2023 GALA HONOREES
2023 GALA HONOREES
Barbara Blas, a certified financial consultant, is the founder of Giraffe Capital in Kingston. Barbara demonstrates a lifelong commitment to Tikkun Olam (Repair the World). A member of the Federation’s board of directors for most of the last 45 years, she chaired the Israel@50 Jubilee, and coordinated the local appearance of Israel’s Rehovath Youth Orchestra. Barbara was instrumental in UCJF’s acquisition of the Reher Bakery building and has since has been active in developing it into The Reher Center for Immigrant Culture and History. While serving as president, she spearheaded acquisition of the landmark bakery building from the Federation and gaining not-for-profit status. She is justifiably proud of the educational programming Reher brings to our burgeoning community. Barbara is a past president of the Kingston Rotary Club, a past recipient of the Federation’s Seymour Werbalowsky Leadership Development Award, a Rotary Foundation Paul Harris Fellow, and Chabad of Ulster County’s Jewish Continuity Award. Barbara and her husband Howard are active members Congregation Agudas Achim. They have been blessed with three children and three grandchildren.
Barbara Connelly Cohen
Barbara Connelly Cohen embodies the spirit of Tzedakah (charity) in every sense of the word. She serves on the Boards of the Jewish Federation of Ulster County, Supporting Friends of HealthAlliance, Mental Health Association in Ulster County, Ulster Community College Foundation, HealthAlliance Foundation, and Reher Center for Immigrant Culture & History. Barbara is an associate board member of Children's Home of Kingston, and a longtime member of Kingston Rotary Club and Ulster County Chamber of Commerce. She is the founder/editor of the Federation print and online publication Kolenu, and the chairperson of the Fall For Art Show & Sale dedicated to benefiting the arts in the mid-Hudson Valley, now celebrating its 27th year. Barbara is also the owner of Schwartz’s Inn in uptown Kingston, and I’m A Star t-shirts, a not-for-profit dedicated to empowering children. Barbara and her husband, Dr. Joseph Cohen, are members of Congregation Emanuel of the Hudson Valley. Barbara and Joe have been blessed with two daughters and four grandchildren.
Lally Mozes-Steckman’s life story is a testimonial to the resilience and determination of the Jewish people, and an exemplar of Jewish cultural values. Lally’s mother Lola, and her father, Menachem (z”l) were both Holocaust Survivors. That painful legacy drives her lifelong commitment to Judaism, and social justice initiatives for all member of the Ulster County community, regardless of religion – an explicit mission of the Jewish Federation. Lally worked as a speech/language pathologist in the Rhinebeck Central school system for 30 years. Now retired, she also worked in her husband Dr. Michael Steckman’s medical practice for almost four decades. Lally served the Jewish Federation of Ulster County as a board member, treasurer and vice president for the past 35 years. A “Lifetime Member” of Hadassah – the Women’s Zionist organization of America -- she notes her favorite fundraiser for that organization was gift wrapping at the Mall. Lally was a board member of Congregation Ahavath Israel. Lally and Michael have been blessed with three children and five grandchildren.