Zei Gezunt…

Beacon Hill has no shortage of landmark buildings, but the Vilna Shul is the last immigrant-era synagogue in downtown Boston, and to make sure it fulfills its current function as a Jewish cultural center, it held its annual tribute event, Building Community 2018.

Gilbert Winn and Karen Winn at Vilna Shul

On hand: the evening’s honorees Gilbert and Karen Winn and Marilyn Okonow, eye surgeon extraordinaire Caroline Baumal, brunette minx Nicole Morales and her husband, Dennis Baden, his parents, Rene and Anne Marie, Brookline party pair Diane and Lloyd Gordon, screenwriter Eric Aaronson, the ethereal Lori Sidman, unapologetic Blue Devil Brittany Greenfield, the devastatingly attractive Neal Balkowitsch and Donald Nelson, uber-philanthropists Patty and Charles Ribakoff, and numerous others. 

Marilyn Okonow and Dale Okonow at Vilna Shul; Photo Credit: Eva Nicholas

Cocktails and a light supper were served downstairs, followed by the speaking program in the beautifully faded upstairs sanctuary. 

The award for most startling grasp of the obvious goes to the person who said, “You know, most of the people here are Jewish.” However, the evening’s wittiest remark came from the guest who said, “What are we doing in synagogue on a Sunday night? Aren’t we supposed to be eating Chinese food?” 

Stephanie Saunders and Barnet Kessel at Vilna Shul

Avez-vous dish? Dirt? A spectacular social occasion? Call J.S. at 617-859-1400, ext. 303, or send an email to jonathan@improper.com.

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