September 12, 2021
6 Tishrei 5782

Dear Heilicher Community,

We are writing today to let you know that we have made the difficult decision to postpone the Heilicher Annual Benefit, formerly scheduled for October 10, 2021, to the Spring of 2022. Our hope and intention is to be able to hold the Benefit as an in-person event at that time. 

As you know, COVID concerns remain high with the continued spread of the highly contagious Delta variant. In early August, when we sent out our invitation and established our COVID protocols, we had hoped that with universal masking and a vaccination requirement we could hold the Benefit safely at an indoor venue. Unfortunately, with the rise in cases (including breakthrough cases in vaccinated individuals) and the growing concerns about the risks of an in-person event that were expressed by many in our Heilicher community, we determined last week that holding a live gala would be inadvisable at this time. 

We deeply value the partnership of our honorees, Stacy Pinck and Brad Birnberg and Jill and Jon Halper, whose support throughout this process has been tremendous. They agree with our decision to postpone the event and concur that an in-person get-together is preferable to pivoting to an online platform. The Pinck-Birnberg and Halper families have done so much for our school and broader Jewish community, and we look forward to giving them the kavod they deserve at a spring event. 

We also are incredibly grateful that through the generous support of our corporate and community sponsors, we have already raised $400,000 ahead of the Benefit, allowing us to postpone the gala until Spring 2022 without jeopardizing the event’s financial success. We look forward to continuing to give visibility to our event sponsors throughout the course of the coming school year. 

If you purchased tickets to the gala on its original date of October 10, we are offering either a full refund of the cost of your tickets or the option to make the purchase amount a contribution to the school. If you prefer a refund, please email finance@hmjds.org by Friday, September 24. On that date, all tickets purchased for which refunds have not been requested will be recategorized as philanthropic donations. 

If you purchased an ad in our Benefit ad journal, we intend to publish the journal for our Spring 2022 gala and will ensure that your ad is included at that time. 

We apologize for any inconvenience that the postponement of the Heilicher Annual Benefit may cause you. It is our deepest wish that we will all be able to celebrate together, as a community, this spring.

Please be in touch with our Institutional Advancement Director Beckie Skelton with any questions you may have. Wishing you all a happy and healthy new year.

Best regards,
Robyn Schein, President
Maia Poling, Acting Head of School