not just about raising money for worthy causes, but also to keep developing community through social events.”
Contributing to Jewish philanthropy re-inspires you, he said, “like going to synagogue on high holidays.”
Incoming CEO Gil Preuss appreciated the opportunity to get to know members of the Jewish community before starting his new position on August 31. Preuss described Grand Slam Sunday, his first formal Federation event, as “a chance for us to unite our Jewish community, connecting neighbors, families, and friends of every age to come together through our shared love of baseball.”
Rabbi Stuart Weinblatt of B’nai Tzedek in Potomac, Maryland, described Grand Slam Sunday as “a quintessential Jewish event, because baseball is such a quintessential Jewish sport.”
Weinblatt’s son Micha and daughter-in-law Miriam live in DC and also attended the event. Micha’s company, Crooked Monkey, provided the
Hebrew-language Nationals hats for the event.
Miriam said their involvement with The Network helps them “build our own community in DC, and start to build a life here.”
By Malka Goldberg
Malka Goldberg is the Community News editor for Kol HaBirah.