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JFS Music Program Honoring Patsy Sklar

Sunday, March 10, 3:00-5:00 PM at Congregation Brith Shalom.
The Music and Spirit Program of Jewish Family Service presents Heart Full of Love at Brith Shalom. This free concert and award presentation features the music of Cantor Meir Finkelstein, and honors Patsy Sklar, for her unbreakable spirit and love for life.

JFS Press Release:

Heart Full of Love Award to Be Presented to Patsy Sklar 

The Music and Spirit Program of Jewish Family Service will present the 2019 Heart Full of Love Award and Concert at Congregation Brith Shalom, 4610 Bellaire Blvd. on Sunday, March 10 at 3:00 p.m. The recipient of the award will be Patsy Sklar

The first award was presented to Ronna Spitz last year. Cantor Vadim Tuunitsky, Director of the JFS Music and Spirit Program, described the new award as a recognition of people in the community who have demonstrated a “spirited reaction” to “a challenging life-changing situation." “Patsy Sklar is one of those people in our community who I have found to be of unbreakable spirit and love of life,” stated Cantor Tunitsky. 

Explaining Sklar’s life changing incident, daughter Madalyn Sklar said, “Nearly five years ago Mom was taking her daily walk when she was involved in a horrible accident with a large truck. She suffered a severe brain injury, which also caused the initial loss of vision jn one eye. The accident was followed by many surgeries and hospitalization. However, Mom continued to be active and through much therapy and hard work, she has amazed all our family. She is an amazing woman. My brothers, Maury and Jerald, and my sister, Judy Hasson, all look up to this very upbeat active woman! She has shown us what it means to live life to the fullest!”

Adding to the story, Maury noted, “There was even more surgery to correct her eye situation, but that resulted in a negative outcome and causing Mom to be completely vision impaired, but that has not slowed her down. She is active at the Gathering Place each month at Congregation Beth Yeshurun as well as at Congregation Beth Israel. With assistance, she loves to get out and shop at stores like Ross and Marshalls and enjoys going to the grocery store and the bagel shop, too. Before her accident, Mom volunteered at our congregation, Brith Shalom, and the Houston Alzheimer’s Association for many years and had worked for the Jewish Community Center. “She wants to stay active following the accident and has succeded!” Continuing, Maury remembered, “Mom has been so honored to have Cantor Tunitsky nominate her for this lovely award and she well deserved.” 

The entire musical concert will be original selections written by Meir Finkelstein, Cantor at Congregation Beth Yeshurun. “I chose the music of Cantor Meir Finkelstein for the concert that accompanies the presentation of the Heart Full of Love Award since I believe that there is no music filled with more love of G-d, the Jewish people, our children, our parents and about Shabbat than the music composed by Cantor Finkelstein. I feel his music will blend so beautifully with Patsy’s story and add feelings to the memorial to her husband, Fred, who passed away just recently,” remembered Cantor Tunitsky.

Following his birth in Israel, the son of a cantor, the Finkelstein family emigrated to England where at the age of 14, Meir became the youngest cantor in Europe, serving for a synagogue in Glasgow, Scotland. At 18, he became Cantor of London’s prestigious Golders Green Synagogue.    

He also attended the Royal College of Music in London. In 1974, Meir emigrated to Wilmette, Illinois to become Cantor for Beth Hillel Congregation. For 18 years beginning in 1982, Meir served as Cantor of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles and enjoyed a successful career as a Hollywood composer and arranger. His most famous compositions are L’Dor Vador and V’al Kulam. In 1990, he composed a large scale contata, Liberation, in honor of the 50th Anniversary  of the liberation of the Nazi death camps, which premiered at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in L. A. hosted by Billy Crystal. Cantor for Congregation Beth Yeshurun in Houston, Finkelstein will be in attendance for the concert.  

The program is open and free to the entire community. A light reception will follow the concert and presentation.  

For further information about the award and the JFS Music and Spirit Program, please contact Cantor Tunitsky, [email protected].  

Photo of Patsy Sklar, Heart Full of Love Honoree .


Date and Time: 
Sunday, March 10, 2019 - 3:00pm to 5:00pm