May 20, 2024
Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.
May 20, 2024
Search
Close this search box.

Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

JFS and Children’s Center of Clifton/Passaic Volunteer Dinner Features Alina Spaulding

Clifton—Inspirational, funny and “quite emotional” sum up Alina Gerlovin Spaulding’s story, told at the Jewish Family Service and Children’s Center of Clifton-Passaic Volunteer Recognition Dinner at the Adas Shul last week, where Dr. Jeffrey Singer was lauded as volunteer of the year.

Spaulding’s father was an Olympic skier for the former Soviet Union. In 1974, he broke his leg at the top of a mountain and became useless to the team, at which time the family was evicted from their home because he was a Jew. They lived in poverty as Spaulding’s father’s condition worsened, with no medical treatment. The family had no home, no help and no one to trust.

Spaulding’s family found out about people in America, such as the Jewish Family Service resettlement agency, who help families in challenging situations such as theirs. They moved to Italy for a few months, and in 1979, they were re-settled in America by the JFS of Clifton-Passaic. The community not only provided them with everything they needed, but also helped her father get the best medical treatment possible and accompanied them to every appointment. The Jewish community ensured that the family flourished in America.

Now 41, Spaulding is forever grateful to the Jewish Family Service of Clifton-Passaic for supporting, resettling and helping her family rebuild their lives. As a consultant on development strategies and an internationally acclaimed public speaker on philanthropy, Spaulding continuously credits her accomplishments in the United States to the start and opportunities she was given by the Jewish Family Service of Clifton-Passaic. Spaulding has adopted two Jewish girls from Ukraine because she and her husband felt that the chessed that the Jewish community did for her, she should do for others.

The 85 dinner-attendees both laughed and cried during the course of Spaulding’s story, and joined in a standing ovation at the end.

By Aviva Jacobs

Leave a Comment

Most Popular Articles